I haven’t bothered writing about President Donald J. Trump’s approval ratings for three months because, as I have long since discovered, they never move much. Always bad, always “below water” (meaning more disapprovers than approvers) but always within hailing distance of where they have been since early in his term.
And that’s still true, but I guess every few months I should let you know that that’s still the case.
His approval ratings got a little (but not much) better in late February, but have not returned to positive territory since the first few days of his term. And they have recently backed off from that small, probably meaningless rally and are, once again, a tiny bit more than 10 percentage points below water.
As of Tuesday morning, based (as I always base them) on the average of many ratings obsessively maintained by the eminent political number crunchers of the Nate Silver-led FiveThirthyEight.com, Trump had returned a little bit more than 10 percentage points under water with 53 percent of the respondents (to many polls) expressing disapproval of how Trump is handling his duties and 42.8 expressing approval.
Those are bad numbers, but normal for Trump. The negative gap of 10 percentage points is boringly normal for this president (we’ve never had a president since the dawn of approval ratings spend his entire term under water).
The latest trend (as you can see by looking at this graphical presentation of 538’s tracking line) is down, but not much and well within the range that he has always maintained. Maybe coronavirus has cost him a few approvers. But the more impressive fact is how stable the ratings always have been, and still are. I’ve about given up wondering what would make them go down or up significantly.
But I thought three months was about long enough to go without an update.