President Donald Trump's recent actions -- from siding with white nationalists in Charlottesville to pardoning controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- have some GOP consultants clutching their pearls over fears that he is destroying the GOP before the 2018 midterms -- and that Trump doesn't give a damn.
According to the Washington Post, Trump's antics are playing well with his rabid base but even Fox News viewers are beginning to recoil from the president.
"Trump’s job-approval numbers remain mired in the 30s in most polls, and several new findings last week gave Republicans interested in expanding the party’s appeal fresh reason to worry," the Post reports. "A Fox News survey, for example, found that majorities of voters think that Trump is 'tearing the country apart' and does not respect racial minorities."
While Trump confidantes believe that the president will right a ship that is sinking due to record low poll number, those outside the president's immediate orbit aren't so sure.
"Voters are very skeptical it will happen,” explained former Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio. “If the president can get a tax-reform package passed, it will confound their expectations and be a huge win.”
However John Weaver, who served as chief strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) ill-fated presidential run, begs to differ.
"It’s almost as if he’s the pilot of a plane that’s in a terrible downward spiral and he’s insisting on continuing to do things to make it worse,” Weaver fretted. “You can’t govern like that, and you can’t win reelection like that, and you can’t take your party into the 2018 midterms like that.”
“He’s stoking his base with rhetorical messaging in part because it’s taking longer than hoped to get some of his major campaign promises checked off,” suggested one analyst, however it may be too little, too late for an electorate that may take our their frustrations with Trump on his party on 2018.
According to a Gallup daily tracking poll, Trump’s job approval rating has dipped to 34 percent -- his lowest mark for the year. Another poll showed "the number of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who disapprove of Trump’s performance rising from 19 percent in June to 25 percent in August."
Democratic consultant Mary Anne Marsh suggested that Trump is less concerned with increasing his appeal and with saving the GOP than he is with shoring up his true believers as investigations into his administration loom.
“If you look at it through that lens, it makes sense,” Marsh stated. “Any other president would have spent their time trying to expand their support.”