Trump’s approval ratings: Still underwater, with no significant change

I’ll keep this short because, once again, the monthly update on the ups and downs of President Donald Trump’s approval ratings shows basically nothing by way of ups or downs.

Yes, Trump’s ratings are underwater (meaning more disapprovers than approvers). His weekly Gallup numbers show 52 disapproval/42 percent approval. When I wrote a month ago, it was 54/42. Obviously no significant change, which has been the case for more than a year.

Likewise, the HuffPost average of many approval polls, as of this morning, shows Trump at 52/43, obviously the same as Gallup or so close to the same as to be insignificant.

To repeat what has been the case since I started this farshtunkene exercise, the current incumbent’s approval rating has been bad, below water, since about a week after he was sworn in. But, over the past year and a half, it has shown no significant movement toward the better or the worse.

This link will get you a graph of the weekly Gallup numbers, starting a few days after Inauguration Day. And this will get you the movement of the HuffPost average. If you squint sympathetically at the HuffPost version, it is possible to see some improvement over the past six months or so from Trump’s lowest point to today, but the lines are basically flat over the past three months, in the range of today’s 52 percent disapproval rating, and they are still undeniably below water.

I say that because I don’t want to be accused of seeing what I want to see in the numbers. But Trump has no such aspiration to build a reputation for fair-minded credibility when it comes to this matter. The current incumbent, last week tweeted: “TRUMP APPROVAL HITS 50%” and supplied a link to a recent Rasmussen Poll that did, indeed, show a 50 percent rating.

He did not note that, during the course of his presidency, Rasmussen has consistently shown him with better numbers than the overwhelming majority of the pollsters who attempt to measure this. There are those who believe that Rasmussen has a pro-Trump or pro-Republican bias. I take no position on that question.

But I do believe that it shows something about an individual’s commitment to knowing and sharing the honest truth, when he shares only a single pollster’s number when, by sheer happenstance of course, that number is out of step with the great majority of pollsters attempting to measure the same question, and, of course, out of step in the direction of showing what the individual would like to believe or have you believe.

I promise, barring unexpected developments, not to write about Trump’s approval ratings for another month.

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Comments (23)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/20/2018 - 02:02 pm.

    The fact that

    Trump cited even one reasonably reputable poll (rather than ‘someone said that…’) is better than he usually does.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/20/2018 - 02:05 pm.

    Or in Mad Magazine’s

    favorite word: furshlugginer

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/21/2018 - 01:28 pm.

    In Minnesota, which Trump narrowly lost by 1.5 percentage points, his rating stands at 38 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove. In Wisconsin, which he won by about 23,000 votes, another 36 percent give Trump a thumbs up, with 52 percent giving him a thumbs down. (Marist/NBC 7/18)

    Jeff Johnson., endorsed by Trump…”Jeff Johnson of Minnesota had a big night in winning the Republican nomination for Governor against a very strong and well known opponent!” Trump tweeted at 8:12 a.m. “Thanks for all of the support you showed me. You have my complete and total Endorsement. You will win in November!”

    That should get him to 38%

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/21/2018 - 01:49 pm.

    I wouldn’t expect Trump will ever get above water

    The only thing that might get him above water unfortunately is a some kind of national disaster, the way 911 boosted Bush. But even that’s a long shot because Trump is so completely inept he would probably find a way to blow up the national unity that typically follows a big disaster.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/21/2018 - 02:16 pm.

      Ironic, Isn’t It?

      The Trump administration is a national disaster. The only thing that could boost the popularity of that particular disaster is another disaster.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/21/2018 - 04:12 pm.


      It’s not like swimming, where you’re likely to just bob above the water without trying.

      You have to actually try to get above water, and Don Trump doesn’t even try.

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/21/2018 - 02:50 pm.

    A news article today noted how the extremely wealthy have seen the lion’s share of the benefits of what is called Trump’s tax cuts (although he personally did not form the bill and knows relatively little of what’s in it, the bill is called Trump’s). The top 1% get about 40% of the gazillions in cuts that have drastically increased the nation’s deficit.

    Are we to suppose that the typical Trump supporter loves having their wealthy neighbors get tax cuts they themselves will never see but will have to pay for, in the end? Are we to suppose that 38% of Americans agree that separating little children from their parents when they arrive at our border seeking asylum is a fine policy? Are we to suppose that Trump supporters approve of not being able to breathe the dirty air coming from climate-change-intensified forest fires in the West, and Trump’s fight to keep burning dirty coal and drive gas-guzzling vehicles?

