Newspaper article

Gallup's Weekly Trump Approval Rating Rises to 45%; HuffPost Has It at 43.2%

Newspaper article

Gallup's Weekly Trump Approval Rating Rises to 45%; HuffPost Has It at 43.2%

Article excerpt

President Trump’s approval continues to both low by historical comparisons and historically very, very steady – unprecedentedly so by historical standards, which is especially surprising (to me, at least) because of the chaotic nature of his tenure.

Trump’s weekly Gallup approval number, just out today, is his best in a long time, but the HuffPost average of many polls shows much less movement.

A new survey of state-by-state approval ratings looks somewhat alarming for Trump, although it would be foolish to start analyzing such results as harbingers of what might happen if he were to seek a second term in 2020. The state numbers might reflect on Trump’s power to influence results of the midterm elections in many states.

As regular readers of this space know, I check in about once a month on the current incumbent’s approval numbers, as measured by Gallup and the HuffPost’s blended number.

First, the same old finding: By either measure, Trump’s ratings are “under water,” meaning more disapprovers than approvers. According to the HuffPost average, as of this morning, his disapprovers outnumbered his approvers 51.8 percent to 43.2. This is, of course, a bad number, but not cataclysmic, and is better than it used to be. At his worst point (according to the HuffPost average), it was 56.7 disapproval/38.4 approval on August 15 of last year.) So the latest numbers show about a five point movement toward more approval from Trump’s lowest point.

But the latest numbers are almost exactly the same as they were when I last checked, in mid-May, when they were 52/43 percent. Why such stability amid such chaos? One factor is probably the much-discussed bifurcation of news sources and news audiences, where more and more Americans seek news from sources that confirm what they already believe, such as, for example, Fox News for Trump likers and MSNBC for dislikers. This trend should alarm us, at least of those who think that new information might open people’s minds to new thoughts. But it seems we’re getting used to the new hardening of tribal lines.

Gallup, on the other hand, while still showing Trump under water, gives him his best number in more than a year, with 50 percent disapproval and 45 percent approval. (That compares to Gallup numbers of 54/42 a week ago. Let’s see if that most recent bump holds up in future weeks.)

In historical perspective, how do Trump’s numbers look? Bad, maybe very bad, but lots of previous presidents have, at some point in their presidencies, had lower approval ratings than Trump’s current numbers.

Gallup also makes available a great graph that shows the ups and downs of every president’s approval rating going back to Harry Truman. Almost all of them, at some point, had a lower approval rating than Trump’s current number. But Trump is just a year and a half into his first term. …

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