President Trump

On June 11th the NBC/WSJ survey found that 44% approve of the job that Trump is doing as president. 53% disapprove of the job that he is doing. Those approving of the job he is doing include 84% of Republicans, 36% of women, 32% of Latinos, 17% of African Americans but only 11% of Democrats. [NBC/WSJ 6/11/19]

On June 12, 2019, Fox News found that 45% of Americans approved of Trump’s job performance and 53% disapproved.

(Gallup no longer provides a daily or weekly approval rating of the president. Gallup now assess presidential job approval on a monthly basis.)

I now include a periodic polling summary–Registered and Likely Voters–by FiveThirtyEight. Note that year over year there has been little or no change in Trump’s approval among Reg/Likely voters.

  Gallup (all adults) FiveThirtyEight (Registered / Likely voters)
Date Approval Dis-approval Approval Dis-approval
6/16/19 43% 55% 42.6% 53.0%
5/12/19 42% 52% 42.4% 52.4%
4/9/19 45% 51% 42% 52.7%
3/10/19 39% 57% 41.8% 53.4%
2/10/19 44% 52% 40.2% 55.1%
1/27/19 37% 59% 40.4% 55.6%
12/22/18 39% 55% 42.2% 52.8%
11/4/18 40% 54% 42.2% 52.6%
10/14/18 44% 51% 42.1% 52.4%
9/30/18 42% 53% 41.5% 52.7%
9/2/18 41% 53% 40.3% 54.5%
7/29/18 40% 55% 41.2% 53.2%
7/1/18 42% 53% 41.8% 52.3%
5/12/18 43% 52% 42.1% 52.0%
1/14/18 38% 57%

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” or “L” which means “likely voters”.

JUNE ’19 44/53 xx xx xx 45/53
MAY ’19 46/51 xx xx xx 46/53
APR ’19 xx 42/54 44/53 xx 45/51
MAR ’19 43/53A xx 43/51 xx 46/51
FEB ’19 46/52A xx 42/54 xx 46/52
JAN ’19 43/54A 38/58 37/57A 36/59A 43/54
DEC ’18 43/54A xx 39/52 xx 46/52
JAN ’18 39/57A 38/58 43/53 37/58cbsA 45/53
DEC ’17 41/56 xxx 36/59cnn 36/57 cbsA xxx
JAN ’17 xxx xxx 44/53 40/48 cbs xxx

Note: Total approval of 44% in the June NBC/WSJ survey is the same as the strongly disapprove 44% in that survey.

The following are job approval numbers from Gallup for nine of the last twelve presidents, roughly 29 months into their first term. Since Gallup is no longer providing a steady stream of approval ratings WW will use various other surveys to include approval numbers on the current president.

GHW Bush 71% (6/91)
Eisenhower 70% (6/55)
GW Bush 64% (6/03)
Kennedy 61% (5/63)
Nixon 48% (6/71)
Clinton 47% (6/95)
Obama 46% (6/11)
Trump 45% (6/19) – Fox News
Reagan 43% (6/83)
Carter 29% (6/79)

On economic policy, Trump’s approval ratings have remained consistently positive since April.

  Approve Disapprove  
6/11/19 53% 43% Econ/Yougov RV
5/14/19 48% 46% Fox News (RV)
4/16/19 47% 46% Reuters/Ipsos (A)
3/26/19 50% 45% Econ/YouGov (RV)
3/4/19 49% 45% Quinnipiac (RV)
2/2/19 49% 45% CNN (RV)
1/1/19 47% 46% Econ/YouGov (RV)
12/6/18 48% 42% CNBC (A)
9/9/18 51% 53% CNN
7/18/18 50% 34% NBC/WSJ
1/16/18 46% 49% CBS News

On foreign policy, Trump’s approval ratings remain in negative territory.

  Approve Disapprove  
6/11/19 46% 50% Econ/YouGov (R)
5/14/19 43% 49% Econ/YouGov (RV)
4/16/19 39% 52% Reuters (A)
3/26/19 44% 50% Econ/YouGov (RV)
2/19/19 44% 50% Econ/YouGov (RV)
1/1/19 42% 51% Econ/YouGov (RV)
12/11/19 42% 51% Econ/YouGov (RV)
9/9/18 38% 56% CNN
7/18/18 38% 45% NBC/WSJ
1/16/18 36% 60% NBC/WSJ

Trump ripped into the Federal Reserve saying that the Fed is “very disruptive” and made a “big mistake” in raising interest rates. He described the officials at the central bank as “not my people”, notwithstanding that four of the five current Fed members are his nominees. [Politico Morning Money 6/11/19]

“A lot of my journalist friends would strongly disagree, but Trump doesn’t get much slack from the media. When his backers say he is not treated fairly, they are not entirely wrong. But to think that is the sole reason for his historically low poll numbers is an exercise in denial. Often, when Trump is right or does something well, the way in which he does it keeps him from getting any credit outside his base of 35 percent or so. They love what he does and how he does it, but this style grates on or outright offends many outside his base. In so many ways, he is his own worst enemy.” [Charlie Cook 6/11]

President Trump said he would consider accepting information on his political opponents from a foreign government, despite the concerns raised by the intelligence community and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In an Oval Office interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump said he wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI if a foreign country approached his campaign with “oppo research” about his Democratic challenger.

