Trump Re-election Watch

UPDATED 12/03/19

See this post for explanations of the metrics discussed below.

Rasmussen Reports publishes a presidential-approval poll that I have been recording since the fall of 2008, when Barack Obama was elected to his first term. One of the statistics that I glean from the polling results is the strong-approval rating. Obama won re-election on November 8, 2012, in the 198th week of his presidency. His strong-approval rating was 34 percent on the day before the election, and had reached 36 percent during the week before the election. Trump’s strong-approval rating has been fluctuating between 30 percent and 39 percent for the past 18 months, and now stands at 33 percent.

I also compute an enthusiasm ratio. This stood at 0.33 for Obama in the week before he won re-election in November 2012. It is now just slightly higher for Trump, at 0.35.

Figure 4

Further, there is the “right track”/”wrong direction metric”:

In the week before the election of 2012, the ratio stood at 0.80. That was as high as it had  been since the beginning of Obama’s presidency, and a good omen for Obama’s re-election. In Trump’s case, the metric has been sliding lately, and now stands at 0.67.

If these three indicators say anything about Trump’s re-election chances, he has a lot of work to do in the next year. Or, to put it differently, some things have to break his way; for example, an anti-impeachment backlash among independent voters, a compelling defense in the Senate trial (assuming that there will be one), or some very damaging revelations (damaging to Democrats) about Spygate by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General and John Durham, who is conducting a criminal investigation of the origins of Spygate.

Note: The slight discrepancy in the horizontal scales of the two figures is caused by the frequency of the underlying statistics: daily in the case of the first figure; weekly in the case of the second one. Converting days to weeks (as is the case with the first figure) causes the slight discrepancy. Specifically, 366 days/7 days per week = 52.29 weeks and 365 days/7weeks = 52.14 weeks, not 52 weeks. Over a span of 4 years, there’s a difference of 0.71 week between the two methods.