Trump’s Approval Ratings are Resilient. How Does that Compare Historically?

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

Despite all the controversy attached to his presidency, Donald Trump has managed to retain a relatively consistent approval rating in the last two years — especially when compared to predecessors in the modern era.

The president’s approval rating has climbed some in recent weeks after a significant decline in January, reverting to around the average during the last two years.

Perhaps it’s the tribalism in American politics or the fragmented news ecosystem or the president’s skills as a communicator — but, for some reason, Trump hasn’t experienced the wide fluctuations of his predecessors.

He also, of course, remains historically unpopular.

According to Gallup, the president’s rating changes have stayed within a 14 percentage point range.

Other presidents — even those who only served one term — have experienced wider swings in their popularity over time. The late George H.W. Bush, for example, saw his popularity drop from 89% in February 1991 to 29% the following summer, a massive change.

Here are all the presidents, and their popularity ranges, since Harry Truman:

Image courtesy WikiMedia Commons

One thought on “Trump’s Approval Ratings are Resilient. How Does that Compare Historically?

  1. Because individual polls can be noisy, we estimate how Trump’s approval rating has changed over time using local polynomial regression. Basically, this consists of drawing a smooth curve over the data; this method is similar to those used on Huffington Post Pollster and other sites. In the regression, polls are weighted on the basis that I described earlier, so higher-quality polls with larger sample sizes have more say in the estimate.

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