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Trump's Favorite Pollster Shows His Disapproval Rating At 57 Percent

A new tracking poll from a Republican-leaning pollster shows Donald Trump's approval rating has taken a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll found Trump's approval rating at just 42 percent and his disapproval rating at 57 percent. The negative 15 point margin is his worst in the survey since late 2017.

The poll was sponsored by pro-Trump activist Jack Posobiec of the far-right One American News Network.

Trump has frequently praised Rasmussen's polls, calling the company "one of the most accurate in predicting the 2016 Election" and lauding the company for its "honest polling." As recently as February 25, he tweeted that he had reached "52% in the new Rasmussen Poll."

Rasmussen itself has a distinct pro-GOP bias. After the 2016 elections, polling analyst Nate Silver noted that "the Republican lean in its polls ran pretty much wire to wire."

"It had a significant Republican house effect early in the election cycle and a significant Republican house effect late in the election, and it would up turning into a significant Republican bias on Election Day," he wrote.

In September 2018, Ipsos Public Affairs research director Mallory Newall told Hill.TV that Rasmussen's adjustment of data based on party identification tends "to be more along the partisan angle, leaning toward the Republicans."

Rasmussen has consistently shown better numbers for Trump and his allies than other major polling firms. CNN analyst Harry Enten noted after the 2018 midterms that Rasmussen's polling had been the least accurate of any firm, actually showing Republicans ahead nationally by one point before the blue wave. "The midterm elections prove that at least for now Rasmussen is dead wrong and traditional pollsters are correct," he argued.

Wednesday's Rasmussen data, by contrast, reflect the same trends as other national pollsters.

Following a brief approval boost in March, as the coronavirus was first beginning to take hold, Trump's approval tumbled. FiveThirtyEight's current average puts him at 42.6 percent approval and 53.7 percent disapproval, while RealClearPolitics puts Trump's average at 43.5 percent approval and 54.5 percent disapproval.

Trump has been criticized broadly for his botched response and downplaying the threat. Harvard Global Health Institute head Ashish Jha told Bloomberg in March that the administration wasted about two months failing to ramp up widespread coronavirus testing as the pandemic spread across the country.

Though Trump has said that he does not "take responsibility at all" for the situation, the American people have increasingly blamed him, with a Pew Research Center poll as far back as April showing at least 65 percent of U.S. adults believed he had acted "too slow" in responding to the virus.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

McConnell: Senate Probes Of Obama Are Just Payback For Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that because the House of Representatives is still doing oversight into Donald Trump and his administration, it should be able to conduct investigations into the Obama administration and the Bidens.

"The House of Representatives is arguing before the Supreme Court that they are still looking for yet another impeachment. They are arguing that before the Supreme Court this week," McConnell (R-KY) told Fox News, referencing a legal filing in which the House sought access to grand jury testimony from the Robert Mueller investigation.

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GOP Senate Candidate Wants To ‘Shut Down’ National Media

Don Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general running for Senate in New Hampshire, suggested on Tuesday that the national media should be shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to reduce public anxiety.

"I have a recommendation," he told a Sullivan County GOP meeting. To "buy down the fear," he proposed, "let's simply take national media and shut it down and see what happens. I guarantee you that better information gets out at the local level, people are better informed, there's less hyperbole, [and] there's less fear being spread."

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Trump Campaign Cites Bogus Medical Society To Defend Unproven Medication

Donald Trump's reelection campaign manager on Tuesday defended Trump's preventive use of an anti-malaria drug unproven to work against the coronavirus, citing a fringe medical group known for promoting fake science.

"The press is going nuts over @realDonaldTrump taking hydroxychloroquine (prescribed by doctor)," Brad Parscale tweeted. "Of course, if he's doing it, they must oppose it. But the Assoc. of American Physicians & Surgeons says otherwise."

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GOP Governors Who Kept States Open See Virus Spiking Now

Last week, five Republican governors published an opinion piece in the Washington Post under the headline, "Our states stayed open in the covid-19 pandemic. Here's why our approach worked."

The latest coronavirus data from two of those states shows that the approach did not work.

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‘Lives Were Lost’: Dr. Bright Laments Trump’s Inept Pandemic Response

Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, told Congress on Thursday that the federal government obtained substandard foreign masks that do not keep medical workers safe from COVID-19.

Bright was asked by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) at a House Committee on Energy and Commerce's health subcommittee hearing about the consequences of the Trump administration's monthslong delay in mounting an aggressive response to the pandemic. Bright answered that, "lives were endangered, and I believe lives were lost."

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Romney Scalds Trump Administration On Virus Testing

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) scolded the Trump administration on Tuesday for its celebration of the nation's coronavirus testing numbers a day earlier.

The comments came at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions titled "COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School."

