Gallup’s weekly Trump approval rating rises to 45%; HuffPost has it at 43.2%

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
First, the same old finding: By either measure, Trump’s ratings are “under water,” meaning more disapprovers than approvers.

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. And he has had the worst first year-and-a-half of any. If he continues to have a solid floor of approvers in the 35-43 percent range, he’ll be both historically unusual, and historically not as terrible as his predecessors, many of whom had a lower low than Trump’s lowest so far.

Lastly, I mentioned above a new report on Trump’s state-by-state numbers. For Republicans, there is ground for some alarm in this report from the polling-obsessed crew at FiveThirtyEight.com. According to them, Trump’s net approval has fallen in all 50 states since he took office. Of course, as I mentioned above, Trump had better numbers on Inauguration Day than he has ever had since (47 disapproval/45 approval, in Gallup, for example).

But presidential elections are held on a state-by-state basis, and so are Senate elections, of course. Trump is so popular among Republicans that he may be able to help his allies in Republicans primary elections, but to win general elections in November, and looking forward to his own possible re-election campaign in 2020, he needs help from independents and even some Democrats. At the moment, his approval among all respondents, on a state-by-state basis, has fallen, according to FiveThirtyEight.

This will get you the full FiveThirtyEight overview of the state-by-state Trump approval polls. They show drops in Trump’s state-by-state approval ratings in all 50 states. They range from a 31-point drop in New Mexico and Illinois to a mere six-point drop in Alabama and Louisiana. (In Minnesota, of special interest, Trump’s approval has dropped 18 points from +3 on Inauguration Day to -15 now.)

It would be silly to overreact to this. And bear in mind that these are all compared to Trump at his highest moment. And – if you are looking ahead to November 2020 when Trump may be seeking another term — bear in mind that the question on the ballot will not be “Do you like Trump?,” it will be whom do you prefer, Trump or his TBD Democratic opponent.

But, for the obsessed, I’ll just pass along the change in Trump’s statewide ratings in the three states that according to many analysts determined the outcome of the election, the three “Blue Wall” states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which Trump carried narrowly.

In Pennsylvania, Trump’s approval when he took office was +10. In the latest polling, it’s -4.

In Michigan, it’s dropped 17 percentage points, from +8 to -9.

And in Wisconsin it’s fallen 18 points from +6 to -12.

On balance, according to 538’s table, Trump’s approval numbers are still above water in 20 states, 12 of them in the south, including the key swing state of Florida, where is net approval has declined from +22 on Inauguration Day to +5 in this roundup.

Comments (31)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/18/2018 - 02:33 pm.

    Trump fatigue

    I would expect things stabilize more less until after the mid terms. I think there’s a lot of Trump fatigue and people are just not paying attention to most Trump headlines anymore. I think if you were to go out and ask about specific topics like the child separation policy you’d more disapproval, but in general people will eventually move on and only look at Trump headlines superficially. I think that’s why we can be surrounded by alarming headlines that don’t bump his rating around too much. Unless something really crashes I wouldn’t expect much movement.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/18/2018 - 03:22 pm.

    Trump won MI, PA and WI

    because he promised workers there that he would make things better.
    So far, what he’s delivered have been mostly atmospherics (a polite way of saying lies), so I suspect that many people are having second thoughts.
    Remember, many people voted for him despite his personal offensiveness. The minuses were always there and now they’re pulling ahead of the pluses.

  3. Submitted by Joe Musich on 06/18/2018 - 03:25 pm.

    The more cocky he is …

    getting with his always present but now full display of authoritarian capitalistic nationalism by being more public with it the more the swing states pull away. And the more the never him again numbers grow.deeper with their dislike the more activated this segment will become.. Whew !!! What took so long.

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/18/2018 - 04:16 pm.

    If these numbers are a true reflection of America

    America is rapidly losing its moral core and its necessity for the truth.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 06/18/2018 - 10:40 pm.

      People are Interesting

      I spent sometime exchanging comments with some real far right folks on FB this weekend. They explained in essence why Trump’s behavior does not matter to them.

