Like “The Dude” in “The Big Lebowski,” President Donald Trump’s approval rating abides.
As regular readers know, once a month or so I review the most recent ups and downs of Trump’s approval ratings. When, I started the exercise, I certainly thought it would be more interesting: that is, that it would fly around a lot more. But, once again, I was wrong. And, as usual, the most recent numbers haven’t made any significant movement in the past month.
When I last wrote about it on June 18, his Gallup approval number was 45 percent; disapproval was 50. Monday, his Gallup numbers were 42/54. Yes, it’s true, that’s worse than a month ago — but not significantly. If you look at the whole chart, that 45 percent was highest it had been in a while, so the drop to 42 is merely a return to the previous norm.
The lack of movement in the current incumbent’s approval numbers are even more clear if you look at the Huffington Post’s average of many approval polls. By that reckoning, he is currently at 43.7 percent approval/52.7 disapproval. That compares with 43.2/51.8 percent on June 18.
In other words, taking margins of error into consideration, there is no change — just as there has been no change in more than a year.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning (although he never mentions it) that Trump’s approval numbers remain “under water,” meaning there are more disapprovers than approvers, and that this has been the case since the first month of his Oval tenure, and that no previous president has ever been underwater during an entire term. And while that fact is amazingly bad, it doesn’t amaze me as much as the fact that his numbers are so (also unprecedentedly) stable.
I was especially interested to see whether the president’s so-awful-some-called-it-treasonous performance opposite Vladimir Putin in Helsinki might have caused some of his approvers to have a rethink. But while I was waiting for the new Gallup weekly number to come out so I could write this update, I came across a months-old piece based on a poll in which people were asked what should happen if evidence proved that Trump had indeed colluded with Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Just 14 per cent of Trump voters said he should resign in the event that special counsel Robert Mueller or the congressional intelligence committees find that his campaign colluded with Russia. On the other hand, 77 percent of Trump voters believe he should remain in office if the collusion claims are proven true. When Democrats and independent voters were factored into the results, 37 per cent of respondents said they believed Trump should stay in office if his campaign team colluded with Russia.
The survey also found that 52 per cent of respondents believe members of Trump’s campaign team worked with Russia to help him clinch the presidency. The results were split along partisan lines: while 86 per cent of those who voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton believe the Trump-Russia allegations, just 13 percent of Trump voters do.
I could, of course, remind you that Trump once bragged that his supporters were so loyal that they would not abandon him if he stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody. At the time, I thought he was wrong. In fact, I even thought that his admirers might be offended by the brag which (to my eyes) portrayed them as mindless love slaves to a megalomaniac. I was wrong.