The Democratic Party media tell us every day that Donald Trump is a uniquely, unprecedentedly unpopular president. His disapproval numbers, they say, are astronomical. There is some truth to that. Trump’s numbers certainly could be better. Just look at this chart, which tracks his “strong approval” numbers against those who “strongly disapprove.” This guy is about as unpopular as you can get:
Oops…wait…sorry…The guy with the 45% strong disapproval rating and a -26% Approval Index was Barack Obama, in August 2011. Funny, I don’t recall the press yammering at us non-stop about how unpopular Obama was for eight years. For purposes of comparison, how does President Trump stack up?
Currently, Rasmussen, the source of the Obama chart embedded above, has President Trump with 45% approval and 53% disapproval, compared with Obama’s worse numbers–44/56–in August 2011. Trump’s current Approval Index of -14 is one that Barack Obama could only dream of for most of his presidency.
There are lots of polls, using different methodologies, which you can slice and dice endlessly. But it is clear that President Trump’s largely negative approval ratings are not unusual, let alone unprecedented. What is unique about President Trump is that he never enjoyed a “honeymoon.” But that isn’t his fault; it resulted from the Democrats’ shock at the fact of his election and their pent-up hatred for Republicans. Republicans were willing to give Barack Obama a chance, so his deep disapproval chasm came later in his administration.
The bottom line is that President Trump is wise to ignore the polls and make decisions that will sustain and expand his electoral base. He is in no worse position to do that than many of his predecessors.