Even Kellyanne Conway would agree with this fact: Trump’s job approval rating is unprecedented among modern Presidents. That’s because, 150 days in, his job approval rating is the lowest of every President since WW II. And just to prove this isn’t fake news, we’ve got the numbers to back it up.
How Donald Trump’s job approval rating compares to his predecessors
Since 1935, Gallup pollsters have been asking the same simple question:
Do you approve or disapprove of the way [first & last name] is handling his job as President?
That makes Gallup’s Presidental job approval ratings a uniquely consistent way to measure how beloved each President was to his citizenry. The good folks at The American Presidency Project have made available every one of Gallup’s job-approval measurements for every President from FDR to Obama. Sorry FDR and JFK fans…it seems Gallup didn’t rate these two during their first 150 days.
It took a lot of cutting and lasting but I grabbed all the Gallup historical data from The American Presidency Project, as well as Trump’s numbers from Gallup’s own site. I also gathered Trump’s polling data from Rasmussen Reports, since he boasts that these are the “most accurate.” Fake News alert here: Rasmussen seems to skew their polling to Conservative voters, making their opinion polling about as reliable as Fox and Friends (you can read more about that here). But, since those are the numbers Trump and his pals keep touting, it’s important to show them here, just to rub salt on the wound.
The graphic below (sorry, I’m not a graphic artist) shows each President’s job approval rating (in blue) during their first 150 days in office, compared to Trump’s numbers from Gallup (in green), and Rasmussen (in red).
For those of you who like to cherry-pick your data, you might want to counter that Trump’s numbers seem similar to Ford’s and Clinton’s. Look into the historical record, and you will find that Gerald Ford’s approval rating dipped down below Trump’s numbers because of public backlash when he pardoned Richard Nixon. That’s a major event, not a perpetual state of being.
As for Clinton, he did dip down to Trumpian lows during his 5th month in office. But that’s it. Just to drive the point home, look at each President’s median job approval ratings during their first 150 days.
- Truman: 88.5%
- Eisenhower: 73%
- Johnson: 75.5%
- Nixon: 62%
- Ford: 50.5%
- Carter: 65.5%
- Reagan: 58%
- Bush I: 60.5%
- Clinton: 51%
- Bush II: 57%
- Obama: 63%
- Trump: 40% (Gallup), 48% (Rasmussen)
There’s no way to sugar-coat this. Even if you use Trump’s unrealistically high Rasmussen numbers, he still comes in dead last. There is no U.S. President since Gallup started measuring FDR’s job approval has rated less popular than Donald J. Trump. And that’s a fact.
Oh, and by the way. That 50% approval from Rasmussen that Trump was so proud of a few days ago? That was a one-day blip. He’s down to 47% again today. So sad.
Featured image from Presidential portraits on Wikipedia.