Apr 15, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Between the lines of Trump's approval ratings tweet

President Trump cited data from Rasmussen Reports' latest daily tracking poll in a Sunday tweet, claiming his support is "much higher" than President Obama's at the same point during his first term. He cited a nearly identical stat from the historically Republican-leaning poll almost exactly a year ago.

Between the lines: Rasmussen's most recent numbers indeed show that 50% of voters approve of Trump, but RealClearPolitics' polling average puts his approval rating at 42.5%. Their average approval rating for President Obama at this point in his term was 48%.

Two other big-name polls were released today, showing good news and bad news for Trump and his party in equal measure:

An ABC News/Washington Post poll gave Trump his highest approval rating in a year at 40%. Americans view his handling of the economy relatively evenly — and his approval rating in the Midwest jumped to 48%, thanks to his tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.

  • Yes, but: 56% of Americans disapprove of his performance as president.
  • And there's this: "His average approval rating after 15 months in office (38-57 percent approve/disapprove) is the lowest on record in polls dating to the Truman administration."

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gave Democrats a 47% to 40% edge over Republicans in a generic congressional ballot ahead of this fall's midterms.

  • A big stat: Democrats logged a 66% to 49% edge over Republicans in expressing a "high level of interest" in the midterm elections. The GOP had a 66% to 49% lead in the same stat in 2010 before their Tea Party sweep of Congress.
  • Good news for the GOP: That 7-point Democratic lead is down from 10 points in the same poll in March.
  • The bottom line: "But the poll doesn’t show 'knockout numbers' for Democrats, which gives Republicans a chance of retaining control of Congress, says Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart and his team at Hart Research Associates."
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