News and Commentary

Trump Approval Climbs, Tracks Better Than Obama At Same Point
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures before presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mariano Rivera, not pictured, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.
Andrew Harrer/Blomberg via Getty Images

While President Donald Trump has continued to struggle in many national approval polls, according to the daily tracking poll produced by Rasmussen — one of the most reliable U.S. pollsters — after taking a dip in the polls, Trump’s back up to nearly his highest mark in the last two years — and tracking better than President Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency. Obama would go on to easily win re-election against Republican Mitt Romney, while early head-to-head polls indicate that Trump is going to have a steeper hill to climb.

“The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance,” Rasmussen reports. “Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove.”

While Trump is +1 on overall approval, he’s still behind among those who feel “strongly” one way or the other. “The latest figures include 35% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 41% who Strongly Disapprove,” Rasmussen notes. “This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -6.”

Since January, Rasmussen has found Trump’s overall approval fluctuating from between a low of 43%, which he hit in mid-January, to a high of 52%, which he reached the next month. Since the beginning of June, Trump’s range has narrowed somewhat, fluctuating between a low of 45% and a high of 51%. His approval index has been consistently negative, though at times its below the margin of error and has even reached 0 a few times.

Compared to Rasmussen’s results for his predecessor, Trump is tracking pretty well. At the same time in his presidency (September 16, 2011), Obama was at 46% approval and 53% disapproval, about 4 points worse than Trump.

Trump touted his approval rating on Monday, making sure none of his 64 million followers missed it:

While his comparative number in Rasmussen’s tracking poll certainly provides reason for optimism, other surveys present a less positive picture. RealClearPolitics‘ average of the national polls gives Trump a 44.1% approval and a 53.1% disapproval (-9%).

While Rasmussen shows him at +1, a recent poll by The Hill/Harris X shows Trump slightly down, 47 – 51. Reuters gives him slightly worse numbers, with 44% approval, 53% disapproval (-9), while Economist/YouGov puts him at 44 – 54 (-10). Recent polls by Politico, CNN, and NPR gave him similar results, his approval hitting 43 or 44 while his disapproval stood at around 10 points higher in each of the surveys.

As for how Trump is tracking in hypothetical head-to-head matchups against the Democratic frontrunners, multiple polls have found his worst matchup to be former Vice President Joe Biden, who some polls show leading Trump by double digits. Trump fares somewhat better against Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

A recent Investor’s Business Daily poll found Warren closing the gap on Biden, but also found that Trump was far more competitive with the senator than the former VP:

In a head-to-head 2020 election contest of Biden vs. Trump, the IBD/TIPP Poll found a 54%-42% advantage for Biden. A month earlier, Biden led Trump by 13 points. Sanders had a narrow 49%-45% edge over Trump, while Warren and Harris had slimmer 49%-46% leads. Independents preferred Biden vs. Trump, 55%-37%. Warren edges Trump with independents, 47%-45%, while Sanders has a 51%-42% advantage.

Related: Trump: Want Proof Media Polls Are Phony? Look At What Just Happened In North Carolina