We haven’t seen any approval ratings on ATS for a while, so I was looking through some charts this morning and doing some research on the accuracy
of the different polling sites and their methodologies. First I’ll post a couple of links that explain how pollsters are rated themselves and how to
determine their accuracy.
There are a few things to consider. How long a company has been around is a good indicator of how well they do their job; the longer they’ve been
around the higher the chance of being exposed as inaccurate if there is an agenda in the background or simple inadequacy. So with that said, any time
you look at polls, if it’s a company with less than a decade or two under their belt, discard them. Next we have to look at who is polled and the
way they are polled. In order to be the most accurate a Live Call should be done. There are some who do it online as a questionnaire, some even do it
over an app; a live call is the most accurate way to determine that most of the information given is accurate: sex, age and many other factors. More
important than that is who is polled -- the most accurate way and what is most commonly accepted is All Adults. For us this would be any person of 18
or older who answers the phone. Some companies will talk to anyone who answers, and others pick and choose who they call, creating a bias. Some
companies only call Registered Voters and others Likely Voters, but then we get into the murky waters of what lists are being used and what political
lean they have, also creating a bias.
There are a few companies that are quoted a lot, and among them Gallup has been the leader, mostly because they have been doing it since the end of
World War II, have always had a low error margin and now have the largest set of metrics of other presidents to compare to. Gallup has a slight right
lean, but rated at 0.9% right bias. Combined with their low error margin, their combined error is usually at or under 3%, sometimes going up to 4%. So
when you see their numbers, add or subtract 3% and the real value is somewhere in that 6% section.
Pew Research is used too, although they are left leaning by less than 1%. Combined, their error margin is usually right above 4%. FOX is at a bias
level comparable to Gallup but more inaccurate so comes in at about 4.5% margin. Survey Monkey, for example, is one of the worst left leaning
pollsters as they do all online polling, have an error margin of almost 8% and then a 5% left bias, which gives them a 13% overall margin – meaning
they should never be taken seriously. On the right, TCJ is the worst and comparable to Survey Monkey. Rasmussen is improving but they pick who they
contact and then do it online; with a right bias their combined margin of error is around 8%, and has gone as high as 12% in the past.
Anyways, hope that helps a bit; I learned a lot this morning. Moving on.
Trump has hit a high approval rating for his presidency during the North Korea summit, at 45%, and has not lost much since then despite the
immigration protests and the trade war tensions. He is currently at 42% approval rating and a 53% disapproval rating. This is higher than his average
approval of 39% for the length of his presidency.
This second number, or disapproval rating, is a more accurate way to determine how a presidency is going. There have been presidents in the past who
have not had high approval ratings but their disapproval was not very high either. Trump’s disapproval was at 47% the week he took office, went to
52% the following week and has never gone back under 50% again. For most of the presidency it’s been in the mid to high 50s, peaking at 60% a few
times between August and December of last year. He also hit his lowest approval rating in those months, hitting 35% approval a few times.
Now, we can focus even more and look at those who say they Strongly Approve or Disapprove and then we are taking a look at the core support, those who
are unwavering regardless of what the President does. From these numbers we can also see that in the 15 months that is being compared, those numbers
changed so very slightly they almost don’t make a difference. When Trump took office, of the 42% that approved of him 27% strongly approved and 15%
moderately approved. Those 27% are the core group of supporters who will offer support through scandals and wars, and the 15% are less so. In the 15
months since then, the core support only lost 1% that shifted over to moderate support. With the margin of error, this is insignificant.
Equally, those who Strongly Disapprove remained the same. The presidency started with 53% disapproval and of those 41% were unwavering opposition. 15
months later that number still sits at 41%. I imagine very few of those 41% would change their opinion of the president even if he invented the cure
for cancer. Moderate disapproval gained 1% from the undecided group, raising disapproval to 54%. Again, insignificant considering the margin.
These are all just facts and statistics, I did not want to inject any opinion into this piece as there really is no room for it when you consider
numbers. I will say I was surprised to see that amidst the protests, trade wars and the Twitter wars with a few large manufacturers, the President’s
rating did not drop into the high 30s and has only dropped a handful of points since the summit. This, however, only shows how strong his core support
is; I don’t think he will ever lose those 1 out of 4 people, but it will also be almost impossible for him to sway those 4 out of 10. He would have
to do something truly selfless and spectacular.
Links to the Gallup metrics below plus a couple of extra links at the end for those interested, such as going into the comparisons with other
presidents, which I did not go into at all. Thank you all for reading.
edit on 8-7-2018 by Kharron because: typo