Morning Joe: With Favorability at 25%, Trump Close To Being 'Fringe Candidate'

April 11th, 2023 12:20 PM

ABC News/IPSOS poll Trump 25% favorability It wasn't a poll of likely Republican primary voters. Not even a survey of registered voters of all parties. It was a poll of a random sample of 566 adults, with a high margin of error.

Even so, Morning Joe jumped on a ABC News/Ipsos poll this morning to depict Donald Trump in dire straits. 

No doubt, the approval rating of 25% was surely not welcome in Trump land. And it has dipped four points since Trump's arraignment.

Even so, Willie Geist's grim assessment seemed overblown. Declared Willie: 

"25%, you're starting to dip into being a fringe political candidate."

Hard to see how someone who continues to post a strong lead in the GOP primary can be cast as a "fringe" candidate. But when you love saying "the walls are closing in," this spin is hard to avoid.

The panel did acknowledge Trump's primary lead. But the crew surmised that at some point, Republicans might start to look elsewhere for a candidate at the top of the ticket.

Again it was Geist, in the unusual position of leading the anti-Trump charge, who said:

"There are a whole lot of people, even within the Republican Party now saying out loud, we gotta figure out another way. 25%, this guy can't win." 

Along similar lines, Joe Scarborough speculated that Trump's weak general-electorate numbers might "trickle down" to the Republican base.

Was this wishcasting on Morning Joe's part. or could there be something to the dim view they took of Trump's prospects?

The next few weeks should be illuminating in a variety of ways: will there be additional indictments? And will Ron DeSantis make it official and throw his hat into the ring? 

On Morning Joe, Donald Trump's 25% approval rating in one poll prompting Willie Geist to suggest that he isTrump approaching "fringe candidate" territory was sponsored in part by Dr. Scholls, Roman, and Liberty Mutual.

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:02 am EDT

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Speaking of Trump and elections, Republican senators want him to stay away from the races in 2024 following losses by his hand-picked candidates during the last cycle. 

And if his legal issues don't take him off the ballot, maybe his poll numbers will. A new survey shows Trump is losing support rapidly, dropping like a rock.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And his, Willie, his favorability ratings have never been great, nor as strong as his job approval ratings. But if you look at those favorability ratings, when we sit here and talk about all the things that he's doing, and wondering why it doesn't seem to catch up to him. He now has a favorability rating that's collapsed down to 25%. And, and, actually lost four percentage points post-indictment. 

And all the numbers that we saw in this ABC News/IPSOS poll showed, really, what Chris Christie said was true: there's no such thing as a good indictment. People can whistle past the political graveyard, and say, oh, the indictment's going to help him. Again, you look up and down on this ABC poll, which I suspect will be like the other polls. It's all bad news for him, especially the fact that only one in four Americans now have a favorable impression of him.

WILLIE GEIST: 25%, you're starting to dip into being a fringe political candidate. 25% is a just terrible number if you're trying to win a general election.

Now again, his numbers inside the primary are good, we understand that. But if the goal is to win the general election, I think that's why, just even in the last week, looking at the arraignment we saw last week, looking at the result in Wisconsin, looking at this new ruling out of Texas on abortion, there are a whole lot of people, even within the Republican party now saying out loud, we gotta figure out another way. 25%, this guy can't win. 

We're not saying he can't win or that he won't win, but the numbers are very bad for Donald Trump. And so, you are hearing more and more, this isn't going to work: what else do we have?

SCARBOROUGH: Let's bring in right now former White House press secretary and MSNBC host Jen Psaki, Jen --

MIKA: We have John Heilemann here.

SCARBOROUGH: Along with John Heilemann. Jen, you look at the 25%. I've never seen that number attached to any candidate who was actually the leading contender for his party or her party's nomination.

And I do wonder if it, sometimes, when you have favorability ratings collapsing to 25%, which means three in four Americans do not have a favorable impression of him, if we actually start seeing that trickle down to the base, who suddenly, I mean, maybe, after all these years, realizes that Donald Trump is not good for the Republican party. He's not good for the conservative community. He can't win elections anymore.

JEN PSAKI: Right, I mean, and also, you see 25%, sometimes you'd see it for a candidate who's on the rise, who people still don't know yet. But everybody knows Donald Trump. He has a 100% approval rating [sic, meant "name recognition"] or something like that. So that's his other problem here, right? There aren't undecided voters who may come his way.

I think, Joe, remember  back in November, he had a drop, right? DeSantis had a rise after the November elections because it was very clear at that point in time that he was a loser. I mean, he was supporting losers. That has faded a little bit in terms of people being as concerned, because DeSantis hasn't appeared to be as strong as some in the Republican base wanted him to be.

So maybe, maybe, if there's a clear alternative, people will vote for them. But right now, there isn't one. So that, I think, is the challenge for a lot of Republican candidates, senators who are running for re-election, people who want to take out Democrats. They need somebody who's strong at the top, and it's really not clear who that might be.