President Trump

As of August 7th, the Politico/Morning Consult survey found that 41% approve of the job that President Trump is doing as president while 56% disapprove. Those approving of the job he is doing include 39% of women, 44% of men, 30% of Hispanics, 10% of African Americans, 82% of Republicans and 8% of Democrats.

On August 6, 2019 the Economist/YouGov survey found that 44% of Americans approved of Trump’s job performance and 52% 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 Registered/Likely voters.

  Gallup (all adults) FiveThirtyEight (Registered / Likely voters)
Date Approval Dis-approval Approval Dis-approval
7/31/19 42% 54% 42.5% 52.9%
7/12/19 44% 51% 42.4% 52.6%
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”.

JUL ’19 45/52 47/50 xx xx 46/51
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

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 provide approval numbers on the current president.

GHW Bush 71% (8/91)
Eisenhower 71% (8/55)
GW Bush 60% (8/03)
Kennedy 62% (8/63)
Nixon 49% (8/71)
Clinton 46% (8/95)
Obama 40% (8/11)
Trump 44% (8/19) – Econ/YouGov
Reagan 44% (8/83)
Carter 32% (6/79)

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

  Approve Disapprove  
7/23/19 52% 41% Fox News (RV)
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  
7/30/19 41% 51% Economist (RV)
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

About Donald Trump

“Trump’s speculation that he could kill 10 million Afghans and ‘win the war’ is possibly the most stupid and unprofessional statement ever made in the Oval Office. It would be a criminal act of historic proportions if considered.” [Barry R McCaffrey 7/23/19]

“I believe that what this president has done to our culture, to our civic discourse….you cannot unring these bells and you cannot unsay what he has said, and you cannot change that he has now in a very short time made it seem normal for schoolboy taunts and obvious lies to be spun out in a constant stream. I think this will do more lasting damage than Richard Nixon’s surreptitious burglaries did.” — George Will, from an interview with New York Times Book Review podcast, 7/15/19.

The Washington Post Fact checker database has counted 12,019 false or misleading claims by President Trump through August 5th. [WP]

35% of voters think that Donald Trump was exonerated by Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

  Exonerated Don’t Know Not Exonerated
All voters 35% 25% 41%
Republicans 58% 25% 17%
Independents 31% 34% 36%
Democrats 20% 18% 62%
[Morning Consult 7/25/19]

Trump regularly says different things about the same person or situation as if he had never made a contrary statement. Here is an example, Tweeted by Peter Baker of the New York Times.

Trump 2018: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job he lost his mind.”

Trump 2019: “Nice to see that one of my best pupils is still a giant Trump fan. Steve joined me after I won the primaries, but I loved working with him.”

The 45th President is the first in American history with no prior governing or military experience. This has meant even more on-the-job-training than usual, and that’s been apparent to audiences both foreign and domestic. At a State Dinner in Japan in November 2017, Trump marveled at all the foreign leaders who called him after his victory a year earlier. “After I had won, everybody was calling me from all over the world,” he said. “I never knew we had so many countries.”
[WP 7/1/19]

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 8/1/19 146 2 43 99
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: one seat on the Courts of Appeals, 34 seats on the District Courts and two seats on the Courts of International Trade.

There are currently four vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 97 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts and two vacancies on the U.S. Court of International Trade. [USCourts/Wikipedia/List of federal judges appointed by Donald Trump]


Secretary Pompeo is shifting America’s human rights focus abroad to the mistreatment of Christians, rather than LGBTQ and woman’s rights. [LATimes 7/22]

The Trump administration is proposing a food-stamp rule that could cut 3.1 million people from the food stamp program and could save the government about $2.5 billion a year.

43 states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) if they receive benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The USDA wants to require people who receive TANF to pass a review of income and assets to determine whether they are eligible for SNAP. [AXIOS 7/23/19]

What the announced plan did not mention is that it put more than 500,000 free school lunches at risk. [NBC News 7/29/19]

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to publish a notice that would allow the Trump administration to deport without a hearing before an immigration judge, undocumented immigrants anywhere in the United States who can’t prove they have been in the country continuously for at least two years. The policy – known as expedited removal – has been used since 2004 in a more limited way to deport unauthorized immigrants caught within 100 miles of a U.S. land border and arrested within 14 days of their arrival. [Morning Consult 7/22/19]

The Trump administration has asked a federal court to immediately lift a ban on executive orders that restrict the role of unions in the federal workplace. [WP 7/25/19]

