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Journal Archives

Trump Job Approval moves slightly lower

According to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll (46% in February and 43% in March).

29 percent of Americans say they believe Trump has been cleared of wrongdoing, based on what they have heard about Mueller’s findings, while 40 percent say they do not believe he has been cleared.

A third of Americans — 31 percent — say they’re not sure if Trump has been cleared. That includes nearly half of independents (45 percent) and about a quarter of both Democrats (27 percent) and Republicans (25 percent.)

Respondents were asked about their views of the special counsel’s work on March 25-27, beginning the day after Attorney General William Barr released his summary of Mueller’s report that stated the probe “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

Barr also reported that Mueller declined to make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice. The attorney general informed Congress Friday that more of Mueller's report will be released by mid-April.

The public is still in a wait-and-see view of this investigation and what it means for Trump,” said Jeff Horwitt of the Democratic firm Hart Research, which conducted the poll along with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.

Much of that ambiguity may be because less than half of the public says they have been deeply engaged with reporting about Barr’s summary of Mueller’s findings.

While a large majority of Americans — 78 percent — say they have heard about Mueller submitting his final report, only 39 percent say they have heard “a lot” about the story. That’s a smaller share of the population than those who said they had heard a lot about other significant stories in Trump’s political history, including his decision to fire James Comey (56 percent) or the release of the Access Hollywood videotape (66 percent).

“However substantial this event was in the Washington, D.C., community and maybe our political culture, it was not an event that captured the American public,” said McInturff.

The narrative about the Mueller probe has also not significantly affected the president’s approval rating, which stands at 43 percent. Fifty-three percent of Americans disapprove of his job performance.

In February, Trump’s approval rating stood at 46 percent, but this month’s shift is within the poll’s margin of error.

Since last month, fewer Americans now say that the Mueller probe has given them more doubts about Trump’s presidency. In the NBC/WSJ February poll, 48 percent of Americans said the investigation gave them more doubts, while 47 percent disagreed. Now, 36 percent said they have more doubts about Trump as a result of the probe, compared with 57 percent who disagree.

But nearly all of that shift came among Democrats. In February, 82 percent of Democrats expressed more doubts as a result of the investigation, compared with just 61 percent now. But the same period of time saw no increase in Trump’s overall approval rating among Democrats.


While the poll did not find a significant shift in the president’s approval rating, it showed some continued weak spots as he prepares to run for re-election.

Overall, half of registered voters say they are “very uncomfortable” with his candidacy while an additional 9 percent say they have “some reservations.”

Among those saying they’re “very uncomfortable” are at least half of several traditional swing voter groups, such as independents (50 percent saying they are “very uncomfortable”), suburban women (56 percent) and moderates (57 percent).

In contrast, just 26 percent of voters overall say they’re “enthusiastic” about Trump’s 2020 bid, with another 14 percent saying they are “comfortable.”

But some Democratic candidates also face significant discomfort from the voting public, too.

We have never seen anything like this: migrants overwhelm Texas

Border Patrol agents expect to see more than 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants in March, the highest monthly total in over a decade.
Vast majority of those crossing between ports of entry turn themselves into Border Patrol agents, seeking asylum.
On Friday, Trump threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico didn't stop undocumented migrants from coming.
Under a bridge connecting the U.S. with Mexico, dozens of migrant families cram into a makeshift camp set up by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The families are there because permanent processing facilities have run out of room.

Seven hundred miles east, busload after busload of weary, bedraggled migrants crowd into the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. Organizers there are used to handling 200 to 300 migrants a day. Lately, the migrants have been arriving at a clip of around 800 a day, overflowing the respite center and straining city resources.

“It’s staggering,” McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez said. “Really, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Along the Texas border with Mexico – from El Paso to Eagle Pass to the Rio Grande Valley – masses of migrants have been crossing the border in unprecedented numbers, overwhelming federal holding facilities and sending local leaders and volunteers scrambling to deal with the relentless waves of people.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday during a visit to El Paso that the border had hit its "breaking point" and urged Congress to come up with legislative solutions to the problem.

Border Patrol officials were on pace in March for more than 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants – the highest monthly tally in over a decade, he said. Around 90 percent of those – or 90,000 – crossed the border between legal ports of entry.

