President Trump

President Trump consistently does better among registered/likely voters than among all adults.

On July 22, 2018, Gallup found (among all adults) that 42% of Americans approve of President Trump’s job performance and 54% disapprove.

Gallup is no longer providing a daily approval rating of the president. In the future, these reports will be dated weekly.

Beginning with this edition of the Watch I am including a first day of the month polling summary–Registered and Likely Voters–by FiveThirtyEight.

  Gallup (all adults) FiveThirtyEight (Registered / Likely voters)
Date Approval Disapproval Approval Disapproval
8/1/18 41.4 52.9
7/29/18 40% 55%
7/22/18 42% 54%
7/15/18 43% 52%
7/8/18 41% 56%
7/1/18 42% 53% 41.8% 52.3%
6/24/18 41% 55%
6/17/18 45% 50%
6/10/18 42% 54%
6/1/18 41.6% 52.7%
5/20/18 42% 54%
5/1/18 43.8% 52%
4/8/18 41% 54%
4/1/18 41.4% 53.7%
3/11/18 39% 56%
3/1/18 42.7% 53.2%
2/11/18 40% 57%
2/1/18 42.0% 53.3%
1/14/18 38% 57%
1/1/18 39.5% 55.8%
12/1/17 33% 62% 38% 55.9%
11/1/17 38% 58% 37.8% 56.8%
10/1/17 37% 57% 38.7% 55.4%
9/1/17 34% 61% 37.3% 57.3%

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

JULY ’18 45/52 xx xx xx 46/51 40/55
JUNE ’18 44/53 xx xx xx 45/51 44/51
MAY ’18 xx xx 44/51 40/55cbsA xx xx
APR ’18 39/57A 44/54 xx xx 44/53 39/54
MAR ’18 43/53A xx 42/54 38/57cbsA 45/52 40/53
FEB ’18 xx xx 39/56 xx 43/53 37/38
JAN ’18 39/57A 38/58 43/53 37/58cbsA 45/53 36/58
DEC ’17 41/56 xxx 36/59cnn 36/57 cbsA xxx 37/57
NOV ’17 xxx xxx 38/57cnn xxx xxx 38/55
JAN ’17 xxx xxx 44/53 40/48 cbs xxx 36/44

57% of suburban women strongly disapprove of President Trump. [NPR/PBS/Marist]

The following are job approval numbers from Gallup for the last nine presidents and Trump. As you can see, Trump’s job approval rating by the public at large is the worst of any president at this point in their tenure.

Job Approval – Roughly 18 months into the 1st term

GHW Bush 74% (8/90)
GW Bush 71% (8/02)
Kennedy 67% (8/62)
Eisenhower 67% (8/54)
Nixon 55% (8/70)
Obama 44% (8/10)
Clinton 43% (8/94)
Carter 43% (8/78)
Trump 42% (2/18)
Reagan 41% (8/82)

On the economy, Trump’s approval ratings have been quite consistent over the last couple of months. Since April his approval rating has exceeded his disapproval rating.

  Approve Disapprove  
7/25/18 50.4% 42.3% RCP average 6/14-7/25
7/23/18 49% 47% Quinnipiac
7/18/18 50% 34% NBC/WSJ
7/11/18 53% 43% Fox News
6/5/18 49% 46% Quinnipiac
5/6/18 50.3% 44.8% RCP average 4/6-5/6
5/5/18 54% 42% CNN – Reg voters
4/11/18 49% 46% ABC/WP
3/11/18 46% 48% CBS News
2/27/18 49% 44% CBS News
1/16/18 46% 49% CBS News

On foreign policy, Trump’s approval ratings have not even come close to his disapproval rating during this year.

  Approve Disapprove  
7/25/18 40.4% 52.3% RCP average 6/14-7/25
7/23/18 38% 58% Quinnipiac
7/18/18 38% 45% NBC/WSJ
6/5/18 40% 52% Quinnipiac
6/5/18 41.6% 51% RCP average 5/2-6/5
5/8/18 43.2% 52.6% RCP average 4/20-5/8
5/6/18 45% 49% CNN – Registered Voters
4/9/18 39% 55% Quinnipiac
3/25/18 41% 52% CNN
3/5/18 33% 61% Quinnipiac
2/5/18 37% 57% Quinnipiac
1/16/18 36% 60% Quinnipiac

Among the last 13 presidents of the United States, only one had a higher level of approval than Donald Trump among the members of his own party on July 4th of the mid-term year and that was George W. Bush.

96% – George W. Bush
88% – Donald Trump
86% – LBJ
84% – JFK, Dwight Eisenhower & Richard Nixon
83% – George HW Bush
81% – Barack Obama
79% – Ronald Reagan
77% – Gerald Ford
67% – Bill Clinton
61% – Harry Truman
52% – Jimmy Carter

[Gallup – Bruce Mehlman]

About President Trump

Donald Trump is not and will not be a “conventional” president. So we ought to stop evaluating him by “conventional” standards. Rather we need to evaluate him on what he does or does not do, not about how he does it. [WW]

Trump gave to Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin exactly what they wanted -to be on the same stage as equals with the president of the United States. [WW]

“Trump pretends what he wants to be true is true.” [Jon Meacham, Morning Joe, 7/30/18]

Steve Rattner demonstrated on Morning Joe an analysis of President Trump’s proclivity for disregarding the truth. He presented work done by the Toronto Star. “The Star analyzed the 1,340,330 words that Mr. Trump has spoken (and tweeted) since he took office through July 1st.” (The number of lies has been updated through July 17.)

