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Trump’s Gallup approval rating is at 43 percent

A month ago my occasional update of President Donald Trump’s approval ratings was headlined “Trump approval numbers drifting upward.” They still are, and more so.

It’s still possible to say that the current incumbent’s approval numbers are not good. They are “under water,” meaning more disapprovers than approvers, but not by as much as they have been. For most of his presidency, Trump’s approval numbers have been under water by more than 10 points and almost 20 at their worst. Now the gap is less than 10.

Trump’s approval numbers are still worse than Barack Obama’s at the same stage of his first term, but not by much.

Trump’s current approval numbers, 43 percent approval/ 52 percent disapproval, are now the best they have been since the first weeks of his term, and they have been improving – slowly but fairly steadily – since early December of 2017, according to HuffPost’s tracker, which averages many approval polls. According to Gallup, which I also refer to regularly, his current numbers – 43 percent approval; 52 percent disapproval — are the best he has registered since March of 2017.

I won’t attempt to analyze the various possible reasons for the improvement. And a president with a negative net approval of minus nine percentage points is not in good shape. But, to repeat, compared only with his own track record, which has been historically awful, his standing with the public is the best it has been in a long time.

The Gallup tracker is viewable here.

The trendline of the HuffPost’s average of many approval polls is here.

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/14/2018 - 05:22 pm.

    More perspective

    can be gained from Gallup’s graph at
    showing approval and disapproval for all president’s since the end of WWII, starting with Truman.
    Trump certainly is not a disaster by that perspective.
    The unknowable (though there is polling data) is to what extent Obama’s ratings were depressed by racism and Trumps increased by the same.
    As I’ve said before, we’ll know more in November.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/15/2018 - 07:58 am.

    Might be a wash?

    If Trump (or maybe more accurately, Pompeo) can pull off North Korean denuclearization, it might compensate for the stupidity of pulling out of the Iran agreement. The operative word there is “might,” but still, I’m inclined to give points where points are due.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/15/2018 - 09:14 am.

      The problem is

      that Pompey/Trump may make a deal that gives away the farm in the long run (they’ve already awarded North Korea status as a sovereign nation) but looks superficially good in the short run
      (North Korea makes unverifiable long run promises).

      • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/15/2018 - 09:25 am.


        Yep, that’s possible. If North Korea turns out to be a perceived plus, even in the short run, Trump will claim credit, justified or not, and if it turns out to be disastrous, he’ll very loudly place the blame on… Obama… or Hillary… or Rex Tillerson… or Nancy Pelosi… or anyone but himself.

        The operative word in my original post was “If,” and that’s still the case, but assuming – a big assumption – that something worthwhile for the U.S. and the world comes out of it, I can live with Trump’s otherwise awful presidency getting some credit for it, even if the genuinely hard work behind the headlines will have been done largely by largely-nameless career bureaucrats in the State Department.

        It won’t make Trump a good President, just one notch higher than the egocentric demagogue he’s been up to this point. Even a blind monkey might hit the right keys occasionally, etc., etc.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/15/2018 - 10:17 am.


      Any agreement with North Korea is not something that is going to be pulled off after a couple of meetings. I would expect it to take months, if not years. Talking in the interim is the best thing to do, but expecting a rabbit to be pulled out of a hat is unrealistic.

      This will not, of course, prevent Trump from playing a round of golf Kim and declaring victory.

  3. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 05/15/2018 - 08:59 am.

    It’s a very low bar

    Whatever Trump has accomplished, if anything with lasting positive effects, time will be the judge of it. Here we are 16 months after inauguration and people are basing their approval of Trump relative to Trump’s past accomplishments of nothing. A very low bar. Generally speaking, businesses are doing well and some are now handing out bonuses rather than the more beneficial pay raises. Bonuses have a positive effect of about 30 days while pay raises have a long-term benefit. We all know who the tax bill benefits.

    Just because Trump exits, whenever that is, America will not heal. The coarseness of our language, racism, bigotry, misogyny, disrespect, distrust of our institutions and media, demonstrably false lying, Tweet storms by Trump, etc. will not disappear because Trump isn’t president. It is Trump who has authorized these behaviors through his own personal conduct. Republicans have been cultivating these behaviors for decades to feed conservatism. Trump came along and blew the doors wide open. The Democrats are not clean on this subject either.

    Senator Orin Hatch exhibited his disrespect last week when he stated it was ridiculous that Senator McCain doesn’t want Trump at his funeral. It is none of Senator Hatch’s business. The disrespect continued along with misogyny when Trump berated his head of the Department of Homeland Security in a Cabinet meeting. One of the White House staffers made a comment that something didn’t matter because Senator McCain was dying anyway. The disrespect and insensitivity are mind blowing. This is all because of the Trump effect. I don’t refer to Trump as president, because respect is earned, and he is nowhere near earning my respect with his rude, crude, disrespectful behavior.

