Will Trump's 'SNL' Appearance Do Anything For His Campaign?

Amid a crowd of anti-Trump protesters, the Republican real-estate magnate hosted "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. Starting off the show being called a “racist” by Larry David in his opening monologue, Trump may regret hosting, as we see the fallout of a less-than-average performance.

Hosting "SNL" for the second time, Trump probably hoped his appearance would both increase his likability among voters and appeal to a larger audience. Preliminary TV ratings were definitely very good, a three-year high for "SNL," the best since Charles Barkley hosted in 2012.

The odds for a candidate vying for the nation’s top job after hosting "SNL" are not great. Former candidates for president have hosted the show before their respective elections and none has won the White House.

Barack Obama appeared on "SNL" as a guest, not a host, before his 2008 election win. Similarly, Hillary Clinton has made a guest appearance this cycle. Presidential candidates that have actually hosted the show include John McCain, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rudy Giuliani and Ralph Nader.



All had certain likability or name recognition issues to contend with on the national stage.

Trump doesn’t have a name-recognition issue, but he definitely has a likability problem.

In a recent Quinnipiac poll last week (discussed in last Friday’s column), he came top of the Republican field in the someone-you-would-definitely-not-vote-for category, with 25% of voters checking his name. Whether his performance improves the way he is perceived among voters is not yet known, but it probably won’t.

If anything, this weekend’s "SNL" could make the race more difficult for Trump. None of the skits were laugh-out-loud funny, except for a couple he wasn’t in. Once the stories of his disagreement with "SNL" writers and pulling the plug on less-than-friendly skits comes to light, voters could be additionally turned off.

Do candidates need to become comics, singers and dancers to prove to the electorate that they are qualified to become President of the United States? Apparently, campaign staffers seem to think so.

4 comments about "Will Trump's 'SNL' Appearance Do Anything For His Campaign?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, November 9, 2015 at 10:48 a.m.

    I wonder if Trumps "advisors" realize that most of SNL's viewers are Democrats?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 9, 2015 at 3:15 p.m.

    How Putinesqe of him. All of him counterbalances on the same side of the table want to be Putin or at least one of his close cronies.

  3. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston replied, November 10, 2015 at 11:18 a.m.

    Where can I confirm that claim? My Republican friends are frequent SNL viewers, but I hoping for less anecdotal or intuitive evidence.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 10, 2015 at 1:27 p.m.

    Douglas, I base my comment that most of SNL's viewers are Democrats as opposed to Republicans, because of the show's obvious "liberal" leaning as well as its demographics---younger, better educated, etc. If you were to profile a typical Democrat and Republican in the same manner and then do a matchup with the SNL stats you will probably see a much stronger correlation with probable viewing on the Democrat side of the ledger.

    As for an actual survey, I believe that in the past GFK-MRI and Simmons have included political orientation ( "conservative", "moderate", "liberal" )descriptives of rspondents in their studies along with show by show viewing claims. Perhaps if you contact them they will run a tab for you for public relations reasons.

    By the way, you have Republican Friends???

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