      The summary was: “He’s not Republican or Democratic politician. He’s a pragmatist (problem solver). Just what we needed!!! He is working to address immigration, nuclear threats, religious freedom, right to life, putting America first, draining the SWAMP!…”

      A liberal reader of mine was very judgmental of this so I asked them…

      “With that in mind, how much latitude would you give a Democratic President who was making progress on:
      – Implementing strong gun control
      – Ensuring LGBT citizens were treated equally
      – Implementing universal income and healthcare
      – Allowing illegal residents to become citizens
      – Shrinking the US Military
      – Raising taxes on the Rich

      Does that help your perspective of why folks accept this devil with open arms?”

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/19/2018 - 08:59 am.

        Perhaps

        It helps, but not in a way that makes me think any better of Trump supporters. If anything, it lowers them in my esteem.

        Addressing immigration has been driven throughout by racism, and has now led to the barbaric policy of separating children from their parents.

        The nuclear threats are the ones he helped stir up (North Korea, and “Little Rocket Man”). Let’s see any real progress before he gets any praise for “addressing” this issue.

        Religious freedom means continuing to stigmatize marginalized groups, just in order to appease a vocal minority (BTW, have you asked any Muslims how they feel about this administration’s commitment to religious Freedom?”).

        Right to life is a cant phrase for “forcing women to carry children to term, regardless of what they want or believe.” It says nothing about the right to life after birth.

        Putting America first is not the same as alienating our closest allies, especially the ones who share our values, while cozying up to authoritarian despots.

        “Draining the SWAMP?” Oh, please. Let’s start with Scott Pruitt.

        What he has accomplished has been a particularly loathsome agenda. If your right-wing pals are going to excuse the worst presidential behavior in recent memory because he is succeeding in making America unworthy of its own heritage, I see no reason to be anything other than “very judgmental” about them.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/19/2018 - 10:16 am.

        Nope it doesn’t help.

        I have been lied to too many times for me to become a Trump believer. Listening to him turns me into a fool just wasting my time. Trump has done more to harm America than any good he may eventually do. Justification of Trump will not be the final judgement of him, historians will write his final chapter whether he likes it or not. While America dilly dallies with Trump’s behavior the rest of the world moves on without us. What’s there to like about Trump? NOTHING.

        • Submitted by chris snyder on 06/22/2018 - 03:48 pm.

          “… the rest of the world moves on without us.”

          They have to. Normal leaders make plans for years ahead. With Trump, they can’t plan on anything – he drags things out, flips his decisions on a whim, and gets facts wrong (like we had a trade SURPLUS with Canada). They give Trump leeway but he still doesn’t deliver. First indication of reality was when he learned something and wanted back in TPP, members told him NO because the agreement had already been done. If he backs off tariffs (which I suspect he’ll do after numbers come in), other countries may have found other suppliers and set up contracts – not to mention they just DON’T want to be involved with this him. It’s hard to get business back after losing it… got to remember this is the guy who lost three casinos after “following his instincts” against suggestions by others (he put up too much too fast with too much money/glitz for it to be profitable), and he’s running our country the same way.

  5. Submitted by Patrick Tice on 06/18/2018 - 04:59 pm.

    Meh

    It’s summer and people are paying less attention to the news. That, coupled with the endless Trumpiness of it all, simply leaves people fatigued and wanting to think about something else.

  6. Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 06/18/2018 - 05:25 pm.

    View from the sidelines…

    The Democratic Party is a mess. The Republican Party is a mess.

    Some may consider Trump a mess, but wherever the line once was between our president and our other local elected officials, that line has become less distinct.

    One could say Trump looks better or Trump doesn’t look as bad, but the distinction is trivial and his numbers could only rise.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/19/2018 - 09:23 am.

      It’s not trivial

      if you’re one of the millions who have been denied health care because of his actions.
      This will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths over the next decade, which can be laid squarely on his head.

      • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 06/19/2018 - 10:27 am.

        Trivial

        That argument is tired as one can blame a thousand deaths on most decisions any president makes. I understand your underlying point, though, and it further exemplifies my point.