  4. Submitted by michael mcintyre on 05/15/2018 - 10:30 am.

    Trump in general

    Done and what he’s promised to do and hasn’t done he’s making a mess out of this whole world he is has to realize he does not run the Earth where to get out of Iran Syria and everywhere else those idiots want to kill each other we should be taking care of America in American jobs we must face the facts big money runs this country oil cars everything else on the market gasoline is going to continue to go up as long as Trump keeps messing with the people that got the oil medium class people cannot afford Trump that’s all there is to it I’m retired on a fixed income and Crump so-called tax breaks have no effect on me except to cost me more money and that goes for the rest of the poor middle-class people such as myself tumultuous Trump is a joke he lies about everything he does and intends to do where’s the wall Trump how many people are so stupid to keep believing you

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 05/15/2018 - 03:31 pm.

    Eric, methinks you are watching the pot too closely as it comes to a boil. Polls go up and down, and there is currently “a Trump bump” in public opinion because North Korea and Iran are acting more adult than Trump is, so there’s no Armaggedon yet.

    Put your eyes on something else, like Evan Osnos’s devastating article in this week’s New Yorker, on what Donald Trump has been doing, fairly quietly, to destroy the U.S. government agencies one by one, from the inside and with political appointments. Civil service people being driven out en masse, taking decades of expertise with them in Interior, State, EPA, Energy, Education, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Labor, etc. Civil servants being replaced by a terrible, loyalty-based spoils system, where you either kiss the Don’s hand in fealty or you’re out, and you’d better not complain about anything he does.

    Trump is turning our government into an autocracy full of ignorant and inexperienced sycophants. That’s much more important than how the polls go.

  6. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 05/15/2018 - 11:01 pm.

    Wrong question

    Here is the right question,

    It is time to elect a President. What is your preference in terms of voting.

    Vote for a second term for Donald Trump.
    Vote for a Republican other than Donald Trump.
    Vote for the Democratic Party nominee.
    Vote for a independent or third party candidate,
    Not planning or able to vote.

    Trump does what he wants. He pays little attention to whether or not people approve if him. For him it is all about winning and never being perceived a loser.
    He will not run again if he thinks he will lose.
    If people are not enthusiastic about him, he will anticipate losing.
    He is not going to step down or be impeached regardless of what happens, unless Drmocrats win back both houses of Congress,

    This is all about winning a second term. If Democrats score big wins in Nivember, the job will immediately become very unpleasant for him.

    Let me say it again. Approval does not matter, unless your approval is above 60% and there is no way he will ever get there. His risk of losing his core voters is way high higher. Ask people how they woukd like to vote.

  7. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 05/16/2018 - 07:33 am.

    He rises because there has been no big disaster, yet.

    It’s a simple as that.

  8. Submitted by Charles Holtman on 05/16/2018 - 09:57 am.

    It’s not that surprising.

    The iron rule is that 28% of the population (in the U.S., and probably universally) are authoritarian followers. They are loyal to those who frighten them with fairy tale enemies and then promise to protect them. They do not engage as civic participants, critically processing the world and making judgments about what will make our society more true to its goals. Since the Southern Strategy and surely until well after I am gone, they have and will imperviously cast their vote for, and lend their unquestioning fealty to, the Republican party.

    Among the remaining 72% who exercise some measure of civic agency, the cited poll divides as 15% favorable, 52% unfavorable (5% undecided). Even this 15% is astonishing. But, unlike the folks who comment here, very few people, even those who are educated and thoughtful about other things, have a formed concept about how a society ought to guide itself, or more than a surface awareness of what is occurring in the world beyond their immediate lives, or the actions and motivations of political actors. Their political awareness derives wholly from the tepid ambience of the establishment media.

    The central assignment of the establishment media is to deflect and dissolve critical consideration of the two-party kabuki that serves the illusion of democracy while preserving concentrations of wealth and power. Accordingly, two of the establishment media’s critical tasks are to protect the listener from exposure to critical thought from the left, and to preserve the legitimacy of the Republican party, regardless of how fervently its members seek to knock the nation off of its democratic foundations in pursuit of their theocratic illusions, simple grift or, in Trump’s case, salve for a stillborn ego. It is not surprising that simmered in this tepid stew, 23% of the non-authoritarian population is willing to satisfy the pollster by registering its satisfaction with whoever is at the helm.

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