Matt Taibbi: Approval Polls Can't Measure Trump's Appeal; "People Who Disapproved Of Trump Were One Of His Biggest Constituencies"

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During an interview with RJ Eskow on "The Zero Hour," writer and host of the new "Useful Idiots" podcast Matt Taibbi warned that Donald Trump could very well win in 2020, pointing out that a large portion of people who voted for him in 2016 said they did not "approve" of him.

"Trump ended up doing extremely well with voters who considered both choices unfavorable. Roughly one in five registered voters in November 2016 disapproved of both Clinton and Trump. And Trump won those voters by nearly a two-to-one margin. So people who disapproved of Donald Trump were one of his biggest constituencies," he explained. "If anything, he is doing better than he was doing at this stage in the race last time."





MATT TAIBBI: I think people should be concerned [that Trump could win again in 2020] because the same basic analytical error that we saw in 2016, one that I made myself, is happening again.

When I first covered Donald Trump, my initial reaction to him was, 'Wow, if you watch the reaction to him on the campaign trail and ignore the polls and just watch the way people responded to him, you would say this person is a very serious threat to win the presidency.' My first story about him said that he was a very serious threat, and I very early on pegged him to win the nomination, and that because he was attracting such enormous crowds, and he was scoring in a lot of ways with a lot of different types of people.

But then, once he became the nominee, I fell into the same trap that a lot of reporters did. I let a pollster talk me out of the proposition that Trump could win. At the Republican National Convention, I ran into a Democratic pollster who sat me down and said the favorability numbers just don't work. There aren't enough uneducated white males to deliver the election for Trump, because if you look at his favorability numbers, they never creep high enough to win a majority of registered voters.

But there was a huge flaw in that analysis: That Trump ended up doing extremely well with voters who considered both choices unfavorable. So roughly one in five registered voters in November 2016 disapproved of both Clinton and Trump. And Trump won those voters by nearly a two-to-one margin.

So people who disapproved of Donald Trump were one of his biggest constituencies, so that is kind of the problem going into this campaign that I see people making the same mistake. They say the numbers just don't add up. Whereas if you just go by what you see on the campaign trail, and the realities that I've seen recently say, if anything, he is doing better than he was doing at this stage in the race last time.

He generates an enormous amount of enthusiasm. You can't underestimate that.

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