    Are we to suppose that Trump supporters are still living in his fervid 2016 campaign rhetoric, where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (both long years out of any public office) are the main public enemies? Are we to believe that Trump supporters don’t believe it when a major news source like the NYTimes prints that today is Tuesday? Are we to suppose that Trump supporters routinely and slavishly do not follow the public revelations of Trump’s campaign and administration collaboration with the Russian government? Are we to suppose that Trump supporters–who admit that they know their guy tells a significant untruth at least five to ten times each day–choose to believe their liar over a career law enforcement official like Mueller and his team of expert lawyers? Does anyone believe anything Rudy Giuliani says, at all?

    I still can’t understand why anyone who is not a racist and not super-wealthy can support Donald Trump. Even if it’s not half of American voters, it’s still an incredible number of dupes and people full of the hatred,, fear, and resentments he calls forth from them.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/21/2018 - 04:10 pm.

      The Politics of Resentment

      It’s not what Don Trump is for. It’s who he’s against that counts.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/22/2018 - 09:48 am.

      Are we to suppose?

      First, I’m inclined to think that Frank Phelan’s point about “The Politics of Resentment” is well-taken.

      Second, with Mr. Phelan’s point in mind, and given the obvious incompetence, prejudices and lies that Mr. Trump displays daily, it’s precisely that unthinking loyalty from his supporters that I find most disturbing about our current social and political culture. “Are we to suppose…” that the typical Trump supporter either doesn’t think about the points you’ve raised, doesn’t care, or perhaps actually agrees with the prejudices and misinformation Trump brings to the table? I’m afraid the answer to that rhetorical question, far too often, is “Yes.”

  6. Submitted by Mike Johnson on 08/22/2018 - 01:22 am.

    Let’s be intellectually honest…

    You are quoting polls from institutions that proved to be completly wrong during the 2016 election and none of them have yet to changed their ways. Trump quoted the only poll (Rasmussen) that actually got the 2016 election correct. You Democrats are making the same mistake of believing the corrupt polling companies. If you word the polls a certain way, and cherry pick the data you can get any outcome you want. Why wouldn’t you believe a polling company that actually got it right last time ? It’s time to be intellectually honest with yourself and your friends. Your constant “group think” just makes you look stupid.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/22/2018 - 09:46 am.

      While you may revel in the idea of conspiracies of “corrupt” polling companies, the fact is that the polling in the last elections was pretty much similar to the accuracy of political polls for the last 80 years.

      In that time span, there has been an error of 4% at 200 days out, 3% at 50 days out, and 2% at 2 weeks from the election. And then let’s toss in the final-week Comey “buttermails”, and the final fact that Trump lost the popular vote by 2.1 percent of the votes cast and all of a sudden, the “corrupt” polling companies are within historical range of error for results.

      Clinton won the popular vote at 48.2 percent of the vote, versus Trumps 46.1. Final polling had Clinton at 46.8 and Trump at 43.6—polling had Clinton leading by 3.2 and her final result was 2.1% more than Trump. Is an error of 1% a sign of “corruption” when historic polling error is in the range of 2% ?

      Or is it proof that polling is as accurate as it has been for the past 80 years ?

      Trump is president because of the electoral college–not as the winner of the popular vote.

      The polling tracked the popular vote, not electoral college votes. So where is the corruption of the polling companies?

      • Submitted by Mike Johnson on 08/23/2018 - 12:50 am.

        Keep your head in the sand…no one really cares

        Yeah, sure….that’s why on Election Day morning all the major newspapers were saying that Hillary had a 80-90 percent chance of winning.

        The reality is that you refuse to face the fact that almost all polls were worded to give Hillary better results, while discounting Trump. Rasmussen was the closest but since it doesent reflect your opinion you claim it’s some right wing polling company.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/27/2018 - 09:01 am.

      Intellectually honest people don’t reject science and facts

      Sure, polls can be problematic, we had a nice long discussion about this elsewhere on a different Black-Ink regarding number’s geeks and 538. But the idea that corruption rather than methodology or analysis explains the results is simply fatuous.

      Yes, liars can lie in any format, but scientific analysis isn’t based on lies, and the idea that it could be is simply an ignorant rejection of science. I’m not using the word: “ignorant” to insult anyone, I’m just saying it understand how scientific observations works, you don’t say things like this.

      We can talk about the problems behind the failure to predict Clinton’s defeat, but the fact that Donald Trump and his policies are wildly unpopular and unsupported is beyond question. Sure, propagandists frequently rely on accusations of conspiracy to refute inconvenient facts, but what part of “propaganda” is confusing?