The vast majority of those crossing between ports of entry turn themselves into Border Patrol agents, seeking asylum.

“The surge numbers are just overwhelming the entire system," McAleenan said.

President Donald Trump recently declared a national emergency at the border to secure funding for a proposed wall, despite Congressional opposition. On Friday, the president in a tweet threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico didn't stop undocumented migrants from coming.

But not even Trump's proposed wall could stop the wave of migrants overflowing shelters in the Rio Grande Valley, where the vast majority are turning themselves in to apply for asylum, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said.

A wall would go up on levees about a mile from the winding Rio Grande, which is the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants will just have to cross the river to be in U.S. territory and seek asylum, he said.

"That's not a solution for asylum-seekers," Darling said.

Once in the U.S., the migrants – mostly families from Central America – are crowding into facilities designed to hold single adult men, said Theresa Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center and a former CBP policy adviser for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Increasingly, smugglers are bringing larger numbers of families together and delivering them across the Rio Grande, knowing they’ll overrun facilities and be released until their immigration court date, she said. Under U.S. law, Border Patrol is not supposed to hold any migrant for longer than 72 hours.

Usually, Border Patrol hands them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which can detain families for up to 20 days. But all of those facilities are overcrowded, Brown said, leading Border Patrol to skip the transfer to ICE and release migrants to shelters en masse.

“This is a system-wide collapse,” she said.

In El Paso, migrant families pressed their faces against the chain-link fencing at the makeshift outdoor shelter under the Paso Del Norte International Bridge as they awaited their turn to seek asylum. Children covered their mouths with swaths of Mylar blankets and peeked through the fencing at passing Border Patrol guards.

On Wednesday, more than 850 migrants were released to local shelters, marking a new high for El Paso. The numbers are expected to keep rising, according to Ruben Garcia, executive director of Annunciation House, a nonprofit that provides services to migrants released by federal authorities.

National popular vote snags another one.

The governor of Delaware signed a law pledging that that state’s Electoral College votes will go to the winner of the national popular vote in the presidential election, regardless of who actually wins the state itself. Delaware is the 13th state to commit to such a pledge, and those states now represent 184 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to elect a president.
Just 86 electoral votes to go and the national popular vote will take on added significance in determining who is elected to be the president.

Robert Mueller is concise

The full report of special counsel Robert Mueller is more than 300 pages long, according to the Justice Department.
In the context of government reports, Mueller’s isn’t an outlier — the Starr report on Whitewater-Lewinsky ran 445 pages, the 9/11 commission report was 567 pages, and a report on how the FBI handled an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was 568 pages.

And now for something completely different...

Almost made it:
A 57-year-old British fugitive wanted for drug charges tried to escape from Australia on a jet ski “possibly armed with a crossbow” and was believed to be bound for Papua New Guinea. He made it 93 miles before being arrested, only about 2.5 miles from the Papua New Guinea coast.

2018 Economic Growth revised downward

“GDP Growth Was Weaker Than Expected”
“The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its final estimate for 2018’s fourth quarter and full year GDP. The initial estimate from a month ago had the economy growing at a 2.6% annual rate, but the updated result has it only increasing 2.2%. This comes after President Trump saying just over a week ago that the economy would have grown at 4% if the Fed had not raised interest rates or done quantitative easing.

The 2.2% rate is also a significant slowdown from the June and September quarter’s 4.2% and 3.4% results, respectively. While the government shutdown played a factor, it probably only impacted the growth rate by 0.1% to 0.2%. Overall, it appears that Trump’s tax cuts had only a temporary effect and were more of a sugar rush than a game changer.
December quarter trends are not positive

When you dig into the components of GDP growth there is a noticeable decrease in consumer goods spending from the second quarter. These are its contribution to GDP growth on an annualized basis for the past three quarters.
June quarter: 1.16%
September quarter: 0.90%
December quarter: 0.54% (vs. last month’s estimate of 0.8%)

Services don’t tend to have as large quarter-to-quarter growth rate moves as spending on Goods, but it did decrease from a contribution of 1.42% in the June quarter to 1.12% in the December quarter.

