President Trump

On 8/8/17, Gallup found that 36% of Americans approve of his job performance and 58% disapprove.

Below are his job ratings as found by Gallup on the first and 15th of each month. (All voters)

Date Approval Disapproval
8/1/17 36% 60%
7/15/17 38% 56%
7/1/17 37% 57%
6/15/17 38% 57%
6/1/17 39% 55%
5/15/17 38% 57%
5/1/17 41% 55%
4/15/17 41% 53%
4/1/17 38% 57%
3/15/17 42% 53%
3/1/17 43% 51%
2/15/17 40% 54%
2/1/17 43% 52%

During the first 6 months of the year, Gallup interviewed a random sample of 81,155 adults living in all 50 U.S. states. In 17 states Trump has approval ratings ranging from 50% to 60%. In 16 states he has approval ratings of 42% to 49%.
In the last 17 states he has approval ratings ranging from 26% to 39%.

The following are some additional looks at the president’s job performance. (The numbers below of are registered voters unless followed by an “A” which means all voters.) [QUPIAC – Quinnipiac]

AUG xxx xxx 38/56A 38/56A xxx 33/61
JULY xxx 36/58A xxx xxx 41/53 xxx
JUNE 40/56 xxx xxx 36/57 cbs 44/50 40/55
MAY 39/54 xxx xxx xxx 40/53 37/55
APR 40/54 42/53 44/54 43/49 cbs xxx 35/57
MAR xxx xxx 45/52 40/52 cbs 43/51 37/56
FEB 44/48 xxx xxx 39/51 cbs 48/47 38/55
JAN xxx xxx 44/53 40/48 cbs xxx 36/44

The following are job approval numbers from Gallup for the same time period of the last nine presidents and Trump. As you will see, Trump’s job approval rating by the public at large is the worst of any president at this point in their tenure going back to Bill Clinton.

Job Approval – Roughly seven months into 1st term

Kennedy 76% (8/61)
Eisenhower 74% (8/53)
George HW Bush 69% (8/89)
Nixon 62% (8/69)
Reagan 60% (8/81)
Carter 60% (8/77)
Obama 56% (8/09)
G W Bush 55% (8/01)
Clinton 44% (8/93)
Trump 36% (8/17)

On the economy, Trump has an approval rating of 46% and disapproval of 45%. [CBS, 8/6/17]

On foreign policy, Trump has an approval rating of 38% and disapproval of 59%. [CNN, 8/6/17]

67% disapprove of Trump’s tweeting. 68% find them inappropriate, 65% insulting and 52% find them dangerous. Conversely, 41% find them interesting, 36% effective and 21% refreshing. [ABC/WP, 7/13/17]

Twitter came into being in 2006.

President Trump’s main account has 32.4 million followers.

  • His POTUS account has 18.8 million followers.
  • On Facebook, Trump follows 1.7 million people and has 22.4 million likes.
  • On YouTube he has 4.3 million followers.
  • On Instagram he has 7 million followers.
  • In total, he has 86.7 million followers. When you take into account the fact that some folks use several different accounts he has 60 million actual followers.
  • Trump follows 45 people.

By the way, the first president to use twitter was Barack Obama. He has 92 million+ followers and follows 629,000 people.

(I follow 271 people and have 417 followers.)

The NBC/WSJ survey conducted a unique survey in the second week of July. The interviews were conducted in 16 states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

It was conducted in counties that flipped from favoring former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in 2012 to backing Mr. Trump in November, and counties in which Mr. Trump’s support in the November election surged at least 20 percentage points higher than GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney drew in 2012.

References to national numbers are from the NBC/WSJ surveys of the noted dates.

The following are some of the survey’s findings:

  • When elections are held in 2018, 47% would prefer a Republican controlled Congress while 37% would prefer a Democrat controlled Congress.
    [National # – 50% would prefer a Democrat controlled Congress (6/17)]
  • Trump job approval is 50% and disapproval is 46%
    [National # – Trump approval 38% and disapproval 57% (RCP Average)]
  • 70% are not confident that life for their children’s generation will be better than it is for them.
  • 55% believe that the political systems in the country are stacked against people like them.
  • 44% rate the economy in their area as good or excellent (40% good/4% excellent)
  • 55% rate the economy in their area as only fair or poor (39% fair/16% poor)
  • 56% say that immigration strengthens the United States, 34% say it weakens the United States.
  • 52% say free trade is good, 37% say it is bad
    [National # – 57% say free trade is good/37% say it is bad (4/17)]
  • Since Trump won the election, 52% say media has been too critical/37% say media has been fair and objective

From which one or two of the following news sources do you get most of your information about politics and current events?

