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Trump’s average approval ratings show biggest negative gap in more than a year

Congratulations to President Donald Trump, whose approval ratings — as measured by FiveThirtyEight.com, which averages many approval polls together — ended Friday morning just 14 percentage points lower than his disapproval rating.

Just kidding. That’s really not very good, and, while his approval rating has been lower than his disapproval rating for his entire presidency, 14 percentage points is his biggest negative gap in more than a year. 

On a positive note, from a Trumpian viewpoint, it’s not his worst ever. That in December 2017, his first year in office, when he weighed in at 57.5 percent disapproval / 36.4 approval, a negative gap of 21.1  percentage points.

On the third hand, if you look at the chart (here) he’s been losing ground pretty steadily since April, and could yet challenge his all-time low. We’ll see. Whatever he’s been doing to drive down his ratings over the past few months, since a brief, temporary upward rally-round-the-leader effect in the early days of the pandemic, is still working to steadily bleed him.

Analyzing the trend for FiveThirtyEight.com a couple of days ago, Geoffrey Skelly wrote:

It’s not exactly hard to unpack why this is happening now. Trump has gotten consistently low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and many Americans also don’t approve of how he’s responded to the protests following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by police officers last month.

Agreed, not that hard to explain. I would note that despite being consistently bad, by historical norms, Trump’s approval/disapproval has mostly been surprisingly stable compared to most other recent presidents.

His approval number pretty much stays somewhere in the low to mid-40s, and his disapproval in the low-to-mid 50s. This latest small-to-medium plunge may test those ranges. We’ll see. Obviously, nothing in this range is considered healthy for a president five months before Election Day. 

Apologies for any snark in my tone. Unless something dramatic happens, I’ll try not to write about Trump’s approval ratings for at least another week.

Oh, and if you want to check my work or follow his ratings, as averaged by FiveThirtyEight.com, updated every day and often twice a day, here’s the link again.

Have a good weekend.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/12/2020 - 12:37 pm.

    That 40+% still approve, after 3-1/2 years of demonstrated incompetence, self-aggrandizement, nepotism, and abject failure, as well as a litany of prejudices and bigotry that even a KKK member would be hard-pressed to match, is equally astonishing and depressing.

    On the other hand, that’s only on the most obvious domestic political front, so it could be (and is) worse.

    He actively collaborated with the Russian government in the 2016 election that put him in the White House, and despite a boatload of evidence that he has betrayed his country in dealing with foreign powers, including Russia, members of his party refused to adopt articles of impeachment. I can only assume that he continues to enjoy the loyalty of fellow Republicans because he has “in flagrante delicto” photos of numerous Republican House and Senate members tucked away somewhere, photos he has threatened to make public unless those people continue to support him. What sort of photos he must have of “Moscow Mitch” McConnell can only be imagined.

  2. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 06/12/2020 - 07:34 pm.

    The biggest negative gap seems to correspond to the gap among the repliers to Mr. Black’s column between those who want Trump gone because he’s a danger to our democracy and those who still support Trump because Obama told that lie about everyone keeping his or her doctor.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/13/2020 - 03:37 pm.

      And of course insurance companies could always delist physicians from their networks.
      You could always keep your own doctor 9assuming that SHE was willing) — you’d just have to pay from your own pocket.

  3. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 06/12/2020 - 11:43 pm.

    Trump said that everyone would be covered with high quality care that would cost less. Anyone who knows anything saw the lie.

    Changing doctors is not as big a deal as not having insurance at all or paying more while access to the services you need is limited. If Trump had his way, one in five Americans would have no insurance and millions more would spend thousands of dollars out of pocket before any coverage kicks in

  4. Submitted by BK Anderson on 06/15/2020 - 09:17 am.

    You’d think Trump supporters would be satisfied with the enormous practical joke they played on the nation with their “election” of the supremely unqualified imbecile. Yes, you proved that even a sadistic ignoramus can “be” president. And you really showed those (rather mysterious) “elites” who’s boss. Bravo!

    Could we now go back to having a functioning central government, please?

    This is rhetorical, I know. Because unfortunately electing Trump was no more a joke in 21st Century America than supporting Hitler was in 1930s Germany. The “other” had/has to be opposed and combated in order to “save” the nation, and Trump is merely the first “conservative” candidate of this line. It appears that Tom Cotton of MO is the next iteration, and he likely will be a more effective American Fascist. He, too, will rely entirely on the electoral college, popular vote be damned.

    Trump’s support cannot fall to Dubya’s 2007 numbers because he is not yet a second term president whom it is easy to (figuratively) abandon. And also because Trump is not merely a bumbling, unqualified fool playing national leader–he is the symbol of White Nationalism, which cannot be abandoned at any cost.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 06/15/2020 - 03:38 pm.

      “Trump’s support cannot fall to Dubya’s 2007 numbers”

      And in large part to the undying loyalty of redneck racists who never dreamed of having one of their own ascend to the Presidency.

      And are Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn racists? My Mom used to tell me that you’re known by the company you keep.

      Never better exemplified than by Iowa’s Joni Ernst who is now in dead heat with her D opponent. Tom Harkin’s seats returns to the D column…

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/15/2020 - 04:00 pm.

      There’s hope.
      As of today, it sounds like Trump’s supremely unhealthy life style is catching up with him.
      In retrospect, that sudden and mysterious trip to Johns Hopkins may have been a stroke.
      And one of the (many) side effects of hydrochoroquine is neurological disorders, which would account for stumbling down a ramp and needing two hands to drink a glass of water.

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