What’s Behind Trump’s Rising Popularity?

Three theories as to why the poll numbers are improving for the president and his party.

  • First, the president’s personal standing has rebounded.
  • .. Second, the formidable Democratic advantage on the generic ballot for Congress has narrowed.

Let’s call them the economy, exhaustion, and equilibrium.

.. based on the strength of the economy, one would predict more favorable views of Trump.

.. The rise in Republican numbers has also coincided with the tax bill passed in December.

.. “There’s no question that Trump benefits when a critique of his tax and health care policies is not front and center—especially when voters are hearing Trump’s side of the story on the economy,”

.. another product is fatigue: When there are so many scandals, they all start to blend together and fade. One retort to the anti-Trump slogan “This is not normal” is to point out that by now cataclysmic scandals are in fact the new normal. Trump’s improvement may reflect exhaustion with scandals and diminished anger at the president as a result.

.. Democrats would need a strong slate of wins to take back the House and a near-miracle to take back the Senate.

.. Democrats still don’t have a unified message.

The ’70s and Us

In certain ways sexual predation actually was the culture in the years when Weinstein came of age, in the entertainment industry and the wider society it influenced and mirrored.

.. There is a liberal tendency to regard sexual exploitation as a patriarchal constant that feminism has mitigated, and a conservative tendency to regard it as a problem that’s gotten steadily worse since the sexual revolution.

.. You can remember some of it with ’70s statistics: Never so many divorces, never so many abortions, a much higher rate of rape, an S.T.D. crisis that culminated in the AIDS epidemic.

..  something new happenedin Catholicism between 1960 and 1980: The prevalence of pedophilia stayed about the same, but suddenly the rate of priests groping and seducing and raping teenagers shot way, way up. As went Bowie and Zeppelin, so went the most putatively-conservative institution in the country.

.. The coarse worldview I’ve called “Hefnerism” endured, as the victims of Weinstein and Bill Clinton and Donald Trump can well attest.

.. They featured our civilization’s last great burst of creative energy. Those predatory directors and rape-y rock stars made great movies and memorable music.

.. peace feels like cultural exhaustion.