  July 2017 February 2017
NBC/ABC/CBS or similar 34 30
Fox News cable channel 23 27
Social media/Facebook/Twitter 18 16
Local newspaper 16 10
CNN 14 23
National newspapers: USA Today/NYT/WSJ 10 14
Conservative news outlets, blogs, web, talk radio 10 11
MSNBC cable channel 9 10

About President Trump

President Trump seemed to relish those moments on his TV show “The Apprentice” when he would each week face a group of aspirants and say to one of them, “You’re Fired.”

In real life, he does not appear to have the strength that those moments on TV suggested.

Rather than face the people in his White House and administration that he no longer wants around, through public tweets and other actions he sets out to humiliate them and encourages others—like Anthony Scaramucci—to do the same. He sets out to make their lives so miserable that the only way they can preserve a modicum of self-respect, is to quit, see Sean Spicer and Reince Preibus.

It matters not how early a person supported his campaign for president or how significant that support was at the time (February 28, 2016), Trump feels no compulsion to return the support and subsequent loyalty, see Senator Jeff Sessions. [WW]

It is hard to understand where Trump comes up with the “facts” that he uses when making certain declarations. Does he know that he is lying? When will the people in his base realize the he is distorting facts that are important to them? [WW]

Trump continues to treat authoritarian leaders with envy. There is suggestion that what he would really like is to have control over this country in the same way that the authoritarians he respects have over theirs, for example Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Trump seems to be obsessed with Putin. The Russian has his number.

On June 30, 2016, then Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the lifting of the ban on transgender service members in the United States Armed Services. The Department had been studying the issue for at least a year before that date. And for the first time transgender members of the armed forces could serve openly.

On July 26, 2017, President Trump announced (on Twitter, of course) a ban on transgender people serving in the military. Of course this position is directly contrary to what he said during the campaign. [NYTimes]

His announcement apparently came as the result of a brewing fight on Capitol Hill as to whether taxpayer money “should pay for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members.” That dispute had threatened the passage of a $790 billion defense and security spending package in the House.

Rather than try to deal with that minor issue, the President decided to change the entire policy on transgender service members.

Since that time the issue has been in limbo. The military has announced that there are no changes and, for now, transgender people can still serve in the military. [NYTimes, 7/27/17]

58% of Americans believe that transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military. This includes 83% of Democrats, 53% Independents and 32% of Republicans. [Ipsos/Reuters, 7/28/17]

In a PEW survey of LGBT Americans in 2013, 5% identified as transgender. 63% of Americans said in 2016 that homosexuality should be accepted. This compares with 51% in 2006. [PEW, 5/12/16]

By the beginning of August recess, fewer of Trump’s nominees for various government agencies had been confirmed than over the same time period of the previous three presidents. The cause seems to be a combination of slow selections and paperwork by the administration, resulting in the paperwork not getting to the relevant Senate Committees. The process is then further delayed by the Democrats using procedural techniques to slow down the process. Confirmations by August of 1st term: Obama 310, Bush 294, Clinton 252, Trump 124. [Washington Post, 8/5/17]

By this time in their first term each of the last six presidents had participated in more solo press conferences than Trump. George H.W. Bush had 18, Jimmy Carter had 12, Barack Obama had 9, Bill Clinton 8, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush each had 3. Trump has only had 1. [Reliable Sources Newsletter]

Notwithstanding the lack of solo news conferences, Trump certainly has not wanted for media and public attention. [WW]

“The truth, six months in, is that he is not presidential and is not getting it done. His mad, blubbery petulance isn’t working for him but against him. If he were presidential he’d be getting it done- building momentum, gaining support. He’d be over 50%, not under 40%. He’d have health care, and more.” [Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 7/29/17]

In moves that strike hard at President Donald Trump’s rural base, the 11 other nations that participated in the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership are pursuing 27 separate negotiations aimed at undercutting U.S. exporters, according to a Politico analysis.

The TPP, which Trump scuttled immediately after taking office, was a suspect deal to many factory workers. But for already struggling farmers, it was a chance to erase the punishing tariffs that prevented them from selling more beef, pork and dairy to such massive importers as Japan and Vietnam.

