President Trump

It is claimed that the President “was not involved” in the decision to include his signature on the stimulus checks being sent from the Department of the Treasury. [WW]

In the most recent NBC/WSJ on April 15, among registered voters, 46% approve of the President’s job performance while 51% disapprove. There has essentially been no change in Trump’s job performance rating since January of this year. This suggests that his handling of the coronavirus has had zero affect on his basic approval rating.

Peter Hart (WW’s favorite pollster) wrote the following after his recent survey. He describes the situation we are in better than anything else I have seen.

“Beyond the survey numbers, let me give a personal assessment of President Trump’s most recent decisions to lend his voice (or tweet) in support of the protesters who are favoring action to “Liberate Michigan,” as well as other states. In doing so, he has forfeited the mantle of leadership and taken the side of unruly protestors. The message he sends does not exhort or honor Americans who are sacrificing daily and adjusting their work, family, and lifestyle for the goal of “flattening the curve,” particularly the healthcare workers and public servants who heroically risk their own health to care for and save others. It is the same message President Trump sends when he insists on putting his signature on the relief checks but refuses to wear or encourage Americans to wear protective face masks. It is the message he sends when he urges businesses to rush to open up but refuses to fund the World Health Organization. It is the same message he sends when he lauds the military but allows the captain of the USS Roosevelt to be relieved of duty for speaking out regarding the safety of his sailors.

“Each of these actions represents the record of Donald Trump over the last month. By failing to call out the protesters, he now owns their actions and the future expansion of COVID-19. He gives up a place alongside previous presidents who in previous times of peril understood the significance of presidential leadership. In times of crisis, Americans will have the back of their president, but for that support to remain, their president must respond in kind by having their backs, even when his actions are not popular or easy.

“Sadly, Donald Trump is a ‘me president’ in a time when America needs a ‘we president’.”

As of April 14, an Economist/YouGov poll found that 46% of registered voters approved of the job that President Trump is doing as president while 48% disapprove. 43% of women approve of the job he is doing along with 50% of men, while 52% of women disapprove along with 45% of men.

The split between folks who see themselves as supporters of one party or the other could not be clearer. 89% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing while 9% disapprove. And no surprise, 94% of Democrats disapprove of his performance while only 13% approve.

Among Independents, 43% approve of his performance and 45% disapprove.

An interesting dichotomy that this survey demonstrates is the role that age seems to play in levels of support for the president’s performance. Among those between the ages of 18-29, 43% support the president’s performance while 50% disapprove.

Among those 65 and older, 57% approve of his performance and 42% disapprove. This split based on age can be found on a variety of issues from immigration to healthcare to the environment to abortion.

An Ipsos/Thomson Reuters survey of registered voters completed on April 15 found 46% approving of how Trump is doing his job and 51% disapproving.

Gallup now does monthly or semi-monthly surveys. WW will include a periodic polling summary–Registered and Likely Voters–by FiveThirtyEight.

  Gallup (all adults) FiveThirtyEight (Registered / Likely voters)
Date Approval Dis-approval Approval Dis-approval
4/14/20 45% 54% 44.4% 51.4%
3/22/20 49% 45% 43.2% 52.1%
2/16/20 49% 48% 43.4% 52.2%
1/29/20 49% 50% 43% 52.6%
1/15/20 44% 53% 42.4% 53.0%
12/15/19 45% 51% 44.1% 52.8%
11/14/19 43% 54% 41% 54.7%
10/31/19 41% 57% 42% 53.9%
9/30/19 40% 56% 42.1% 53.8%
8/30/19 39% 57% 41.3% 54.2%
6/16/19 43% 55% 42.6% 53.0%
1/27/19 37% 59% 40.4% 55.6%
9/30/18 42% 53% 41.5% 52.7%
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”.