“I think you might want to listen; there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

When Stephanopoulos asked the president whether he’d want that kind of “interference” in American politics, Trump pushed back on the word.

“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong.” [WP 6/12/19]

Nine days earlier the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had taken a similar position in an interview with Jonathan Swan for “Axios on HBO.” Kushner was asked whether he’d call the FBI if he were to receive an email today like the one before the campaign’s Trump Tower meeting. (WW – much has transpired since that day.) Kushner said, “I don’t know. It’s hard to do hypotheticals, but the reality is that we were not given anything salacious.”

Subsequent to his June 12th interview with Stephanopoulos, the president partially back tracked saying he would report to the FBI if a foreign official gave him damaging information on a campaign opponent. However, the president said he would review the information first. [Bloomberg 6/14/19]

The Department of Justice has issued an opinion saying that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin does not need to turn over President Trump’s tax returns to Congress. [WP 6/14/19]

Judges Nominated and Confirmed to Date

Because the U.S. Senate remains in Republican hands and the filibuster is no more, the President can continue unchecked his goal of remaking the federal judiciary.

  Total Supreme Ct Appeals Ct District Ct
Trump – thru 6/21/19 123 2 41 80
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

There are currently several nominations awaiting Senate action: 2 seats on the Courts of Appeals, 63 seats on the District Courts and 2 seats on the Courts of International Trade.

There are currently 5 vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 109 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts and 4 vacancies on the U.S. Court of International Trade. [USCourts/Wikipedia]


President Trump announced to reporters, “I’ve had tremendous Republican support. I have a 90 percent – 94 percent approval rating as of this morning in the Republican party. That’s an all-time record…I love records.”

Among the seven Republican post-World War II presidents, Trump ranks sixth in terms of the highest approval rating achieved. Only Ford was lower. The record-holder is George W. Bush who earned a 99% approval rating among Republicans and second place goes to his father George H.W. Bush with a 97% approval rating. [WP 6/7/19]

The Trump administration rejected requests from U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow flag during June, LBGTQ Pride month. The flag can be flown elsewhere on embassy grounds. Leading the request to fly the flag is Germany; the U.S. Ambassador to Germany is Richard Grenell who is openly gay. [NBC News]

President Trump claimed during a CNBC interview, “I’m a budget cutter and I have cut the budget.” Trump’s proposed budget this year is $4.75 trillion, the largest in American history. [CNBC 6/19]

President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration has targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses.

The list below is based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources. The list represents two types of policy changes, rules that were officially reversed and rollbacks still in progress.

  Completed (49) In process (35) Total (84)
Air pollution & emissions 10 12 22
Drilling & extraction 9 9 18
Infrastructure & planning 12 1 13
Animals 8 2 10
Toxic substances and safety 3 6 7
Other 3 6 9

The Trump administration is proceeding to limit LGBTQ rights:

  • It is planning to make it easier for federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples.
  • Rolled back an order allowing transgender people to openly serve in the U.S. military.
  • Proposed rolling back protections for transgender people established under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Told the Supreme Court last year that federal law doesn’t protect transgender people from workplace discrimination.
  • Will make it easier for religious health care workers to object to providing care and procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs, potentially putting gay and transgender patients at risk.
  • Removed Title IX protections for transgender youth ensuring that they had access to bathrooms and facilities of their choice.

[Axios PM 5/24/19]

62% of Americans (including evangelical Christians and Trump supporters) describe themselves as being more supportive of transgender rights. [PRRI 6/17/19]

The number of workplace safety inspectors is decreasing under the Trump administration. [Politico 6/18/19]

The Trump administration has announced new rules that will sharply reduce and possibly end government funding for studies that use tissue from aborted fetuses. Such research has been instrumental in developing treatments for polio, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and other conditions. [HuffPost]

If you’re poor or low-income in the U.S. and use government safety net programs, you could be affected by a number of new rules and actions proposed by the Trump administration. Most of the changes are still pending, and anti-poverty groups are trying to stop them from going into effect. Some of the proposals already face legal challenges.

President Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to get more people off government aid and into the workforce so they can become self-sufficient. To help do that, he issued an executive order last year to reduce poverty “by promoting opportunity and economic mobility.”

In it, Trump called on federal agencies to streamline existing welfare programs, strengthen work requirements and make sure that taxpayer money is spent on “those who are truly in need.”

But anti-poverty advocates say the administration’s proposals would hurt, rather than help, poor Americans. They say it will make it more difficult for those trying to become self-sufficient by denying them food, housing and medical assistance when they need it most. [NPR 6/11/19]

The Trump administration plans to freeze federal fuel-efficiency requirements for six years and end California’s authority to set its’ own standards.

“The new rule comes as many companies and dozens of states wrestle with how to curb greenhouse gas emissions…” “Several of the industry’s biggest players have pledged to cut emissions anywhere between 40% and 60% by 2030, including American Electric Power, DTE, Duke Energy and Southern Company.”

[WP 6/8/19 & 6/19/19]