SEE THE GRAPH IN THE RIGHT SIDEBAR. THIS POST WAS UPDATED ON 06/19/18
The values plotted in the sidebar graph are derived from Rasmussen Reports approval ratings for Obama and Trump. Trump’s ratings remain well above the ratings for Obama at the same stage of of his presidency.
This graph disaggregates the numbers plotted in the sidebar graph:
It is telling that Trump’s strong approval ratio is almost as high as Obama’s overall approval ratio.
The next graph underscores a point that I make often; namely, the fate of the Republic is in the hands of the squishy center of the electorate, with the other 2/3 roughly split between the fascistic left and libertarian right*:
In a polarized nation, a majority is unlikely to strongly approve of either a Republican or a Democrat. It is nevertheless of some comfort to me that Trump’s strong approval rating is distinctly higher than Obama’s was eight years ago.
There is a different poll that may be more revealing of Trump’s popularity. Every week since the first inauguration of Obama, Rasmussen Reports** has asked 2,500 likely voters whether they see the country as going in the “right direction” or being on the “wrong track”. The following graph shows the ratios of “right direction”/”wrong track” for Trump and Obama:
The ratio of “right direction” to “wrong track” averaged about 0.5 during Obama’s eight years in office; that is, about one-third of respondents said “right direction” and about two-thirds said “wrong track”. After a quick honeymoon start, the ratio for Trump fell into the same range as Obama’s. But it jumped with the passage of the tax cut in December 2017, and has stayed relatively high since then, despite the latest faux scandal concocted by the left: the separation of children from illegal-immigrant parents.
Does this mean that the squishy center is lining up behind Trump, despite the incessant flow of negative “reporting” about him and his policies? It’s possible. The next big test probably will come in November, with the mid-term elections.
* Doctrinaire libertarians aren’t really libertarians. That title belongs to traditional conservatives.