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.