Trump’s latest Gallup numbers: Approval, disapproval at 36/58

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
President Donald Trump announces his air traffic control initiative at the White House on Monday.

According to the latest published Gallup numbers, the portion of Americans who say they approve of how President Donald Trump is doing his job is 36 percent. The portion who disapprove is 58.

Gallup polls on this every day and publishes an updated number based on a three-day rolling average. The numbers above were as of Saturday. Gallup publishes the updated number almost every day. If you would like to see the trend since Inauguration Day, it is here, and, if you save the link, you too can follow its ups and downs.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I check this number most days, which is contrary to my usual belief that we pay too much attention to polls. But, having confessed that, a few observations on the whole trend line:

For the entire four and a half months of his presidency so far, Trump has had terrible, awful, no-good approval ratings. Other presidents have had worse numbers than this, but never at the beginning of their presidencies. Barack Obama started out with approval ratings in the 60s, although he spent  much of his second term  “under water” (which means he had more disapprovers than approvers), as did George W. Bush.

But, to go “under water” during the first week of a new presidency, and to be in the mid-30s at this early stage of a presidency is unprecedented.

If there is anything good to say about Trump’s approval ratings, it would be that his terrible rating of today is not a new low. He hit 35 percent approval (and 59 percent disapproval) on his worst day, which was in March. Since then, he has gone up and down within a fairly narrow range just above and below the 40 percent mark.

Since he won the election with just 46 percent of the popular vote, it’s possible to look at an approval rating of 36 and believe that he is at least maintaining his standing among most of those who voted for him.

On a contrary note, legendary political number-cruncher Nate Silver wrote a piece in late May, headlined “Donald Trump’s base is shrinking,” in which he noted that those pollsters who ask respondent whether they approve “strongly” of the president’s performance has shrunk more than his overall approval has. Wrote Silver:

There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now. (The decline in Trump’s strong approval ratings is larger than the overall decline in his approval ratings, in fact.) Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support. And voters who strongly disapprove of Trump outnumber those who strongly approve of him by about a 2-to-1 ratio, which could presage an “enthusiasm gap” that works against Trump at the midterms.

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Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/06/2017 - 01:27 pm.

    Numbers

    All of which is consistent with the fact that he lost the election by a record setting three million votes.
    He was -never- popular with most Americans.
    As I’ve said before, the Electoral College (the only one Trump ever graduated from) is American ‘Exceptionalism’ at its worst.
    see
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/05/its-time-to-bust-the-myth-most-trump-voters-were-not-working-class/?utm_term=.dea9e66dc34d

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/05/2017 - 07:44 pm.

    Enthusiasm gap

    “…which could presage an “enthusiasm gap” that works against Trump at the midterms.”

    While I fervently hope that this speculation turns out to be accurate, I won’t hold my breath waiting for it. Plenty of people smarter than I am were convinced he’d never be elected.

  3. Submitted by Joe Musich on 06/05/2017 - 11:07 pm.

    Well now ….

    buyers remorse has happened. But I am sure “true believers” will have an explanation. Although I am not interesting in hearing it as it will be pure “spin!” However that being said the problem is not with Trump alone. The agenda he and his are pushing has maybe finally settled in with the public as they begin to understand what it means.

  4. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 06/06/2017 - 07:00 am.

    Which way is better?

    If I were a president, I would prefer to have lower numbers in the beginning and higher numbers at the end… I believe that was the case for Clinton. On the other hand, is this that Nate Silver who did all predictions incorrectly for elections?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/06/2017 - 09:20 am.

      Nate Silver

      is right more often than not. Data is never complete nor perfect, so neither are predictions.
      As for Trump, do you really think that he’s going to get more popular? So far he’s playing strictly to his base, which is limited to well-to-do Republicans. He did not in fact do particularly well with below average income voters.

      • Submitted by David LaPorte on 06/06/2017 - 01:53 pm.

        He was right and Trump’s base

        Actually, Nate Silver was pretty much right. Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million people. What Silver missed was the Electoral College, but that requires some very granular data by state and many of those were very close.

        Also, IMO, well-to-do Republicans make up only a small fraction of Trump’s base because they make up a small fraction of the total electorate. Certainly nowhere near 20+%. And many well-to-do Republicans were part of the Never Trump movement.

        It’s unwise to try to lump all of Trump’s base into a single bucket. However, it’s my understanding that a lot of them are non-college educated whites, mostly male. People who felt that the system had forgotten them. They believed that Trump would make things better for them and they cling to that belief, despite the mounting evidence to the contrary.

        • Submitted by Patrick Tice on 06/06/2017 - 04:58 pm.

          The well-to-do base is small

          As you explained, the real Trump base is non-college educated white males. They still think he’s doing a good job, probably for the same reason that none of us enjoy admitting that we have made mistakes, like buying an unreliable car or like getting a tattoo instead of a dental crown. And evangelicals make up a significant number of his apologia, too – but they are entirely used to cutting God lots of slack when He doesn’t come through. It’s complicated, of course. By and large, the Trump base is willing to trust him for now, even taking satisfaction in the aggravation he causes the rest of us.

          • Submitted by chuck holtman on 06/08/2017 - 09:53 am.