        Republicans and Democrats are so partisan and be fighting so much within and between parties, that these thousands of deaths will get far less attention than they would if we could simply act civil towards each other.

        Or, you could say, these deaths will be unfortunately trivialized.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/19/2018 - 07:10 pm.

          This is one specific decision

          by one specific president
          that has a very predictable outcome.
          Beware of false equivalence.

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/19/2018 - 07:18 am.

    More disturbing to me

    …is the fact that Trump’s numbers have not fallen through the floor. His dictatorial tendencies are on display with almost every speech, and I’ll be surprised if this week’s “rally” in Duluth doesn’t provide yet another example of outright falsehood coupled with the sort of exaggerated ego normally associated with sociopaths. That 40% of those polled support him says more, and more negatively, about his supporters than any number of newspaper editorials decrying his language, actions or policy choices. That Republican Party leadership – not to mention the rank and file – has done nothing to try to curb Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric and behavior suggests that the party is willing to betray every American ideal in order to exercise power in the name of prejudice – against women, citizens of color, immigrants and foreigners, or anyone else not in sync with their reactionary agenda. Both Trump and his supporters are doing their best to drag us back to the antebellum 19th century, and there’s nothing admirable, or even “conservative,” about that.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 06/19/2018 - 09:14 am.

      Per Above

      I would not be too hard on the Trump True Believers, it seems to me that most voters are willing to accept a lot of warts on their toad as long as the toad is attaining things that they truly will help themselves and America. 🙂

      I find it little redeeming in Trump’s character and yet I can acknowledge that hr is accomplishing some good things. (and some bad things)

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/19/2018 - 01:28 pm.

        A Lot of Warts?

        Trump is a constant liar and cheat. He has no problem trying to subvert the rule of law for his own petty purposes or simple spite. He is perfectly willing to discard long-standing alliances to favor flattering authoritarians. Trump operates as a bully with no respect for anyone but himself. His policies can be described as “erratic” only if one is too restrained to make a psychological diagnosis without an examination (“Space Force?” Really?).

        Warts? You dip him in Compound W, he’ll disappear from the face of the earth.

        “I find it little redeeming in Trump’s character and yet I can acknowledge that hr is accomplishing some good things. (and some bad things)” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how one of the most ill-suited Presidents in history is enabled.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/19/2018 - 09:25 am.

      It’s worse

      Trump is trying to go back, not to the 19th century, but to the pre-constitution 18th, with himself as the monarch.

  8. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/19/2018 - 11:57 am.

    Some perspectives:Lowest

    Some perspectives:

    Lowest “highest approval” rating of any presidential poll since Roosevelt. (45% approval is the highest approval rating for Trump so far, the next least-popular president was Ford whose highest approval rating was 70%)

    Fourth in highest disapproval rating of any presidential poll since Roosevelt (Trump at 62 % disapproval, Nixon at 66%, Truman at 67%, GWBush at 71% disapproval)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_approval_rating

    But hey, there’s still time to create new records…

  9. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 06/19/2018 - 12:38 pm.

    Back in 2009, Al Franken famously introduced himself to Karl Rove by saying “Hi, I’m Al Franken; I hate you and you hate me”

    At the time, it was considered very rude, but looking back from today it’s almost quaint. Brutal honesty may represent the best measure of civility we can expect from one another in the current year.

    And maybe that’s OK

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/19/2018 - 07:12 pm.

      ANY sort of honesty

      would be welcome.
      and a change.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/20/2018 - 08:39 am.

      Yeah… this all started in 2009

      Darn that Franken! If only he’d remained civil 20 years AFTER Rush Limbaugh went on the air none of this divisiveness would ever have emerged!

  10. Submitted by Misty Martin on 06/20/2018 - 12:03 pm.

    Eric, please speak out on the immigration subject.

    Eric:

    I’ve been eagerly waiting to hear your response and thoughts on the horror of what is going on with the “zero tolerance” policy implicated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump’s approval of same, with children being torn away from their parents seeking asylum in the U.S.A. I believe that President Trump even tweeted recently about immigrants “infesting” our country, or something in that vein of thought.

