Trump's Approval Higher During Impeachment Inquiry Than Obama's at Same Point in Presidency


The fact that President Donald Trump’s approval rating hasn’t taken a major downturn is probably one of the most frustrating aspects for Democrats during the impeachment inquiry.

In fact, much like most of his presidency, Trump’s approval rating has remained remarkably stable throughout the entire process — and that’s not great news for Democrats going into an election year.

According to one major tracking poll, Trump’s approval rating is actually higher than President Barack Obama’s during the same point in his presidency.

The Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll now shows half of the American voters approve of Trump’s job performance.

Granted, almost as many disapprove — there aren’t too many people who are in-between, mind you, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone — but the performance isn’t bad for a president currently undergoing an impeachment inquiry.

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The poll shows that 50 percent of Americans approve of his performance and 49 percent disapprove. That’s reason enough for Trump supporters to be happy, although the news isn’t all sanguine.

“The latest figures include 37% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 42% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -5,” Rasmussen said in a Friday news release.

However, those numbers haven’t exactly moved in the direction one might expect given the impeachment inquiry.

“The president’s overall approval has been tracking up since Wednesday, the first day of the House impeachment hearings. It was at 46% on Wednesday morning, then rose to 48% yesterday and is now at 50%. Two of the three nights in today’s survey follow the highly-publicized hearing,” the release read.

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But here’s the important part: Trump’s approval rating at the moment is marginally higher than Barack Obama’s performance at this point in his presidency.

As of Nov. 15, 2011, Obama’s approval rating was 49 percent. Trump’s was at 50 percent on the same date this year. Those aren’t exactly great numbers if you’re House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who serves as the Democrats’ impeachment impresario.

That wasn’t the only bad news for Democrats from Rasmussen’s polling. On Thursday, another survey showed that most Americans thought the media was actively trying to get Trump impeached.

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“Most voters don’t expect fair play from the media when it comes to news coverage of the Democrats’ impeachment attempt,” a statement from Rasmussen read.

“Fifty-three percent (53%) of Likely U.S. Voters think most reporters are trying to help impeach President Trump when they write or talk about the impeachment effort. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 32% believe most reporters are simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner. Eight percent (8%) say most are trying to block Trump’s impeachment.”

Rasmussen’s results skew the most consistently conservative of the major polling firms, so that has to be taken into consideration. That being said, it wouldn’t necessarily account for a bump in terms of Trump’s popularity in the face of impeachment. No matter whether the poll has a conservative lean or not, that doesn’t mean pollsters can fake an impeachment bump for the president that doesn’t exist.

Perhaps this can be traced to the fact that Americans have generally caught on to how inconsequential these “bombshell” Trump hearings are. Television ratings are a good indicator of how seriously America takes the possibility that our chief executive has committed some sort of criminal activity.

In July of 2017, James Comey’s appearance before the Senate attracted nearly 20 million viewers, according to Reuters. Impeachment wasn’t even close to being on the table then, but there were bars that opened early so that people could watch the Comey hearings.

In the case of the actual impeachment hearings, 13.8 million people tuned in on Wednesday. The idea that this will end in anything substantive for the left seems unlikely.

And, to top it all off, it’s made — if just for the moment — Donald Trump marginally more popular at this juncture of his presidency than Barack Obama was.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture