Trump in the Polls: An Update

UPDATED 10/07/19

The story starts here:

FIGURE 1

Derived from Rasmussen Reports approval ratings for Trump.

Lest you believe that the numbers in figure 1 are weak, consider this comparison with Obama’s numbers:

FIGURE 2

Derived from Rasmussen Reports approval ratings for Obama and Trump.

In this age of polarization, it’s hard for any president to attain high marks:

FIGURE 3

Source: Same as figure 2.

The good news, again, is that Trump’s strong approval rating has been higher than Obama’s for more than a year, even during the shutdown slump. The bad news, which is reflected in figures 1 and 3, is recent slippage in Trump’s support, albeit from strong readings.

Ratios of the ratios in figure 2 yield enthusiasm ratios: the strength of strong approval ratings relative to overall approval ratings. Trump’s advantage over Obama continues to widen, but only because the enthusiasm ratio for Obama declined steadily during the first three-fourths of the third year of his presidency:

FIGURE 4

Source: Same as figure 2.

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:

FIGURE 5

Source: Rasmussen Reports, “Right Direction or Wrong Track“.

The ratio for Trump, after a quick honeymoon start, fell into the same range as Obama’s. But it jumped with the passage of the tax cut in December 2017. It remained high after that, until the shutdown. The post-shutdown rebound has given way to wild swings. The latest reading (0.63) is well below the 0.80 reading during the week before Obama was re-elected in 2012.