This article appeared in the December 12, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Theresa May’s curious polling numbers

Mark Duffy/UK Parliament/AP
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the regular scheduled Prime Minister's Questions inside the House of Commons in London, Dec. 12, 2018. May has confirmed there will be a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party, with the result expected to be announced soon after.

These have been trying times for British Prime Minister Theresa May.

From the day she took office, her charge was daunting. Some called it “an impossible brief.” As leader of the Conservative Party, she had to maintain the enthusiasm of those who voted for Britain to leave the European Union next March. As prime minister, she had to figure out how to engineer that divorce without chaos or significant damage to the British economy.

No one much likes the plan she’s devised. A November poll showed only 19 percent support. Conservatives don’t like it any more than the Labour opposition, and today she faced a vote of no confidence from members of her own party in Parliament. She survived, but it was hardly a ringing endorsement. To top off a tough week, she got locked in her own car Tuesday when trying to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

And yet Ms. May’s approval ratings have gone … up. Not enormously (they’re still only at 35 percent), but still conspicuously. There is, it appears, some appreciation among voters for the spot she’s in – and for how she’s conducted herself during a trying time. As one commentator told NPR: “She’s dogged. She’s determined. She’s got a real sense of duty…. In the end, people quite respect the fact that she’s still there and she’s still standing.”

Now here are our five stories for you today. We take a look at the need for the United States to look inward to safeguard elections, we share a personal perspective on segregation, and we explore the touching lessons of an author and illustrator.

This article appeared in the December 12, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 12/12 edition
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