Government spending actually had a larger impact than Services over the past six months. In the June quarter it contributed a positive 0.43% to GDP growth but that fell to a negative (0.07)% in the September quarter, a 50 basis point swing.

The three segments that can impact a quarter’s growth rate to come in higher or lower than the underlying economy (inventory changes, trade and government spending) had very little effect in the December quarter. When you add these up they had a negative (0.04)% influence.

The full year GDP estimate changed very little

Previously the full year GDP estimate was 2.9% and it remained at that level. When you look at the detail numbers it did decrease from 2.88% to 2.87% but that is insignificant.

The fourth quarter to fourth quarter numbers did have a bit of a change as its growth rate fell from 3.1% (3.08% to be exact) to 3.0% (2.99%). This is a number touted by the administration so that they can say GDP growth started with a 3.

The quarter-to-quarter growth rate has been 2.9%, 3.0% and 3.0% for the past three quarters. However, unless the economy can add an incremental $100 million in the March quarter, the growth rate will fall back under 3%. And most economists seem to be forecasting growth rates that are 2% or lower. This is the most recent GDPNow estimate, which has growth at 1.5%.

Despite report findings almost half of Americans think Trump colluded with Russia

Reuters/Ipsos poll
Nearly half of all Americans still believe President Donald Trump worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after Special Counsel Robert Mueller cleared Trump of that allegation.

Americans did feel slightly more positive about Trump after learning the findings of the 22-month investigation into Russian meddling in the election, the national opinion poll released on Tuesday showed.

But U.S. Attorney General William Barr's four-page summary of Mueller’s investigation did little to change public opinion about the president’s alleged ties to Russia or quench the public’s appetite to learn more.

According to Barr's summary released on Sunday, Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia in the 2016 election, but did not exonerate the president on the question of obstructing the investigation.

When asked specifically about accusations of collusion and obstruction of justice, 48 percent of poll respondents said they believed “Trump or someone from his campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election,” down 6 percentage points from last week.

Fifty-three percent said “Trump tried to stop investigations into Russian influence on his administration,” down 2 points from last week.

Public opinion was split sharply along party lines, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to believe that Trump colluded with Russia and obstructed justice.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll measured the public reaction in the United States on Monday and Tuesday, after the report summary was released, gathering online responses from 1,003 adults, including 948 who said they had at least heard of the summary findings.

The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of its precision, of about 4 percentage points.

Trump's approval rating got a slight boost, with 43 percent of Americans saying they approved of his performance in office, the highest he has polled so far this year and an increase of 4 percentage points compared to a similar poll last week.

Since January, the proportion of adults who approved of Trump has ranged between 37 percent and 43 percent.

Trump heralded the summary of the Mueller report as a “complete and total exoneration” and vowed to strike back with investigations of his own against unnamed political enemies who he believes are guilty of “evil” and “treasonous things.”

Democrats have called on Barr to release the full report, a position shared by a majority of poll respondents.

Among those familiar with Barr's summary, only 9 percent said it had changed their thinking about Trump’s ties to Russia and 57 percent said they want to see the entire report.

Thirty-eight percent of all adults, including two out of three Democrats, support efforts by Democratic leaders to continue the Russia investigation in Congress, according to the poll.

The poll also found that 39 percent felt that Trump “should be impeached,” while 49 percent felt that he should not.

Trump Job Approval ratings

Most recent polls:
Politico-3/25 - 3/26 1978 Registered Voters 42% approve/55% disapprove
Economist-3/24 - 3/26 1249 Registered Voters 46% approve 51% disapprove
Rasmussen-3/24 - 3/26 1500 Likely Voters 49% approve/50% disapprove
Quinnipiac-3/21 - 3/25 1358 Registered Voters 39% approve/55% disapprove
CNBC-3/18 - 3/21 800 Adults 40% approve/49% disapprove
FOX News-3/17 - 3/20 1002 Registered Voters 46% approve/51% diapprove

Trump Job Approval: Rasmuseen Reports

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 35% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 44% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -9.

Captain Marvel crosses $900 million in ticket sales

I guess those folks who wanted the movie to fail at the box office are not gettng their wish.
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $321,498,835 35.2%
+ Foreign: $590,916,562 64.8%
= Worldwide: $912,415,397
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