During the relevant period, the Toronto Star tally identified 2,029 lies.
The Star identified circumstances in which the false claims were made.
Speeches – 648; Interviews – 380; Informal remarks at events – 369; Twitter – 339; Press conferences or scrums – 192.

The analysis suggests that the President has been using falsehoods at an increasing rate.

The Washington Post has also been collecting falsehoods. Through July 31 it has tabulated 4,229 false or misleading claims.

In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, Speaker Paul Ryan said:

“I want to be as clear as I can to the world and the country. We stand by our NATO allies and all those countries who are facing Russia aggression. How many times have I stood up here and told you what I think about Vladimir Putin? Vladimir Putin does not share our interests. Vladimir Putin does not share our values…”

“…They did interfere in our elections. It’s really clear. There should be no doubt about that. It’s also clear it did not have a material effect on our elections. But as a result of that we passed tough sanctions on Russia so that we can hold them accountable. I understand the desire and the need to have good relations. That’s perfectly reasonable. But Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interest and it does not share our values…”

“…Here’s what we’ve already done and what we can continue to do, which is to put sanctions on Russia. You just saw the indictments from the special counsel. Those GRU officers – I’ve already seen the intelligence – they were the people that conducted this cyberattack on our elections. We’ve already put in place sanctions. If [committees] think that there are other sanctions we have not yet placed upon Russia, I am more than happy to consider those.” [CNN, 7/15/18]

Total U.S. farm profits are at their lowest level since 2006, which means that for the people who grow our food this may not be a great time to pick a trade war.

Farm profits are at their lowest level since 2006. They have fallen from $123 billion in 2013 to less than $60 billion this year. New punitive tariffs will fall heavily on Farm Belt states, particularly regions that backed the President in the 2016 election. Every one of the 30 congressional districts hardest hit by new tariffs on soybeans broke for Trump. [Joshua Green, Bloomberg Businessweek, 7/13/18]

There are 9 Supreme Court Justices, 167 Appeals Court Justices and 667 District Court Judges.

  Total Supreme Ct Appeals Ct District Ct
Trump – thru 7/31/18 45 1 24 20
Obama – 8 years 329 2 55 268
GW Bush – 8 years 327 2 62 261
Clinton – 8 years 378 2 66 305
GHW Bush – 4 years 193 2 42 148
Reagan 383 3 83 290
Carter 262 0 56 203

Trump and Putin – a Bromance?

“It was a sad day for the rest of us who remember Ronald Reagan challenging the Soviets to “tear down this wall” and tossing communism into the “ash heap of history.” What Putin could not do for Russia in 18 years, Donald Trump served up for him in a press conference: Trump pulled the decaying corpse of the Soviet Union from its resting place in antiquity, polished it with compliments, and renewed its shiny status among the superpowers of the world…” – Alex Castellanos, Republican media consultant and strategist

James Fallows wrote the following after the Helsinki meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin:

“Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests – maybe witting, maybe unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia’s help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes. Whatever the exact mixture or motives might be, it doesn’t really matter.

“Or he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic that he did not realize that, at every step, he was advancing the line that Putin hoped he would advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies must dread.”

45% believe that Trump is too friendly with Vladimir Putin to a level that is not appropriate for an American President to have with the president of Russia.
29% say Trump is not too friendly with Putin.

When asked about Putin directly only 5% of Americans have any form of positive feeling about him while 65% have negative feelings.

72% of Americans see Russia more as an adversary than an ally. 16% see Russia as more of an ally. In 2002, 52% of folks saw Russia as an ally while 26% saw the country as an adversary. [NBC/WSJ, 7/18]

46% of Americans believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election should continue. 38% would end the investigation.

28% of us have positive feelings about Mueller. This number is slightly higher than it was when the question was first asked in June 2017. 50% of those asked are neutral or don’t know. Negative feelings have been the same since December of last year, 19 to 22%. [NBC/WSJ, 7/18]

In another survey, 68% (including 60% of Republicans) believe Mueller should be allowed to finish the investigation. 64% believe that President Trump has not been tough enough on Russia. This includes 47% of Republicans.

Interestingly Americans are divided 45% to 44% on the question of whether Putin should be seen as an enemy or an ally. Although 69% (including just over half of the Republicans) believe there was Russian interference in 2016.

57% believe there will be Russian interference in the midterm elections. This includes 58% of Independents, 38% of Republicans and 73% of Democrats. [NPR/PBS/Marist, 7/22]

50% disapprove of the way that President Trump handled his meeting with President Putin.

40% believe that Trump went too far in supporting Putin. 15% said he did not go far enough and 35% think he handled it about right.

47% say that America’s leadership in the world has gotten weaker. Some 30% say it has gotten stronger.

56% disapprove of the manner in which Trump expressed doubts about U.S. intelligence conclusions that the Russian government tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. [ABC/WP, 7/20/18]