Now, Politico reports, the United States is already losing market share in exports of some agricultural products, while top competitors like the EU and Australia are looking forward to enormous cost advantages. Meanwhile, Trump has been slow to develop a trade strategy of his own. That has farming communities like Wright County, Iowa, which backed Trump by a 2-1 margin, reconsidering their faith in the president. [Politico, 8/7/17]

Also at the six month mark, when asked about Trump’s dealings with Vladimir Putin, 25% of Americans believe that Trump has done something illegal while an additional 29% say he has done something that is not illegal but is unethical. 36% say he has done nothing wrong.

These judgements seem to be driven in great part by the political persuasion of the respondents. Of those claiming that Trump has done something illegal 41% are Democrats but only 4% are Republicans. 27% of Independents have this view.

As one would expect, of the 36% who say Trump did nothing wrong, 73% are Republicans, 13% are Democrats and 32% are Independents. [NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist, 6/25/17]

The flow of leaks from the White House to the media has, if anything, grown over the last several months. [WW]

Trump is determined to unwind any number of the decisions that were made by Obama. For example, “Betsy DeVos, announced plans to dismantle a set of Obama-era policies devised to protect students and tax payers from predatory for-profit colleges.” [NYTimes, 7/1/17]

According to an economist at the American Enterprise Institute the pay gap between female and male staffers in the current White House has tripled under the Trump administration. “A typical female staffer earns 63.2 cents for every dollar earned by a male staffer. This gap is more than double the 17% national pay gap. The gap in the final year of the Obama administration was 11%. [Daily Beast, 6/5/17]

Revisiting the 2016 election (for the last time)

How folks voted in the 2016 presidential election was “affected” by the type of internet communication system they used.

  Electoral Votes
  Trump Clinton
Windows 329 209
Mac 58 443
Android 144 353
iOS 291 217
[Axios – Survey Monkey, 6/30/17]

53% of all respondents including 78% of Democrats, 53% of Independents and 26% of Republicans think that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election. [NBC/WSJ poll, 6/2017]

Recently I was introduced to the regular newsletters of Bruce Mehlman. The following is a link to his 2016 election analysis which I found to be quite useful:

After the 2016 election

The Democratic Party is in a very deep hole across the country.

The following represents the political control in the several states by the two parties.

In the 30 states won by Trump, Republicans now control:

  • 100% of the state legislative chambers
  • 80% of the Governors
  • 77% of the US Senators
  • 73% of the House Members
  • 77% of the State Supreme Courts
  • And have BOTH the Governor and both houses in 25 of these states.

Popular vote in 30 states altogether
Trump 2016: 40,811,511
Clinton 2016: 32,453,841
Romney 2012: 38,843,090
McCain 2008: 37,873,369

In the 20 states (and DC) won by Clinton, the Democrats now control:

  • 70% of the State Legislatures (15 Dem, 3 Rep, 3 Split)
  • 60% of the Governors
  • 88% of the U.S. Senators (90% excluding DC)
  • 70% of the House members (66% excluding DC)
  • 85% of the State Supreme Courts
  • And have BOTH the Governor and both houses in 7 of these states.

Popular vote in 20 states altogether
Trump 2016: 22,173,314
Clinton 2016: 33,399,675
Obama 2012: 32,568,632
Obama 2008: 34,011,052

[Democracy Alliance/Committee on States/WW]

Both political parties have their detractors.

  GOP Party Dem Party
Cares about the middle class 42% 57%
Has high ethical standards 41% 44%
Is too extreme 54% 45%
Too willing to cut government programs even when they work 64%  
Sees government as the only way to solve problems   61%
[PEW, 6/18/17]


Now that we have elected the first president in history that has no history as a government official—elected, appointed or otherwise—well known people are suddenly being talked about as in the mix for running for president in the future. The following is a list of people who have been mentioned as potential candidates who have no previous government experience. Folks are on the list whether or not they have disclaimed any interest.

The list of people without government experience is followed by a list of current or past government officials who have been mentioned or have done something to suggest they are thinking about running for president.

Dwayne Johnson – Actor
Bob Iger – CBS
Howard Schultz – Chairman, Starbucks
Mark Cuban – Businessman and Owner, Dallas Mavericks
Kanye West – Entertainer
Mark Zuckerberg – CEO, Facebook
Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Network (Says she is not interested)

Congressman John Delaney (D) – Announced 7/22/17
John Hickenlooper (D) – Governor of Colorado
Steve Bullock (D) – Governor of Montana
Corey Booker (D) – U.S. Senator
Martin O’Malley (D) – Former Governor
Amy Klobuchar (D) – U.S. Senator
Terry McAuliffe (D) – Governor of Virginia
Kamala Harris (D) – U.S. Senator