Elaine: It shrinks? Jerry: Like a frightened turtle!

Nate Silver and the number-crunchers at FiveThirtyEight have been looking long and hard at Donald Trump's polls, and they're pretty sure his support is softening, even shrinking, which could mean that by 2018 Trump might, like many men in their 70s, have difficulty sustaining an election. It would be premature for Democrats to shout any ejaculations of joy, however, since Trump has often found ways to regain his stamina after people assumed his political fortunes had gone limp. Will Trump's seeming vigor stand up to months of scrutiny, or is it doomed to wither?

Silver notes the conventional wisdom that Trump has a fairly high floor of support, some 35 to 40 percent of voters who'll enthusiastically go along with Trump no matter how much he goes back on campaign promises and screws over the people who voted for him. He notes plenty of Trump voters either don't believe or don't care about Trump's problems with the Russia investigations and his tendency to say stuff that bears little resemblance to reality. Ah, but not so fast, says Silver -- it only looks like that if you're looking at poll numbers for Trump's over-all support. If you break down that total into the typical approval-poll categories of strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove, you see that the responses for "Strongly approve" have actually declined noticeably, especially after the passage of the House's Screw-Trump-Voters-Hardest healthcare bill:

After a slight uptick in the first two to three weeks of his term, Trump’s strong approval ratings have headed downward. But it hasn’t been a steady decline. Instead, they fell considerably from about 29 percent on March 6 — when Republicans introduced their health care bill — to around 24 percent on April 1, shortly after the GOP pulled the bill from the House floor. They then remained stable for much of April, before beginning to fall again this month after the reintroduction (and House passage) of the health care bill and after Trump fired FBI director James Comey on May 9. As of Tuesday, just 21.4 percent of Americans strongly approved of Trump’s performance.

If you want to compare that support to a good president, by April 2009 Barack Obama still had 45% strong support, although that slipped significantly by the middle of his second term, to the high teens. Silver also points out that as Trump's strong approval numbers have fallen, his numbers for "somewhat approve" has increased a bit over time, which "probably reflects voters who once strongly approved of Trump and who have now downgraded him to the somewhat approve category." This could turn into a problem over the next couple years if additional Screw-Trump-Voters measures are passed -- like his awful budget, or if the Senate also votes to leave tens of millions uninsured -- in which case "the next step for these somewhat approve voters would be to move toward disapproval of the president."

We wouldn't mind seeing that trend continue, honestly. Also, while the percentage of people who "somewhat disapprove" of Trump has bumped along at about ten percent, rising slightly, the numbers for "strongly disapprove" have increased significantly since January, from the mid-30s to 44.1 percent this week. Also not happy news for Trump: "In most surveys, Trump’s strongly disapprove rating exceeds his overall approval rating, in fact." Silver attributes the strong disapproval to a combination of dislike of Trump's policies and the changing opinions of people who were willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt when he first took office. He's not winning new love, but he's making more people mad.

Finally, Silver notes, Trump won the Republican nomination with about 20 percent of the primary vote, which seems to be about where his strongest approval rating seems to hold steady. Most Republicans may have supported other candidates, but once Trump got the nomination, they held their noses and voted for him. Now that he's actually in office and screwing things up, the 20% of the electorate who gave him the nomination will stick with him no matter what, while other Republicans may be losing enthusiasm now that they got their stolen Supreme Court seat and there's no Hillary Clinton campaign to haunt their dreams (except of course on Fox News). Says Silver,

If those reluctant Trump supporters shift to being reluctant opponents instead, he’ll be in a lot of trouble, with consequences ranging from a midterm wave against Republicans to an increased likelihood of impeachment.

We certainly hope that turns out to be the case, but we're also not about to get overconfident like we were the first week in November. If anything, these trends are an excellent reason to make even more noise about just how awful Trump and his Republican fluffers are for the country, especially for red states. We don't have any hope the morons who think Pepe the Frog was the height of wit are redeemable, but if people start noticing they voted for a guy who conned the hell out of them, we should be happy to have them voting blue. Once they step through a metal detector, at least.

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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.

In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

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