Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating of any U.S. President in history at this point in an administration. No one has ever been this unpopular this soon after taking office. But Trump, either because he doesn’t understand polls or he’s delusional or he’s trying to keep his base in line, or all three, keeps bragging about one disreputable poll which has comically had him as much as ten points above his average at any given time.
The only truly legitimate way to measure approval rating is to take an average of all the current numbers from all of the major legitimate polling outlets. But Donald Trump only likes to quote his own approval rating number from Rasmussen, an outlet that is singularly infamous for using gibberish methodology to produce numbers that are absurdly biased toward Republicans. It doesn’t matter that Rasmussen’s numbers end up being exposed as a punchline when the voting numbers come in; it only matters that Trump and other Republicans keep Rasmussen in the news by quoting its numbers to their base along the way.
Back in April, Trump bragged on Twitter that Rasmussen had his approval rating at fifty percent. Of course he failed to mention that the average of polls had his approval rating just above forty percent at the time. Then in late May, Trump dropped to forty-eight percent in the Rasmussen poll, and he bragged about that as well – seemingly unaware that anything under fifty percent is considered a bad number. But now, as Trump’s overall average has continued to creep downward into the high thirties, even Rasmussen has him at just forty-three percent.
We don’t think he’ll be tweeting about this one. What stands out here is that even Rasmussen, which has consistently and shamelessly handed Republicans whatever poll numbers they dreamed of, is no longer willing to pretend that Donald Trump’s approval rating is anywhere but in the gutter. That means Trump has become so vastly unpopular that Rasmussen is afraid of stretching the limits of credulity even with its own Republican base.
Palmer Report believes that the most accurate way to calculate Donald Trump’s approval rating is to remove Rasmussen – not for being an outlier but for being outright illegitimate – and then taking a straight average of all of the other major current polls. If you take the average of all of the current numbers listed on RealClearPolitics (link) and then remove Rasmussen, you’ll see that Trump is in the high thirties – and consistently creeping downward.
Important note: these polls were all conducted before the Donald Trump Jr. story finished surfacing, so they’re already outdated in that sense. We’ll have to wait until this upcoming week to see updated polls that were conducted entirely after that bombshell fully landed. Of course by that time the collusion scandal may have gotten even uglier, making those numbers outdated. But that’s the true nature of looking at the polls: even if they’re accurate, during times of fast moving news developments, they’re nearly always outdated by the time they’re published. If you find Palmer Report valuable, make a donation.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report