APR ’20 46/51 xx 44/53 49/49 45/51
MAR ’20 46/51 49/47 45/52 48/51 41/54
FEB ’20 47/50 46/42 xx xx 43/53
JAN ’20 46/51 47/50 45/51 45/54 43/52
DEC ’19 44/54A xx 44/52 45/53 43/52
JUL ’19 45/52 47/50 xx 46/51 40/54
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 xx 36/59cnn 36/57A xx

The following are presidential job approval numbers from Gallup roughly 34 months into their first term (Johnson is an exception). 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 when timely Gallup numbers are not available.

Johnson 75% (4/64)
Eisenhower 69% (4/56)
Nixon 54% (4/72)
Reagan 54% (4/84)
Clinton 54% (4/96)
GW Bush 52% (4/04)
Ford 48% (4/76)
Obama 47% (4/12)
Trump 45% (4/20 – RCP Average)
GHW Bush 42% (4/92)
Carter 39% (4/80)

On economic policy, Trump’s approval ratings continue to be on an upward track.

  Approve Disapprove  
4/14/20 51% 44% Econ/YouGov (RV)
2/17/20 53% 38% NBC/WSJ (RV)
1/12/20 57% 38% Quinnipiac
12/3/19 52% 42% Econ/YouGov(RV)
10/22/19 49% 45% Econ/YouGov(RV)
9/9/19 48% 48% CNN (RV)
7/23/19 52% 41% Fox News (RV)
1/1/19 47% 46% Econ/YouGov (RV)
1/16/18 46% 49% NBC/WSJ

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

  Approve Disapprove  
4/5/20 42% 46% Pol/MornConsult (RV)
2/18/20 42% 46% Econ/YouGov(RV)
1/12/20 43% 53% Quinnipiac
12/3/19 45% 49% Econ/YouGov(RV)
10/22/19 42% 51% Econ/YouGov(RV)
9/9/19 40% 50% CNN (RV)
7/30/19 41% 51% Economist (RV)
1/1/19 42% 51% Econ/YouGov (RV)
7/18/18 38% 45% NBC/WSJ
1/16/18 36% 60% NBC/WSJ

“President Donald Trump is falling back on a familiar political strategy as he grapples with the coronavirus pandemic: deflect, deny and direct blame elsewhere. As he tries to distance his White House from the mounting death toll, Trump has cycled through a long list of possible scapegoats in an attempt to distract from what critics say were his own administration’s missteps in slowing the spread of the coronavirus on American shores.”

“First, it was the media that was at fault. Then, Democratic governors came under fire. China, President Barack Obama, and federal watchdogs have all had a turn in the crosshairs. And now it’s the World Health Organization that’s to blame.” [AP]

65% of Americans say Trump was too slow in his initial response to the coronavirus threat. 73% believe that the worst is still to come. [PEW 4/16/20]

44% approve of the way Trump is handling the coronavirus while 52% disapprove. This is the same score that he got in March.

When asked who folks trust when receiving information about the coronavirus, Trump is less trusted than the CDC, their state’s governor, Anthony Fauci and Governor Cuomo.

Centers for Disease Control 69%
Your State’s Governor 66%
Anthony Fauci 60%
Governor Cuomo 46%
Donald Trump 36%

Those who are less trusted than Trump are Mike Pence and Joe Biden. 42% have no opinion about Biden. [NBC/WSJ 4/15/20]

As of April 3, 2020, the Washington Post Fact Checker has recorded 18,000 false or misleading claims by Trump.

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. The chart below reflects the number of Article III court judges appointed by all U.S. presidents since Jimmy Carter. The data below does not include the U.S. Court of International Trade.

  Total Supreme Ct Appeals Ct District Ct
Trump – thru 2/12/20 193 2 51 138
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, 37 seats in the District Courts.

There is currently one vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals and 72 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts. [USCourts/Wikipedia/List of federal judges appointed by Donald Trump]


The Trump administration has released its far-reaching rollback of Obama-era tailpipe pollution standards. Instead of improving fuel efficiency by about 5% a year, the new standards require a 1.5% annual improvement through model year 2026. [WP 4/1/20]