The Fox effect: Trump's base bolsters his standing

Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump takes the stage at a Make America Great Again rally on April 27, 2019, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Copyright Mike Roemer AP
Copyright Mike Roemer AP
By Chuck Todd and Mark Murray and Carrie Dann with NBC News Politics
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.


WASHINGTON — "Hung jury" is how Democratic pollster Peter Hart described our latest NBC/WSJ poll showing a nation divided over the Mueller probe.

And maybe the biggest reason for this stalemate is that President Trump's political base — especially those who get their news from Fox — hasn't budged an inch, according to the poll.

Fewer than 30 percent of Americans who get their news via broadcast TV, CNN or MSNBC believe Trump has been honest about the Russia probe, compared with 61 percent of Fox News viewers.

Just a sliver of broadcast/CNN/MSNBC viewers say the Mueller report cleared Trump of wrongdoing, versus 50 percent of Fox News watchers.

And fewer than 40 percent of those who consume their news via broadcast TV, CNN or MSNBC approve of Trump's job performance, compared with 73 percent who get their news from Fox.

Trump's overall job rating in the NBC/WSJ poll stands at 46 percent.

For a hung jury to take place in a trial, all it takes is one or more jurors to disagree with the others.

And we're seeing that take place in the court of American political opinion when it comes to Trump and the Russia probe.

Tweet of the day

Trump versus Congress

The Fox Effect also strengthens Trump's hand in his administration's showdowns with congressional Democrats.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday rejected House Democrats' request for President Donald Trump's tax returns, failing for the third time to meet a congressional deadline to turn over the documents," per NBC News.

And House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has a scheduled a vote on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, "citing the Justice Department's failure to provide the full text of Mueller's report by the Monday morning deadline," the AP writes.

More from the AP: "Nadler, D-N.Y., said Barr's failure to comply with a subpoena left them with 'no choice but to initiate contempt proceedings.'"

2020 Vision: Pete's problem

Pete Buttigieg hasn't been attracting many African-American voters during his swing through South Carolina, Politico writes.

"He scheduled a meet-and-greet Monday in Orangeburg — a city that is 76 percent black — but only a dozen or so people of color showed up in a crowd of more than 100."

lso: "At a town hall the night before — held at a North Charleston high school where minority enrollment is 97 percent in a city that is roughly half-black — it was another overwhelmingly white audience."

On "Today" this morning, NBC's Craig Melvin asked Buttigieg about the lack of African-American voters at his events and what he can do to win them over.

Buttigieg's response: "Well, part of it is by laying out an agenda on the issues that black voters are asking me about most often - home ownership, entrepreneurship, health, education, criminal justice reform."

"But a lot of it's also about a relationship," he said. "It takes a lot of work to make sure people get to know you. I am determined to do that work, because I'm determined to compete here in South Carolina."


On the campaign trail today

Beto O'Rourke spends another day in Iowa… Julian Castro also campaigns in the Hawkeye State… Joe Biden hits Nevada… And Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker address the Machinist Union's legislative conference in D.C.

Data Download: The number of the day is … net 4 and net-9

Net 4 and net -9.

That's the overall approval ratings for ACA, the health care law signed by Barack Obama (41 percent of Americans say it's a good idea, while 37 percent say it's a bad idea) and President Trump's tax law (27 percent say it's a good idea, while 36 percent say it's a bad idea).

One reason for the ACA's overall higher popularity?

While partisans are predictably divided about the wisdom of the two signature pieces of legislation passed by the two presidents, independents are significantly more pessimistic about the tax law. Among independents, the tax law is a net negative 16 points underwater, while they're more evenly divided on whether Obamamcare is a good idea or a bad one.


The Lid: (Electoral) College Admissions

Don't miss the pod from yesterday, when we took a deep dive into our recent poll numbers on the Electoral College vs the popular vote.

ICYMI: New clips you shouldn't miss

Trump has pardoned a former U.S. soldier who killed an Iraqi prisoner.

How is China reacting to the Trump tweets that are roiling markets?

Republicans are hoping that Sanders is the Democratic nominee, POLITICO writes.

Steve Mnuchin has formally rejected Congress's request to hand over Trump's tax returns.


Other news that's out there…

Trump agenda: Alarm bells

Trump's retweet about two bonus years for his presidency has set off alarm bells in Washington.

Michael Cohen is officially in prison.

Dem agenda: Contempt

The House Judiciary Committee is moving ahead with a vote to hold William Barr in contempt of Congress.

Democrats are pushing Congress to address carbon monoxide poisoning in public housing, writes our own Suzy Khimm.


Hundreds of former prosecutors say that Trump would have been indicted if he were not president.

2020: The electability question

Democrats are hoping to defining electability on their own terms, writes the Washington Post.

Kamala Harris is launching a national organizing program.

And Harris is not happy with pundits who question whether anyone but a white man can beat Trump.

Share this articleComments