    What do you propose is the best way to end this tragedy the fastest way possible? Impeachment doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen, and 2020 is still a LONG way off. Is this what America has become now?

  11. Submitted by chuck holtman on 06/20/2018 - 12:31 pm.

    The poll simply shows

    That 45% of respondents either: (a) prefer an authoritarian, social capital-liquidating, pocket-lining, proto-genocidal government to a democracy, or (b) are profoundly incapable of meeting their civic responsibility to be reasonably informed and thoughtful as to what their government is and ought to be doing.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/21/2018 - 10:18 am.

      Your Alternatives

      I don’t see those two as mutually exclusive. There is more than a little overlap between the two.

      • Submitted by chuck holtman on 06/21/2018 - 05:18 pm.

        Yes, “or” means “and/or.”

        In a democracy, one votes, and engages in other acts of civic engagement, in a trustee relationship to every other citizen. This precludes taking a civic position irreconcilable with democratic principles. Accordingly, all those in set (a) necessarily are also in set (b). However, I am willing to accept that some members of set (b) are not in set (a) – they may be people of basic decency who are simply deeply misinformed or limited in their capacity to reason about civic matters.

  12. Submitted by Mike Ryan on 06/21/2018 - 01:43 pm.

    Worst year and a half of any?

    While it is true that his approval is very slightly below Obama’s at this point, Trump’s trend is upward. Obama at this point had been tanking since his election.

  13. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/22/2018 - 12:34 am.

    It is good to know

    That we can have weekly updates on our President’s poll numbers which didn’t seem to be such a big deal until a year and a half ago. Much like the last Presidential election, it is probably hard to find many people that will openly support President Trump, but once in a voting booth nobody knows how they voted. Maybe there are a handful of people who like very low unemployment and rising wages. Maybe over 300 million people are more worried about their own children than 2000 children of illegal border crossers. Certainly ALL children are important, but on a priority list of an average American just what are their top three concerns? It supposedly was gun control only a few weeks ago, what will it be next month? And whatever happened to the porn star?

    • Submitted by ian wade on 06/22/2018 - 12:23 pm.

      It wasn’t hard to find people that openly supported

      President Obama. Unlike the current occupant, he was a man of honesty and integrity, beloved around the world. Not only did he have superior job approval numbers, he also had better job creation numbers than Trump, (numbers that were constantly described as fake by conservatives). As for immigration, gun control and the “porn star” all are still in play. We can multi task

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/23/2018 - 12:43 am.

        Hard to disagree about the former President

        It is poor form to do so. Job creation numbers still have years to go before we decide who had better numbers, although the unemployment is now at record lows. What the electorate is focused on depends on the week. The world may have “loved President Obama” but that really isn’t a measure of the presidency, is it?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/22/2018 - 01:33 pm.

      “Whatever Happened to the Porn Star?”

      She has passed into the mists as yet another piece of moral degeneracy Yes, it’s hard to keep track.

      The worst thing about this administration is neither the deliberately cruel policy choices, the erratic careening of decisions from the President, nor the thuggish style with which he governs. No, it is the normalization of the graft, the dishonesty, and the disregard for the rule of law. You don’t need to repeat the old “that has gone on forever” line. Of course, it has–there has always been scandal, there has always been corruption, and there has always been someone around who is willing to cut ethical corners. That’s not the point. No one claims, or should claim, that it it unique to the Trump administration.

      What is unique is the consistency and volume of it. When there have been scandals in the past, they were treated as something out of the ordinary, and something that provoked some outrage on the part of the public. Was Watergate the first time a President used dirty tricks to win an election? Of course not, and that wasn’t the point. The point was that it happened, and it shouldn’t have. Was Bill Clinton the first adulterer to occupy the Oval Office? Can you even read that question with a straight face? It was not the unique nature of what he did, it’s the fact that he did it, and there was an outcry against it, for whatever reason.

      We are losing our capacity for outrage. The sheer immorality is shrugged off because we have other priorities. Our viewpoint has become so blinkered that we will sell our collective souls for a few more dollars in our paychecks.

      Aren’t we a great people?

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