President Donald Trump’s year-end approval ratings as tracked by Rasmussen Reports for December, 2017 mirror Barack Obama’s in 2009, almost exactly. Rasmussen, which tracked both presidents and called the 2016 election correctly, finds 46% of likely voters approve of the job President Trump is doing, while 53% disapprove.
That is identical to the spread on December 29 and December 31, 2009 after Mr. Obama’s first year. There was no polling from December 25 to 27 in 2009, but December 27 was included in the sample for 2017.
Worth noting, the intensity index known as the Presidential Approval Index, which is the disparity between voters who “strongly” approve or disapprove, is actually more favorable to President Trump than it was for Mr. Obama.
“When comparing apples to apples, President Trump’s numbers are about as high as Obama’s at this point in his presidency,” Rich Baris, PPD editor and Director of the Big Data Poll said. “That’s particularly surprising given the disparity in the media coverage each received.”
The Pew Research Center’s year-ending report titled “17 Striking Findings From 2017” finds early coverage of President Trump was three times more negative than it was for Mr. Obama. Sixty-percent (62%) was negative during President Trump’s first year juxtaposed to just 20% negative for Mr. Obama in 2009.
The negative coverage this year for President Trump was also twice that of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
“He was the first president in my memory to be deprived of the ‘honeymoon’ period after Inauguration Day,” Baris added. “While it’s true Rasmussen Reports has been more favorable to the president than other approval polls throughout the year, it’s also true that they have established a better track record of measuring his support than other polls.”
The latest presidential approval tracking spread include 29% who “Strongly Approve” of President Trump and 44% who “Strongly Disapprove,” giving him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15. That’s about where it has been since December 21, while Mr. Obama hovered between -12 and -18.
Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.