But looking beyond the top lines makes clear why Mr. Trump thinks he is winning the fight over the N.F.L. Almost nine in 10 Republicans said the players were wrong, and just 23 percent criticized Mr. Trump for his intervention. The numbers were sharply divided between white and black as well.
Mr. Trump most likely found satisfaction on Sunday as most players ended up standing during the anthem a week after widespread protests on the sidelines. Aware that many of their fans were not happy, the players looked for alternate ways to express dissent, either by kneeling before the anthem and then standing when it started, locking arms during the anthem or raising their fists.
That his actions drew criticism from the very Chuck and Nancy he has been dancing with lately probably helped reassure his base as well. “When a hurricane hits, there are no Democrats or Republicans — only Americans, families struggling to survive,” Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, wrote on Twitter over the weekend. “Shameful @POTUS can’t see that.”
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate Democratic leader, echoed that sentiment on “Face the Nation” on CBS on Sunday. “The president, instead of tweeting against the mayor of San Juan, who’s watching her people die and just made a plea for help, ought to roll up his sleeves and get to work here,” he said. “The bottom line is at least for the first week and a half, the effort has been slow-footed, disorganized and not adequate.”
In what has become a regular ritual, Mr. Trump’s public pique left other members of his administration struggling to explain away his messages. They were at once leery of drawing…