While there are reasonable debates to be had about how much Trump's base is shrinking and how politically important such shrinkage might be, an accumulating mass of data indicates that Trump's base shrinkage is real. Consider:
- The most recent IBD/TIPP poll shows sharp declines in approval across a range of groups (graphic above) where Trump was strong in the 2016 election.
- In the most recent CNN poll, strong approval of Trump among Republicans has dropped from 73 percent in February to 59 percent today and among white noncollege voters from 47 to 35 percent.
- In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, more white noncollege voters disapprove of Trump's job performance (50 percent) than approve (43 percent). This is among a group that backed Trump by a stunning 66 to 29 percent margin in the 2016 election.
- In a new Firehouse/Optimus survey of voters in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, strongly favorable ratings of Trump have dropped from 35 percent in April to 29 percent today.
Of course, it's a long way to election day and it is possible that Trump's ratings may improve by then (though his trend line is not good). And, even if Trump's approval ratings remain low, there are reasons why Democrats may have a hard time translating these low ratings into big gains. Finally, a Vox/SurveyMonkey aggregation of of six months of their polling data found that Trump's approval slippage has been relatively modest in Republican-held districts that were closest in the last election. Since these districts are critical targets for the Democrats in 2018, this finding, if confirmed by other polls, could indicate a potential problem for the Democrats.
So don't break out the champagne yet. But it's hard to see the very real and ongoing erosion of Trump's political base as anything other than good news.