The Ukraine Controversy and Trump’s Popularity

The dust hasn’t settled yet, and probably won’t settle for many months, but here’s an interim report. The graph below depicts Trump’s approval ratings, according to a reliable source: Rasmussen Reports:

Rasmussen’s polling method covers all respondents (a sample of likely voters) over a span of three days. The gaps represent weekends, when Rasumussen doesn’t publish the results of the presidential approval poll.

The Washington Post broke the story on September 20 about Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with the president of Ukraine. Thus the results for September 16 through September 20 didn’t reflect the effects of the story on the views of Rasmussen’s respondents. Trump’s approval ratings continued to rise after September 20, and peaked on September 24, the day on which the House officially initiated an impeachment inquiry. Trump’s approval ratings bottomed on October 25 and have since rebounded to where they were on September 16.

In the longer view, Trump’s current approval ratings are at about the center of their range of the past two years, and well above the dismal ratings that dominated most of the first year of his presidency:

In sum, the reaction of likely voters to the Trump-Ukraine controversy is rather tepid. It may heat up if the House moves approves articles of impeachment, with the controversy as a centerpiece. But as of now it seems (to me) that likely voters are reacting as follows:

They don’t care much about U.S.-Ukraine affairs.

They don’t care much about what Trump might have done to get the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son.

Biden’s history with Ukraine is as crooked as Trump’s putative attempt to extort an investigation of Biden’s son by Ukraine.

Even if the charges against Trump are true, in this case, it’s just Trump being Trump. Ho hum.

P.S. If you’re unimpressed by Trump’s approval ratings, you should read this post. Next to Obama he is a hero. But he has to be a hero, given the poisoned atmosphere that makes it hard for him to rise in the estimation of voters.

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