President Trump's approval ratings are nothing special. Actually, they're extraordinarily low by historical standards — he's clocking in at 44 percent, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. His support base is highly polarized, with 85 percent of Republicans behind him and just 9 percent of Democrats. If those rates drop steadily for the next two years — and given the level of polarization, they certainly could — Republicans would be in serious danger of losing the House, since low presidential approval ratings correlate significantly with House elections.
Then again, Trump's support base may be stable.
According to that same poll, approximately 57 percent of voters say that Trump is doing about as well as they expected. Meanwhile, his approval ratings far outclass those of Congress, which has just a 29 percent approval rating. That's a nonpartisan statistic. And thirty-one percent approve of Democrats in Congress, while 32 percent approve of Republicans in Congress. The most unpopular figure in American politics remains House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with 19 percent who feel positively about her in any way against 44 percent who feel negatively about her. The Democratic Party's negatives double up the Republican Party's.
This relatively positive feeling toward Republicans means that 60 percent of respondents are hopeful and optimistic about the future of the country, and 40 percent are pessimistic. And that's with a sample that shows just 37 percent of respondents who voted for Trump in the presidential election.
None of this says that everybody is comfortable with Trump. Fifty-two percent say that Trump's chaotic style is "unique to this administration and (suggests) real problems." But the American people largely agree with Trump's agenda. Eighty-six percent say that "a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost." Fifty-three percent say that "the news media and other elites are exaggerating the problems with the Trump Administration because they are uncomfortable and threatened with the kind of change that Trump represents." While 37 percent of respondents say that they want Democrats in Congress setting the agenda, 19 percent say that Republicans in Congress should do so, and 37 percent say that Trump should do so. Fifty-seven percent of Americans say Trump is likely to bring change — and 63 percent of those people say he will bring the right kind of change. Forty-one percent of Americans say the economy will get better, and 73 percent of those attribute that prospective success to Trump. Only 4 percent of Americans think Obamacare works well the way it is. And here's the best statistic of all for Trump personally: Thirty-eight percent of Americans say they like him personally regardless of whether they like or dislike his policies.
All of this suggests that Americans are giving Trump a chance, and that they're tired of the media failing to do so. They think Trump is going to bring change, and they want to allow him freedom to pursue that change. Democrats and members of the media who keep saying that Trump can't be trusted with the tiller of government ought to have an easy solution: Give him all the leeway he wants, and then watch him pursue policies they think are unpopular. By acting as foils for Trump, the media and the left actually prop him up — they allow him to position them as obstacles to making change.
Trump is in control. The American people are ready to see him perform. Now it's time for him to step up and create the change he's preached for so long.
Ben Shapiro, 33, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of "Bullies." He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.