The voters who elected Donald Trump in 2016 are returning to him just as the midterms approach. With their help, Trump has recorded his highest job approval in the Wall Street Journal-NBC poll since he took office — 47 percent.
But the real story is behind the numbers. Trump's base — white non-college voters (38 percent of the country) — is rallying to his candidates just as they did in the closing weeks of 2017.
According to the Fox News poll, the only one that measures white non-college educated voters as a discrete group, Trump's approval has surged among these folks.
In August 2016, Trump's margin of approval over disapproval was only 11 points (54-43). By September, it had risen to a 17-point margin (57-40). In Fox News' latest poll, Oct. 13 to 16, it had surged to a 21-point margin (60-39). These voters are coming home.
This base lives in a blind spot for the mainstream media, which doesn't really know that these voters exist. They live away from the West Coast and outside of the Northeast. They haven't been to college. And they are white. Their failure to measure their changing opinions is responsible for the media's error in predicting a Clinton victory in 2016, and they haven't changed their methodology since.
Trump's base hides in plain sight during the bulk of the year. Estranged from the political process, they don't follow it closely except when their man is in danger and summons them forth. That's why the GOP did not do as well in the special elections of the past two years as Trump had hoped.
But when the national fireball rings, they wake up and respond.
The controversy over the Kavanaugh nomination and the phony stories of sexual abuse energized the sleeping giant and motived the voters to return to the Trump banner. Since then, by emphasizing the immigration issue and the caravan arriving from Central America, he has held their attention.
The national polling is slow to pick them up on its radar. While their participation and increasing enthusiasm shows up quickly in the national job approval polling, it is slower to make its impact felt in the less frequent polling of the nation's Senate races. The House polling, less frequent still, takes even longer to manifest their participation. But they are there, moving the needle.