  7. Submitted by Guy Molde on 08/22/2018 - 11:32 am.

    Compare Trump’s Ratings

    Interesting how Eric failed to mention that at this point in office Clinton and Carter’s approval ratings per Gallup, at 41% were BELOW Trump’s and the press’s Golden Boy Obama’s rating, at 44%, was also well below water. Fact that Trump’s approval rating is where it’s at after having to endure the left wing bias of the press (as evidenced in this article) speaks droves for Trump’s accomplishments and the country’s appreciation for his (Trump) shredding of the left wing agenda!!

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/22/2018 - 12:20 pm.


      Don Trump’s approval is due to his shredding of the GOP agenda. You know, a rising tide of federal red ink, trashing free trade agreements, a serious bro-mance with the Rooskies’ Putin, a complete 180 on sexual morality and the importance of marriage vows, disrespect for the military, Gold Star families and POWs, etc.

      But hey, judges and tax cuts for billionaires.

  8. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/22/2018 - 12:37 pm.

    Under Performing

    What I wonder about is why Don Trump’s approval not only hasn’t budged upward, but given the roaring economy he inherited from the centrist Obama, why aren’t his numbers higher?

    The only bad economic news lately is the persistent lack of wage grow for non-supervisory workers, but that’s been a probelm since the 80’s and is no more Don Trump’s fault than any POTUS since 1980.

    How can someone preside over this economy and not be more popular? But then again, I think this is the first president to pass an unpopular tax cut. That might be even more of a head scratcher.

  9. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/22/2018 - 02:37 pm.

    Trump’s main problem – THERE ARE TOO MANY CROOKS

    I must give Trump some credit here. He said he was going to drain the swamp and he surely is doing that, bit by bit, with Mr. Mueller’s help and Mr. Giuliani’s unintentional help.

    Let’s see what possibly being an unindicted co-conspirator does to Trump’s ratings. There is only so long that the GOP can continue to support Trump and his alleged criminal ways. As the chips continue to fall, the GOP can’t keep claiming there is nothing to see here. The GOP in Congress are getting more and more squirrelly with their answers. Cohen appears to be eager to flip on Trump. A jury convicted Manafort on 8 of 18 felony counts. Mr. Mueller still has the option of another trial to try and prove guilt on the remaining 10 felony counts. We haven’t heard anything from Flynn yet. Flynn will be full of vital information as well.

    Trump can see the end of his ill-gotten presidency approaching as his corruption eats away at his legitimacy as president. Oh, what a tangle web Trump has woven. The web is so tangled that Trump is afraid to be deposed by Mr. Mueller because he can’t keep all the lies straight that he has spun and it might cause him to commit perjury. The so-called stable genius is about to disprove both the stable part and the genius part. Everyone but Trump has known this for a long time.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 08/24/2018 - 05:08 pm.

      Speaking of crooks

      I saw a great tweet today that said “If Trump really wanted to lock Hillary up, he should have put her in his administration.”

  10. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/22/2018 - 03:21 pm.

    No unity, no like-ee

    He’s broken so many of the rules and gotten away with them, but his popularity will never climb as long as this major difference with all other presidents in our lifetime persists: no interest in engaging in civil relationships with his political foes, no effort to speak to the majority of Americans who oppose him, plenty of vulgar disdain for minor celebrities who challenge him.

  11. Submitted by Joe Musich on 08/23/2018 - 08:41 pm.

    It is the ….

    “righteousness “ of the don that are frightening. When his lawyer “predicts” there will a revolt if the Don is impeached he may not be wrong. I do not think there is sub crowd in that mix who would stand for more gun monitoring. The degree of upswing in violence being engaged in by his dominions worries me for what it might indicate. And it is right here in our neighborhood.

  12. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 08/24/2018 - 05:23 pm.

    You know

    We go through this every couple weeks, it is like an echo chamber. Seems from this perspective folks that support “T” do not live in the same logical, rationale thought out world as the majority of folks commenting here. Couple observations, when Obama was president the “T” types could care less about the stock market, they didn’t have anything in it so who cares, but now that “T keeps talking about it seems they all knowing about the market and what a great thing it is, proves T’s superior intellect, they see no relationship to the more or less auto pilot it has been on since Obama and the fed saved us from financial disaster back in 08-10 etc. We hear the praise about the “bigger pay check” but no understanding that it is really a pay day loan, or that they got nickles on the dollar where the uber wealthy got $1,000’s on the $ and guess who pays there share back? Until these folks get a grip on reality, they will fantasize along with “T” in that made up world, it would appear they are like drug addicts, getting their day after day dose of fantasy world, one day the party will end, and a lot of the Trumpie’s are going to find someone or something else to blame for all the woes. It is likely going to be anyone that through the logic, truth telling and judicial system showed them he was a pretty disdainful person. Guess what folks that’s us. Will they ever look in the mirror and say “I am an idiot” for believing all that BS? Like a drug addict, doubtful, very doubtful.

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