Why is Donald Trump tweeting a fake video of him taking down a CNN reporter? As we previously posted, Trump is at war with Morning Joe, Greta Van Susteren and CNN to appeal to his base. The wrestling video is targeted to that base:
Trump's core of support is heavily white men. And, more broadly, white men without a college degree. He's never had the support of less than 62 percent of that group. The Washington Post analysis of Trump's support during the election of 2016.
This recent uptick in crazy attacks including Trump's WrestleMania Twitter tweet is mind boggling. Why is he doing this? Is Trump beginning to see an erosion of his base support? Is he losing the white non-college educated wrestle mania man?
A widely held tenet of the current conventional wisdom is that while President Trump might not be popular overall, he has a high floor on his support. Trump’s sizable and enthusiastic base — perhaps 35 to 40 percent of the country — won’t abandon him any time soon, the theory goes, and they don’t necessarily care about some of the controversies that the “mainstream media” treats as game-changing developments.
It’s an entirely reasonable theory. We live in a highly partisan epoch, and voters are usually loyal to politicians from their party. Trump endured a lot of turbulence in the general election but stuck it out to win the Electoral College. The media doesn’t always guess right about which stories will resonate with voters.
But the theory isn’t supported by the evidence. To the contrary, Trump’s base seems to be eroding. There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now. (The decline in Trump’s strong approval ratings is larger than the overall decline in his approval ratings, in fact.) FiveThirtyEight
So, is Trump saavy enough to know that a decline in approval among his base may cause him problems as he moves forward with his agenda? Is he picking up on a “ratings decline” and reacting by attacking the media with troubling tweets and wrestling videos in a hope to excite that base?
…or is he just plain crazy?
It may be a little of both. For Trump, this is playing the game just like he played reality TV—do the crazy stuff to get ratings.