Searching for common sense in politics

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Trump An Unpopular President-elect

A new poll shows that Donald Trump is less popular at this point in his presidential transition than most of his predecessors.

Does that really matter? No, probably not.

Presidential approval polls fluctuate wildly within an administration. Check out this chart, showing just the first year of the administrations of recent presidents, which I took from this site:


Bill Clinton was wildly unpopular early in his presidency - leading to the Republican sweep of 1994, but he enjoyed sustained approval ratings in the 60's throughout most of his second term.

Ronald Reagan's approval ratings took a huge tumble around the time of the Iran-Contra Affair, but he ended up leaving office with one of the highest ratings of any outgoing president.

George W. Bush had record high ratings after 9/11, and then record low ratings in the last year or two of his presidency (at points, even lower than Nixon's when he resigned).

The fact that Trump is so low before his term even begins is just another sign of how divided the country is. We are in an era of bitter partisanship, and I doubt we'll see any extremely high or low ratings in the near future - unless something like 9/11 happens again.

So don't put too much stock in approval ratings right now. They only really matter when it's election year.
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