For just a moment, try to ignore the fact that the following allegedly independent voters made colossal errors in judgment by voting for Donald Trump in the first place. Yes, they were successfully duped by a despot whose entire career, reaching back to the 1970s, has been all about duping people. And, yes, they endangered the rest of the world through their recklessness -- wrongfully experimenting with the presidency, perhaps forgetting how the president controls the world's largest nuclear arsenal.
Let's stow all that for a second.
CNN conducted another informal focus group, and this time it was an assembly of six independent voters who happened to think Trump was a good idea back on November 8. 2016. Less than two years later, they all regret their decisions. Watch this:
The chief takeaways here are that independent voters are unhappy with the tone of the debate, exclusively blaming Trump, as well as his unpatriotic and highly questionable love affairs with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. The panel also rejected Trump's hamfisted attacks against sexual assault survivors like Christine Blasey Ford.
The particulars aside, it's not a stretch to forecast how independents will be a major factor in the outcome of the midterms three weeks from tomorrow. As more voters grow discontented with the two parties (a topic for a different time), more and more Americans are self-identifying as independents, forming the fasted growing voter bloc.
Ironically, these and other independents are heralding plenty of good news for Democrats. (Don't get happy, dammit!) The latest presidential approval poll by Reuters adds further cred to this analysis.
First thing worth noting: I'm not Nate Silver. However, it doesn't require Nate's wizardry to see how the Reuters poll was conducted among "likely voters" -- a more accurate reading of who might vote in the midterms, whereas "registered voter" polls are more ambiguous. Secondly, the sample size (2,012) was bigger than most recent approval polls, augmenting the validity of its findings.
The poll also indicates the following, regarding independent voters.
- 66 percent of indies believe the nation is on the wrong track.
- A plurality of 28 percent of indies believe healthcare is the most important issue. Trump's approval number on healthcare is an anemic 37 percent overall.
- 45 percent of indies "strongly disapprove" of Trump, which matches the "all likely voters" category. Including "somewhat disapprove," a total of 60 percent of indies disapprove of Trump.
- A plurality of 49 percent of indies disapprove of their congressperson -- the highest number in that particular category, higher than Democratic voters, in fact.
- 77 percent of indies disapprove of Congress overall. Again, higher than Democratic voters, which is quite a feat given how badly Democrats hate the current GOP majorities.
Three weeks out, we already know how Democrats feel. We also know Republicans aren't anywhere near as energized as the Dems. And now it seems as if indies are suffering from extreme Trump Fatigue.
If I were you, I'd watch for this "Trump Fatigue" thing to fester into a serious problem for the president. Couple this with other indications of fatigue, including how Trump is overs-saturating his media presence in advance of the midterms, coinciding with the fact that Fox News is apparently getting pee-shy about airing his Nuremberg rallies uninterrupted. And I strongly believe whatever Kavanaugh momentum the Republicans gained will dissipate by November 6, putting the Senate back into play -- I hope.
It's true that often-insufferable independent voters are a significant chunk of the reason why we're in this crisis in the first place, but if these numbers continue to worsen for Trump, it could be the indies that help to extricate us from Trump's idiocracy.
Fingers and toes crossed that this portends bad news for Biff.