Rasmussen, which offers the only remaining daily presidential approval tracking poll, has some pretty good news for Donald Trump. Despite all the doom and gloom headlines closing out 2018, heading into his 3rd year in office, President Trump enjoys about the same approval for his handling of the job as his predecessor at the same point in his presidency.
“The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-two percent (52%) disapprove,” Rasmussen reported on December 28. “The latest figures include 34% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 43% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -9.”
Rasmussen provides some follow-up analysis suggesting some factors playing into Trump’s numbers, including some polling suggesting that he has “angered hawkish members of both major political parties with his decision to withdraw from Syria,” with voters tending to likewise oppose his decision.
Trump’s approval rating has been fluctuating in the high-40s for months, at times breaking the 50% mark, including on December 5 and 7. It’s lowest point over the last month was Christmas day, when it dipped to 46%.
Trump’s disapproval has been hovering at just above 50%. In December, Trump’s disapproval topped out at 53% in the middle of the month and dropped to a low of 48% twice.
The president has continued to be under water in the “strongly” approve/disapprove ratings, ranging between 3% to 11%. Below are Rasmussen’s results for Trump for all of December:
For comparison, at the same point in his presidency, Obama was tracking slightly worse, fluctuating between the 44 to 50% approval range during the month of December, consistently in the low- to mid-50s in disapproval, and in slightly worse shape in the index rating, at times hitting as high as -17. Below are Rasmussen’s results for Obama in December 2010:
While Rasmussen is the only pollster still providing a daily tracking poll after Gallup decided to end theirs, other groups are regularly asking voters how they feel about Trump. Rasmussen tends to give him slightly higher marks than some other groups, including Harvard-Harris, which put him at 44-56 (-12), and Economist/YouGov, which found Trump at 44-52 (-8), heading into Christmas.
The least favorable recent poll for Trump came from Gallup, which gave him a -15 split: 40-55. As of 2019, Gallup has now shifted to a monthly tracking poll.