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Unemployment Hits Historic High, But Trump Still Boasts 'Greatest Economy’

During a Fox News phone interview on Friday, Donald Trump was confronted with the news that the nation's unemployment rate has risen from 4.4 percent to 14.7 percent, with 20.5 million jobs lost. He responded by saying that the nation is getting "back to work" and claiming credit for creating the "greatest economy in the history of the world" prior to the pandemic.

During a Fox & Friends call-in, Trump was asked about what the Fox host called "terrible" numbers. He responded that they were "no surprise" and that "even the Democrats aren't blaming me for that."

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Coronavirus Task Force Will Remain, Says Trump, Because It’s ‘Popular’

Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he will keep his White House coronavirus task force going "indefinitely," despite saying a day earlier that he would soon wind it down because "we can't keep our country closed for the next five years."

Trump explained at a press spray that he had intended to shut it down — even as an internal White House projection showed the death toll from the pandemic increasing to 3,000 people per day by June 1 — but changed his mind because he discovered the task force is popular. A day earlier, Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, said it was no longer needed due to the "tremendous progress we've made as a country."

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White House Bars Fauci Testimony Before Congressional Committee

The Trump administration has blocked letting Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top epidemiologist, testify before a House committee, saying such a move would be "counterproductive."

But the administration does plan to let him testify before the GOP-controlled Senate next week, at a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing scheduled for May 12.

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Trump Urges Michigan Governor To Make ‘Deal’ With Armed Mob

Donald Trump urged Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday to give in to the demands of the armed mob of protesters who stormed the state Capitol a day earlier.

"The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire," he tweeted. "These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal."

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As Millions Lose Jobs, Republicans Still Boast About Employment

More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past six weeks, as the economy craters during the coronavirus pandemic. But based on their campaign websites, Donald Trump and a number of his Republican allies are still running for election on pre-COVID-19 job numbers and Trump's 2017 tax cuts bill.

As of April 14, the website of Trump's 2020 reelection campaign contained a section bragging about the "lowest" unemployment in years and said Trump had "jump-started America's economy into record growth" and millions of new jobs. At that point, about 17 million Americans had filed new unemployment insurance claims, wiping out the 6.1 million new jobs Trump claimed to have created.

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GOP Senator Suggests Disastrous Default On US Debt To China

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) suggested on Thursday that the United States should consider defaulting on its debt to China as punishment for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Fox Business interview, host Stuart Varney said that she had suggested that the United States "not repay them the trillion dollars that we owe them." That, he said, would be "abrogating America's debt."

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House Republicans Insisted On Probing Benghazi — But Not Coronavirus Carnage

The House of Representatives voted 212 to 182 on Thursday to create a special panel to oversee the coronavirus pandemic and the federal government's response. But all 181 Republicans present and one conservative independent opposed the measure, with many dismissing the request for additional oversight as a scheme to hurt Donald Trump during an election year.

The new Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will be chaired by Majority Whip James Clyburn, under the auspices of the Oversight Committee. It will have broad subpoena power and be tasked with overseeing taxpayer-funded COVID-19 relief programs, the pandemic's economic impact, any disparate impact on minorities, and the executive branch's preparedness, response, and decision-making.

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Despite GOP Claims Of ‘Fraud,' Most Voters Want Mail Ballots

Donald Trump and his Republican allies have spent the last several weeks fighting efforts to allow all Americans to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. But a new poll finds that the vast majority of voters actually support the idea.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Tuesday, found that 58 percent of registered voters would support a permanent rule allowing all eligible voters to vote by mail. Another 9 percent support such a policy for this November's election due to the pandemic, while only 29 percent are against vote-by-mail altogether.

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As Trump Urges Reopening, Pentagon Extends Limits On Military Travel

Defense Secretary Mark Esper issued a memo on Monday ordering that military travel restrictions be extended until June 30 in response to the ongoing threat from the coronavirus. At the same time, Donald Trump continued to push for states to relax social distancing rules by May 1, suggesting the worst of the crisis has passed.

"The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to present significant risk to our forces as the DoD considers domestic and overseas personnel travel. These movements present the threat of spreading COVID-19 within our ranks and communities," Esper wrote. "My priorities remain protecting our Service members, DoD civilians, and families; safeguarding our national security capabilities; and supporting the whole-of-nation response."

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Trump Airs Another Campaign Ad At Briefing, Produced By White House Staff

Donald Trump used time during his regular COVID-19 briefing on Monday to play a campaign ad for himself. Trump said that the video had been put together by White House staff — a possible violation of federal law regulating the election activities of federal employees.

Under fire for downplaying the coronavirus' risk and doing little to prepare for the pandemic, Trump made reporters watch what was effectively a campaign ad. "We have a few clips that we're just going to put up," he said, before playing a video containing clips organized and edited to blame the media for minimizing the threat of the pandemic and tout Trump's response.

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