President Trump

As of 8/18/20, an Economist/YouGov poll found that 43% of registered voters approved of the job that President Trump is doing while 54% disapprove. 37% of women approve of the job he is doing along with 44% of men, while 57% of women disapprove along with 49% of men.

The split between folks who see themselves as supporters of one party or the other is as expected. 88% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing while 10% disapprove. And, no surprise, 88% of Democrats disapprove of his performance while only 9% approve.

Among Independents, 37% approve of his performance and 52% 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, 30% support the president’s performance while 62% disapprove.

Among those 65 and older, 54% approve of his performance and 45% disapprove.

Gallup now does monthly or semi-monthly surveys of all adults. 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
8/12/20 42% 55% 41.8% 54.5%
7/23/20 41% 56% 40.2% 55.7%
6/30/20 38% 57% 40.3% 56.4%
6/4/20 39% 57% 41.6% 53.9%
5/13/20 49% 48% 43.6% 51.9%
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%
1/15/20 44% 53% 42.4% 53.0%
1/27/19 37% 59% 40.4% 55.6%

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”.

AUG ’20 44/53 42/57 43/54 44/54 xx
JULY ’20 42/56 40/58 xx 45/54 36/60
JUNE ’20 45/53 xx 41/55 44/55 42/55
MAY ’20 xx 45/53 46/51 44/54 42/53
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

The following are presidential job approval numbers from Gallup roughly 44 months into each president’s 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 74% (6/64)*
Eisenhower 68% (8/56)
Nixon 56% (6/72)*
Reagan 54% (8/84)
Clinton 57% (8/96)
GW Bush 51% (8/04)
Ford 45% (6/76)*
Obama 45% (8/12)
Trump 44% (8/20) – RCP Average
GHW Bush 40% (8/92)
Carter 32% (8/80)

Donald Trump is the only president in the history of polling to never have a single day during his presidency in which a majority of Americans accorded him a positive job rating or a positive personal feelings score. [Peter Hart]

On economic policy, Trump’s approval rating is currently back to where it was in the 2nd quarter of the year.

Approve Disapprove  
8/18/20 51% 45% Econ/YouGov RV
7/7/20 49% 47% Econ/YouGov RV
6/23/20 52% 43% Econ/YouGov RV
6/16/20 49% 46% Fox RV
6/15/20 52% 45% Quinnipiac RV
5/26/20 52% 44% Econ/YouGov RV
4/14/20 51% 44% Econ/YouGov(RV)
2/17/20 53% 38% NBC/WSJ (RV)
1/12/20 57% 38% Quinnipiac
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  
8/12/20 39% 54% Fox (RV)
7/7/20 40% 57% Reuters (A)
6/18/20 45% 55% Harris RV
5/26/20 45% 53% Econ/YouGov (RV)
4/5/20 42% 46% Pol/MornConsult(RV)
2/18/20 46% 49% Econ/YouGov(RV)
1/12/20 43% 53% Quinnipiac
1/1/19 42% 51% Econ/YouGov (RV)
1/16/18 36% 60% NBC/WSJ


Jeff Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994. In 1996 he was elected to the United State Senate. In his 21st year as a U.S. Senator he resigned to accept appointment by President Trump as the Attorney General of the United States.

Sessions was the first United States Senator to publicly support Trump for president.

As Attorney General, Sessions recused himself from any investigations relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election. From that point on his relationship with Trump went downhill. In November 2018, Trump requested his resignation and Sessions complied.

In 2020 Sessions ran in the Republican primary for his old Senate seat, currently held by Doug Jones, a Democrat, who won in a special election to serve out Sessions’ term. Sessions lost the primary to Tommy Tuberville, a former football coach, who was supported by Trump.

In conceding the election, which was not close, Sessions said that Trump’s vision is right for the United States. In his closing speech he said, “I leave elected office with my integrity intact, I hold my head high”.

President Trump signed an executive order that requires federal agencies to prioritize U.S. citizens and nationals for contractor roles, expanding the previous orders limiting immigration. The order is aimed at protecting Americans’ jobs as the United States faces an economic recession as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. While it reflects the federal government’s increased reliance on contractors and the Trump administration’s priorities, some experts say there are lingering questions on how this executive order will be implemented.

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 total below does not include the U.S. Court of International Trade to which Trump has had 2 judges confirmed.

