Trump’s touch toxic enough to flip public opinion on range of issues

Last week Stephen Dinan wrote:

Obamacare had been deeply unpopular for its entire history, with more voters consistently telling pollsters they opposed the massive health care overhaul that Democrats pushed through Congress in 2010.

That is, until President Trump took office.

On Inauguration Day this year, Obamacare’s approval flipped from negative to positive in the Real Clear Politics average of polling, and it has never looked back. Despite Mr. Trump’s constant gibes, a stunning 51 percent of Americans now back the troubled health care law, according to Real Clear Politics, compared with 39 percent who oppose it.

Obamacare is just one of a number of issues where the public has flipped, and pollsters say Mr. Trump has a lot to do with it. He is chasing people away from issues, in part, just by supporting them.

“The psychology is easy. ‘I don’t like the guy. If he says two plus two is four, I’m going to make it five.’ That’s human nature,” said Michael McKenna, a Republican Party strategist and pollster. “The message and the messenger are inextricably linked.”

Perhaps most striking is how Mr. Trump has infected so many issues.

The Iran nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump mocks, is more popular than ever. The North American Free Trade Agreement, whose approval crumbled during the presidential campaign, is now firmly back in positive approval territory with Mr. Trump vowing to renegotiate it. The number of people who say they worry about global warming “a great deal” has soared this year.

Support for legalizing people in the country without authorization, which for most of this decade has hovered between 50 percent and 59 percent in Quinnipiac University polling, crossed the 60 percent support line this year and stood at 68 percent as of September. CNN’s polling shows similar trends, with support for legalization rising 9 percentage points after Mr. Trump took office.

And so it goes.