Attorney General Barr has issued an opinion that being part of a nuclear family targeted for persecution abroad does not qualify as a “particular social group” eligible for asylum in the United States. (The immigration courts are not part of the federal judiciary rather they fall under the purview of the Justice Department.) [Politico Playbook 7/29/19]

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Offices will close all but seven of its 20 field offices worldwide, including major hubs in London, Seoul and Frankfurt. [Public Policy Law360 8/9/19]

The Trump administration plans to relocate most of the Bureau of Land Management’s D.C. workforce to west of the Rockies. This is part of the administration’s push to shift power away from Washington and shrink the size of the federal government. 85% of the 2.1 million federal employees already live outside the Washington area. [WP 7/15/19]

Wyoming native William Perry Pendley has been named the acting director of the BLM. Pendley is a longtime crusader for curtailing the federal government’s control of public lands. [WP 8/5/19]

The Trump administration on Monday finalized rule changes to the Endangered Species Act that make it harder to protect plants and animals whose populations are in serious decline.

The rules were changed as part of President Trump’s mandate to scale back government regulations on behalf of businesses. In that vein, language in the Act that required officials to rely heavily on science when considering whether to list a species as threatened or endangered regardless of economic impact was removed.

Potential threats to business opportunities and other costs of listing a species can now be considered and shared with the public. Officials said those considerations would not affect listing decisions.

The administration will also shrink the number of habitats set aside for threatened wildlife. Currently, land that plants and animals occupy is set aside for their protection in addition to areas that they once occupied but abandoned. [AP 8/11/19]

After almost two decades, the Department of Justice said it plans to resume capital punishment and execute prisoners awaiting the death penalty. AG Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to adopt a new policy for lethal injections that would mirror protocols used in Georgia, Missouri and Texas. [Morning Consult 7/28/19]

The Trump administration will significantly expand its power to quickly deport undocumented immigrants who have illegally entered the United States within the past two years, using a fast-track deportation process that bypasses immigration judges, what the administration is calling a “necessary response” to the influx of migration at the southern border. Nearly 300,000 of the approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants could be subject to expedited removal. [WP 7/23/19]

The Environmental Protection Agency has exceeded the Trump administrations goal of eliminating two regulations for every one created. It has rolled back 26 rules and promulgated three in the past two years. [Law360Public Policy 8/12/19]

The Trump administration has announced a new rule that makes it harder for low-income immigrants who receive food stamps or other taxpayer-funded assistance to stay in the country legally. It requires that immigrants applying for a change in immigration status (like a green card) need to prove that they are unlikely to ever need public assistance and can bar some immigrants who received assistance in the past from ever being approved. [NBC News 8/12/19]


(The following are excerpts from a Washington Post article)

“It was lunchtime when 2 ½-year-old Fletcher Hartz opened the door to the elevator at his grandparents’ home in Little Rock.

“His mother, Nicole Hartz, stood a few feet away in the kitchen making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She didn’t see him walk into the hallway and pull open the elevator door, which looked like an ordinary closet door. But she heard him cry.

“She went to check on him and found Fletcher trapped behind the door to the elevator, which her in-laws had installed a few years earlier to accommodate their own elderly parents at the two-story home.

“She didn’t panic. He wasn’t hurt. It’s going to be okay, she recalled telling him that day in February 2017.

“But she didn’t know what many in the elevator industry had known for more than 70 years: that children caught between the doors had been killed and injured before, crushed by moving elevators when their tiny bodies collided with the door frame above or fell into the elevator shaft below — a danger allowed to exist all these years by companies and regulators despite a simple solution.”

Corporate memos going back to at least 1943 highlighted the hazard. Lawsuits filed on behalf of dead and injured children since 2001 further spelled out the risk. In 2005, several elevator experts tried to change the nation’s elevator safety code to shrink the door gap — and were rejected. After more accidents, the elevator code finally changed in 2017, but it applied only to new installations. Nothing was done to fix hundreds of thousands of existing elevators, despite a problem that could be solved with a $100 space guard, according to elevator experts. [WP 7/21/19]

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has not been able to agree on a traditional warning. Instead a warning titled “Safety Alert to Protect Children from a Deadly Gap between Doors of Home Elevators” was issued by the acting Chairwoman Ann Marie Buerkle along with two leading residential elevator industry groups. The agency’s other four commissioners declined to join the message because “they could not agree on the wording of the safety warning…” (Buerkle is stepping down in October.) [WP 8/3/19]

[Note: The failure of the Commission to deal with this issue began long before this administration. The Commission has 5 members of which no more than 3 may be from the same party. Members must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Buerkle, a Republican, was appointed by Obama who also appointed two of the other 5 members. Trump has appointed the other two members.]