Trump Gets Three Points Wrong In His Tweet On Approval Ratings

By on December 29, 2017

We shouldn’t expect President Donald Trump to be the purveyor of truth, nor to delve deeper into any given subject. His one-track mind makes it difficult for him to understand anything beyond the surface of an issue.

Knowing that fact doesn’t make the president any less wrong, however. His tweet on his approval rating, an issue that he perhaps takes more seriously than he should, provides a great example of this.

Trump on Friday morning took on the “fake news” (which Americans trust more than him) over their reporting on his lousy approval numbers, citing a Rasmussen poll that shows he has a 47 percent approval rating. Trump also inquired over why he received negative coverage when former President Barack Obama received a similar 47 percent in the same poll in his first year in office, back in 2009.

There are at least three problems with his assertions on the polling he cites, however, and again, it goes into Trump’s inability to look at something beneath its surface.

First, the Rasmussen poll Trump cites is an outlier — the organization generally polls Republicans better than Democrats, and while it has some credibility, it’s not a poll that generally gives the right outcome. FiveThirtyEight.com rated the poll a “C+,” for instance. Other polls, on average, are showing Trump with an approval rating closer to 39 percent, according to the current Real Clear Politics average, and a disapproval rating of 56 percent. Americans overall are not confident in this president’s leadership skills.

Second, the poll actually demonstrates that Trump has a negative approval rating. Rasmussen polls Trump at 46 percent approval, and 53 percent disapproval. Which means Trump is upset with the media for reporting negatively on him, even though the poll he cites is itself is demonstrative of a negative approval. Go figure.

And third, while Trump is right about the Rasmussen poll being similar to Obama’s in 2009, the former president’s approval rating was still positive in most other polls. Obama’s average Real Clear Politics rating at that time was 49.9 percent approval, with 44.5 percent disapproval, meaning he had a net +5.4 percent approval rating. The first time Obama’s RCP average dipped into negatives was in March 2010. For Trump, that first dip into negative territory came about almost as soon as he entered office.

Trump is free to boo-hoo about his low approval ratings and treatment from the media. But his problems are largely his own making. Saying neo-Nazis are “fine people” and trying to take away healthcare from millions of Americans, all while exhibiting a xenophobic furor against entire communities of non-white people, isn’t going to get you fluffy headlines about your golf score. And anyone with a Twitter account can see his temperament is unstable, unsuitable for a person who’s meant to lead the free world.

This latest meltdown by Trump on Twitter doesn’t do much for him, except to showcase that our president is a whiner, and that he’s not too bright, especially when it comes to looking at an issue from more than one angle.