President Obama on the November election: “Don’t be complacent or smug”

On Monday, President Obama spoke to Steve Inskeep at NPR about the November election and whether he thinks Trump has won over a significant number of Americans:

From NPR: Obama: Trump Hasn’t Captured ‘Zeitgeist Of The Country’

“I think it’s pretty hard to argue that somebody who almost three-quarters of the country thinks is unqualified to be president and has a negative opinion about is tapping into the zeitgeist of the country or is speaking for a broad base of the country. But we’ll find out,” Obama said in a wide-ranging interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this week, 2 in 3 Americans said Trump was unqualified to lead the country.

That same poll showed President Obama with a 56% approval rating.

Here is what 64% “unqualified” looks like, visually.

But opinion polls are not votes and the president has this warning:

Even with the unlikely wave of support Trump has ridden over the past year, tapping into populist unrest and anger with Washington, Obama said Trump wasn’t on pace to change the trajectory of America, though that “will be tested over the next four months.”

“Look, that’s what elections are for,” Obama said, “and I think it’s important for Democrats, progressives, moderates, people who care about our traditions, who care about pluralism, who care about tolerance, who care about facts, who think climate change is real, who think that we have to reform our immigration system in an intelligent way, who believe in women’s equality and equality for the LGBT community — I think it’s important for those of us not to be complacent, not to be smug.



  1. Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. Period.

    And no, the polls are not “skewed” by “shy Trump voters” afraid to speak their minds because of a “social-desirability bias”.


  2. I hope more people are beginning to wake up and realize that Trump is not some kind of joke – and that GOTV is a must – for all of us.

  3. Rebecca Traister from NyMag discusses Democratic anxiety, our fear that the Republicans will #DumpTrump, put up a more acceptable candidate, and steal the election from us. She gives us some good reasons it can’t happen but here is why we are scared and should be scared:

    It’s partly because we have become, in a sense, more conservative — in our desire to keep what we have. Obama’s presidency, the reform of our health-care system, the expansions of women’s rights and civil rights and gay rights — these are real (if imperfect) liberal gains. And psychologically, the fear of losing something is more acute than the fear of not gaining something. Underlying our worry is the notion that the next five months could see either a total rupture of a humiliated Republican Party, a consolidation of liberal gains, and confirmation that the country has decided to move, at least for now, in a more progressive direction — or a horrifying defeat for liberal Democrats, a repudiation not only of Clinton but of Obama, and a rollback of many of the progressive gains of the past five decades. So it’s understandable that this is an epically tense time for the liberal psyche.

    And, dammit, we need to stay scared! Stay scared until the morning of November 9th when we can wake up, sip our coffee and feel the sense of relief that everything Democrats have built since FDR will not be wiped out because we were complacent. #StayScaredUntilNov9th

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