Apr 15, 2018

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."

Go deeper

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."