Back in January of 2016, before the first primaries or caucuses that led to his eventual nomination and election, Donald Trump bragged that his supporters were so loyal – far more loyal than anyone else’s – that (video of him bragging here) he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s like incredible.”
It was like incredible. It’s still like incredible, for the majority of Americans who disapprove of him and who find frequent confirmation of their disapproval from things Trump does and says. And Trump hasn’t, so far as we know, shot anyone on Fifth Avenue since becoming president. So, technically, we cannot fully test his claim. But, leaving aside the hyperbole, his boast has turned out to be basically true.
Most Americans don’t like him, don’t agree with him, don’t trust him, don’t support him, didn’t vote for him. And they find constant confirmation in his performance as president that they were right not to want him in the Oval Office. But those who do support him are impressively steadfast. For confirmation of that, this is the latest of my occasional reviews of the president’s approval ratings.
As usual, I’ll rely on Gallup, but also look at the Huffington Post average of dozens of approval polls. A month ago, the last time I wrote about his approval ratings, Trump’s Gallup disapproval had hit a new high of 62 percent, and his approval had sunk to a new low of 33 percent, which were also the worst numbers for a president at that stage in his first term in the history of such polling. As of that last check-in, it was possible to imagine that the dam was breaking and that, without even shooting anyone (so far as we know) Trump’s support was collapsing.
But no. His Gallup approval/disapproval never got worse than 33/62. His rating has staged a modest comeback and now stands at 37/57. I don’t mean to flatter myself. But, unlike Trump, who never mentions poll results or other information unless it is flattering to him, my commitment to providing facts even when they show his approval rating rising is part of my journo-job. End of self-congratulation.
Still, 37/57. Twenty points “below water,” as the smarties like to call it, is still a terrible rating. And the HuffPost average hasn’t snapped back as much, although his current average of 38.8 approval is still better than his worst number on that scorecard, a month ago, of 38.0.
What might it take for bottom to fall out? It’s hard to speculate. But if you’re walking down Fifth Avenue and you see Trump, run.