  Total Supreme Ct Appeals Ct District Ct Int’l Trade
Trump – thru 8/6/20 201 2 53 146 2
Obama – 8 years 325 2 55 268  
GW Bush – 8 years 325 2 62 261  
Clinton – 8 years 373 2 66 305  
GHW Bush – 4 years 192 2 42 148  
Reagan – 8 years 376 3 83 290  
Carter – 4 years 259 0 56 203

There are currently several nominations awaiting Senate action, 41 seats in the District Courts and 1 seat on the Court of International Trade.

There are also currently 70 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts.

[USCourts/Wikipedia/List of federal judges appointed by Donald Trump]


The President has finalized a major overhaul of the National Environmental Policy Act. While he can’t amend the law, he is changing the rules governing the way it is implemented. An example of what the changes include would be an order not to consider “indirect” climate impacts. A variety of organizations have stated that they will sue when the government tries to take advantage of the new rules. [WP 7/16/20]

The Trump administration will reject all new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while undertaking a “comprehensive review” of the legality of the program as it tries to wind it down, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

Future renewals of the program, which has protected hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation, will be limited to a year, the official said. The review, which does not have a set timeline, comes after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the administration failed to give adequate justification for ending the program.

A U.S. Commerce Department on Monday petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret a 1996 law to require transparency in how social media companies moderate content. President Donald Trump asked Commerce to intervene in the matter.

Trump directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to file the petition after Twitter in May warned readers to fact-check his posts about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting. [Reuters 7/26/20]

Since March, National Guard units in every state and territory have been supporting Americans by distributing much-needed food, running remote testing locations, standing up alternate medical care facilities, and more. After initial reluctance, the White House has authorized the use of federal dollars to support the mission to provide states flexibility and give members of the Guard equal benefits.

On August 3, without warning or explanation, the President reduced FEMA reimbursement for National Guard units from 100 percent to 75 percent with an exemption for Florida and Texas. No explanation for the exemption was given.

The Trump administration is scrapping limits on methane leaks, allowing oil and gas companies to decide how much of the potent greenhouse gas can escape into the atmosphere from wells, pipelines, and storage tanks. The new rules, issued Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget, effectively rescind the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate methane, the largest component of natural gas. [WP]

The Energy Department proposed rolling back three-decade-old efficiency standards for showerheads following Trump’s repeated gripes about subpar water pressure while washing his hair. The plan would change the federal definition of a showerhead to allow manufacturers to dramatically increase water use. Under rules Congress passed in 1992 in response to severe droughts, water flow from an entire showerhead is limited to 2.5 gallons per minute. The proposed change would allow manufacturers to apply that restriction to each nozzle on a showerhead. [HuffPost 8/12/20]

The U.S. Education Department’s controversial new regulation governing how schools and universities should respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment went into effect on Friday after a federal judge rejected an effort to stop it.

The new directive covering the enforcement of Title IX, a U.S. law prohibiting sex discrimination at federally funded schools, replaces an Obama-era rule revoked in 2017 by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The old rule had been hailed by victims’ rights advocates for providing long-overdue protections for sexual assault survivors, but critics said it pushed schools to find students guilty.

The new rule expands the rights of the accused in part by creating a judicial-like process that gives the accused the rights to a live hearing with multiple panel members and to cross-examine accusers, which was not previously allowed. It bars schools from allowing one person to both investigate and judge complaints. It also, among other changes, narrows the definition of sexual harassment. [WP 8/14/20]

The Trump administration, finalized its plan to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development, setting the stage for what is expected to be a fierce legal battle over the fate of a vast, remote Alaska habitat.

The Interior Department said it completed its required reviews, clearing the way for the government to auction off leases later this year to companies interested in drilling inside the refuge’s coastal plain, which is believed to sit atop enough oil to fill billions of barrels. It is also, however, prized by environmentalists for its pristine landscapes and wildlife.

Companies that purchased leases could begin the process of exploring for oil and gas, although actual production would still require additional permitting and is unlikely to occur for at least a decade, if at all. [WP 8/17/20]

A new advisory board, created to review the ethics of proposed fetal tissue research grants, is urging the Trump administration to block government funding for nearly all of the applications — essentially seeking to ban support for most such scientific work.

The recommendation that the National Institutes of Health withhold funds from all but one of a slate of 14 research proposals means that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who has the final say, would need to buck the will of a board he convened — and of social conservatives crucial to President Trump’s political base — for the projects to get federal support. [WP 8/18/20]