This is 37%

Dave Pell
4 min readMar 20, 2017

President Donald Trump currently has an approval rating of 37%. Admit it, you’re shocked it’s that high. The first several weeks of his tenure have been an unmitigated disaster, as he’s wreaked havoc at home and across the globe with a series of self-inflicted (and self-tweeted) disasters. From the press conference that gave clowns circus-envy to the wiretapping tweets that have people from across both sides of the aisle wondering out loud if this dude’s marbles might have gone the way of his casinos, his airlines, and his USFL team.

He’s pushed hateful and shamefully amateurish legislation that has been repeatedly slapped down by so-called judges, he’s lent his substantial weight to a historically bad health plan (the details of which he clearly knows nothing about), he has emboldened our enemies and repeatedly offended our allies. He has declared a cold war on his own intelligence agencies. And the dude drops falsehoods like Curry drops threes.

After the past three weeks, the NCAA can no longer lay any claim to the phrase March Madness.

In short, it’s not going well.

And still, more than a third of Americans think this he’s doing a pretty good job. What would he have to do to convince them he’s not approval material? He’s already had an unprecendented run of unpresidentialness — complete with misspellings, oddly placed commas, unnecessary all caps, and a total disregard for what our founding fathers had in mind when it came to the appropriate use of quotation marks. And “still” “he’s” “at” 37%.

During the campaign, Donald Trump marveled at the loyalty of his most ardent supporters.

My people are so smart, and you know what else they say about my people, the polls? They say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters...

Actually, that’s not quite true.

If Trump stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody, I’m confident he’d see his current approval level of 37% free-fall to about a 36%.

Trump could jerk off onto the constitution while taking a dump on the bible and the GOP still wouldn’t speak out against him. But, his approval rating would almost certainly plummet from 36% to around 35.2%. (I doubt the dip would last more than a couple newscycles.)

World leaders hold meetings with his daughter. You can’t make this stuff up.

Trump could lie constantly, call journalists the enemy of the American people, and introduce a budget that amounts to a full frontal assault on precisely the population of American voters who put him in the Oval Office, and he would still maintain a 37% approval rating. How do we know that? Because it’s all happened.

Consider this: President Trump is having a public beef with Snoop Dogg.

The Two Rappers During Better Times

Trump could stand in front of a white Ford Bronco and confess to being the real killer in the OJ case, and he’d still maintain an approval rating in the low to mid 30s.

You know the thing where you ingest those bath salts and then entirely chew off another person’s face? If Trump did that, he’d still be at a solid 29%.

Think about it: Trump hasn’t properly executed a handshake with any visiting foreign leaders. Before Trump, none of us had any idea that not being able to do the handshakes was even a thing.

Say you’re at a mall play-area and you’re watching your toddler try to climb one of those ceramic turtles, and you turn to the guy next to you on the bench and ask, “Which kid is yours?” And the guy responds: “None of them. I don’t have kids. This is just my favorite spot to hang out.” If that guy turned out to be Trump, he’d still be in the mid-twenties. (And that’s if he refused to leave the bench.)

Trump has changed media, he has changed politics; but the thing he’s changed the most is the grading curve for complete fuck ups. No one ever imagined 37% could look this bad.

Trump could outlaw ice cream, porn, and social media schadenfreude, and he’d still have enough support to pack a decent-sized rally venue with a throng of mouth-breathers repeating their two favorite refrains: Lock her up. And Can I get a ride home?

America’s most pessimistic and apocalyptic doomsday conspiracist couldn’t begin to imagine what zero or even single digits looks like if this mind-bending wreck is 37%.

I’ve got to admit that a sick part of me is a little bit curious about what 36% would feel like, and I might even peek at 35% on a dare. But if we go below that, you’re gonna have to experience it without the benefit of my Medium posts. My panic room doesn't have WiFi.

Dave Pell Writes NextDraft. It has 99% Approval Rating.

Dave Pell

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.