Trump Flaunts Questionable Poll (That STILL Shows Negative Approval Rating)

By on November 14, 2017

We should be aware by now that Donald Trump likes to mislead and lie. The president has done so thousands of times since assuming office, and there’s no sign of him letting up in the foreseeable future. In fact, up to this point the president has told on average between five to six lies per day.

We also are aware that Trump likes to cite polls that put him in a better light. He did so earlier this year, when he celebrated his approval rating being at 45 percent (still way low for a new president) despite using data from a pollster that FiveThirtyEight.com once called the “worst in the world.”

So it should come as no surprise that Trump would again cite a poll and then make a wild claim about it in a tweet this morning. Trump on Tuesday bragged about having a 46 percent approval rating, posting a graphic on the social media site and saying the poll — Rasmussen — was “one of the most accurate polls last time around.”

“But #FakeNews likes to say we’re in the 30’s,” Trump added.

There are a couple of things to point out here, so let’s start with the first one: the accuracy of the poll. Users who follow the president should be aware that Rasmussen tends to skew more favorably toward Republican candidates and officeholders. The last Rasmussen poll of 2012, for instance, predicted that Mitt Romney would win the popular vote by 1 percent. Barack Obama ended up beating Romney by around 4 percent of the popular vote.

Sites like FiveThirtyEight.com agree, and while they don’t say Rasmussen is incredibly inaccurate, they do give the poll a rating of a “C+” — not exactly the “most accurate.”

Rasmussen did come closest to predicting the final outcome of last year’s race, as the Hill reported this morning following Trump’s tweet. But that was more of a fluke than anything, in my opinion — on the Thursday before the election, for example, Rasmussen had Trump defeating Clinton in the popular vote by 3 points. And in the week before that, it had Clinton winning by the same margin. The fluctuation of numbers should give us pause to call the pollster the “most accurate.”

(On a small sidebar here: Trump made almost the exact same claim about Rasmussen being “the most accurate” poll back in April. PolitiFact rated that as “mostly false.”)

Then there’s the second point I wanted to make. Even if we disregard the skewing of the Rasmussen poll, even if we say, “OK, let’s just look at these results without examining them,” the poll that Trump is bragging about still says he has a negative approval rating. Trump doesn’t included the disapproval rating that the Rasmussen poll reported on today, and for good reason: Trump’s job disapproval sits at 53 percent in that same poll, which puts him at a -7 percent net rating.

That’s what makes this whole episode laughable more than anything else. Trump is touting numbers that actually put him in the red, and still demonstrate that most of America is upset with his performance as president so far.

The president likes to lie, and he likes to cherry pick data without giving you the full picture. His tweet on Tuesday morning is demonstrative of both habits, and gives us more reason to doubt the reliability of this president.