            I would disagree that it’s due to a natural human disinclination

            to admit one’s mistakes. Those who voted for Trump had real grievances (shared by those of us who didn’t vote for Trump), but they voted for the candidate who embodies all that is responsible for their economic and cultural impoverishment – namely the sociopathic greed of the few who hold power by means of their concentrated wealth and want only to extend it. This can only be because they did not have a strong capacity to access facts of the world outside of their immediate lives, to use them to make coherent judgments about social policy, or to judge the character of the candidates. If Trump voters were not capable of accessing the factual world or reasoning about these matters in November, why would their capacities be any different now?

            Good line about evangelicals. Human imperfection is a near-literal Get Out of Jail Free card for the hypocritical officials of one party that is not available to the other.

        • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 06/07/2017 - 07:08 am.

          Thank you for pointing out that rich people did not support Trump… I can add that many of them supported Clinton. And maybe Silver was right in something, insignificant really, but he was wrong in the most important thing… By the way, where is the mounting evidence that Trump will not help those who helped him win?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/06/2017 - 09:58 am.

      It’s not about the numbers

      These numbers in and of themselves don’t determine the quality of a presidency, they merely reflect the mentality of constituents. It doesn’t matter whether low approval ratings are achieved at the beginning or end of a presidency, that’s NOT the difference between good or bad president.

      Historically a good president will also have higher approval ratings. Approval ratings tend to rise and fall along with the quality of the presidency.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 06/07/2017 - 07:09 am.

        I agree, public approval and disapproval are irrelevant for determination how good or bad a president is… Quite often they are based on perceptions rather than realities…

    • Submitted by Mary Gustafson on 06/07/2017 - 03:53 pm.

      If I were a President

      I would prefer to have high numbers from the beginning to the end. Then I would know that I was looking out for ALL people.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 06/08/2017 - 07:12 am.

        Still not ALL

        And that will not mean anything as Mr. Udstrand has pointed out. High poll numbers do not mean that policies are helping people; it means they think they are helping them – big difference. Plus, what about those who still don’t like it (high numbers don’t mean 99% approval rating – only North Korea leader has it)? So it will not be ALL…

      • Submitted by Mary Gustafson on 06/08/2017 - 02:58 pm.

        Comment revised

        If I were a President I would prefer to have high numbers from the beginning to the end. I wouldn’t ever want to have low numbers – whether at the beginning or the end.

  5. Submitted by Gene Nelson on 06/06/2017 - 11:51 am.

    It will get worse

    Sad how those on the right ignore logic and facts.
    We are no longer considered the leader of the free world and this is the responsibility of trump, his administration and todays repub party.
    It will get worse…and hopefully some repubs will wake up and decide facts, our country and our people are our values and that when ALL of us do well…so does our country.

    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 06/09/2017 - 03:11 pm.

      Long ago

      “We are no longer considered the leader of the free world.” Actually it happened long ago, when America decided to “lead from behind.” And when we let Assad cross our “red line.” And when we let Putin annex Crimea. And when we betrayed our allies in the Middle East. Should I continue?

  6. Submitted by John Edwards on 06/06/2017 - 03:43 pm.

    The true untold significance of the 2016 presidential vote

    Democrats make themselves feel better about their loss by noting that Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million. What they overlook is the combined 5.2 million votes Libertarian Gary Johnson and Conservative Evan McMullin siphoned off Trump’s final total in the same way Green Party ultra liberal Jill Stein arguably took 1.4 million from Clinton. (The consequence is similar to the negative impact of Ralph Nader’s candidacy on Al Gore’s loss in 2000.)

    In a head-to-head race, Trump clearly would also have won the popular vote. Another important consideration is that because Clinton outspent Trump $639 million to $302 million, he had to concentrate on an electoral college—not popular vote—strategy.

    Additionally, I would advise Eric not to take polls so seriously considering how they mislead so many last fall.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/06/2017 - 04:47 pm.

      Quick Follow-Up

      Why do you think the Libertarian and McMullin voters would have voted for Trump? The McMullin voters, as I recall, were largely conservative voters who could not abide the idea of a Trump presidency–wouldn’t they have been more likely to stay home and not vote? Ditto the Libertarians?

      “Additionally, I would advise Eric not to take polls so seriously considering how they mislead so many last fall.” You mean, millions of Americans secretly support Donald Trump? Who knew?

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/06/2017 - 05:36 pm.

        Again, the polls were right.

        They were polling people; most people favored Clinton.
        The Electoral College is much harder to poll, since it’s membership is less predictable.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/06/2017 - 05:33 pm.

      Ranked choice voting

      would tell us what people’s second choices were.
      Since we don’t use that system, assuming that most of the Libertarian votes would have gone to Trump is simply conjecture.
      The case of Gore v. Bush v. Nader is not really comparable, since Nader and Gore were campaigning on many of the same issues, while Trump’s authoritarian streak is not really very Libertarian.

  7. Submitted by Jeffrey McIntyre on 06/11/2017 - 06:35 am.

    The Polls

    His approval rating would be much lower if any of his draconian policies had actually made it through the House and Senate….so far, other than filling a chair on the Supreme Court, and issuing a bunch of meaningless executive orders (political theater), and golfing 23 times, he has accomplished nothing.

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