There are all sorts of ways in which Donald Trump challenges our definitions of normality. There's way too many to list, though others have tried. But there's one aspect of his life which is increasingly unable to defy categorisation.

For the entirety of his apparently implausible candidacy, he was not a politician. He was an outsider. A billionaire outsider who lived in a golden tower, admittedly, but an outsider in political terms at least. That was the pull of his campaign. This man, seemingly, knew success and knew better ways to achieve it for his country than the chumocracy inside the Beltway in Washington.

But now he's going to be president. Therefore, by any definition he is now a politician. He is no longer judged on past business successes, or on the reach of The Apprentice, he is now judged on his performance in an entirely new environment, packed with stakeholders and vested interests and with a huge variety of possible outcomes, few of which are measured on a profit and loss account.

People are watching, and, from the evidence so far, watching him fall short – to the point where he is in danger of seeing his political honeymoon collapse even before his inauguration has taken place. Even George W Bush, hanging chads and all, would have felt more loved.

So when he promised to drain the swamp in DC and, instead, fills in with fellow billionaires, people feel a bit disappointed.

When he sneered at career diplomats for their over-reliance on nuance and experience, people found that his own supposed diplomacy expertise was not as advertised, resulting in his energetic annoyance of both India and China with his public enthusiasm for the Pakistan and Taiwanese governments.

And when he promised to carve a new role for America on the world stage, people didn't think it would be so subservient to Putin, or wonder quite what the source of that subservience was.

And as the doubts surface, so the support slips away.

The social media analysis company Impact Social looked again at social media attitudes to Trump, in Florida, to compare them to the attitudes held in that key electoral state just before Trump achieved his surprising victory (the one predicted here, of course).

The week of the election, the social media commentary was pretty supportive of Trump – 54% of posts on social media and comments on news sites were pro-Trump.

This week, though, Impact Social looked at 40,000 posts in Florida (and, again, removed the media and political commentary) and found the pro-Trump sentiment had already dropped to 31%; identical to the anti-Trump sentiment (with 38% neutral reporting).


As ever, the pro-Trump sentiment rallies around slogans and ideas rather than policies or facts. So 16% were simply "pro-America" sloganeering and 15% were pro-Armed Forces, with no especial prompt to be so. And the majority, 55%, were simply positive noises about the man – expressions of faith rather than expressions of policy.

The negativity around Trump shows people paying attention, with much more granularity around topics, although a chunky 57% are still simply anti-Trump noises.

The idea, though, that Trump is pro-Russian (or at least pro-Putin) was raised by 17% of posts, with another 9% talking about the possible Russian hack of the election (issues which may well turn out to be linked).

A further 4% accuse him of being a liar and 6% of him being corrupt – not robust endorsement for a man yet to be sworn into office.

Before the election, the same figures in the same state were defying the opinion polls and showing a man who was about to win. Those same measurements are now showing – and he still hasn't been sworn in.


People are watching Trump's portrayal of a politician and are not impressed. He has long portrayed himself as a man of action, but now he's finding that those actions are draining his support. He found electoral success, in part, by simply not being Hillary Clinton. His gaudy fame is no longer relevant either. All presidents are famous.

The only measure of Donald Trump now is – how good a politician is he. From the numbers, it doesn't look like people are too impressed. Faced with a range of issues that are unlikely to go away, Russian involvements especially, Trump will need a spectacular turnaround, to avoid being the first man to be sworn into the presidency with negative ratings.

Jimmy Leach is a digital consultant, working on platforms and communications for governments, corporations and start-ups. Follow : @JimmyTLeach