Swing State Pres

Saturday, December 16, 2017

BTRTN SaturData Review: Trump’s Approval Rating Tumbles Sharply to New Low

Tom with the “SaturData Review,” which updates key political indicators and highlights other pertinent info from the week.

Just when we thought Donald Trump’s approval rating was cast in stone at 40% (as we discussed last Saturday), it dropped precipitously, down this week by a full -3 points to 37%.  This is the lowest weekly approval rating score in Trump’s presidency.

(A note on methodology: BTRTN calculates our weekly approval ratings using an average of the four pollsters who conduct daily or weekly approval rating polls: Gallup, Rasmussen, Reuters/Ipsos and You Gov/Economist. This provides consistent and accurate trending information and does not muddy the waters by including infrequent pollsters.  The outcome tends to mirror the RCP average but, we believe, our method gives more precise trending.)

Trump’s decline might have been brought about by any number of factors, including “carryovers” from last week, which had featured the Flynn charges, the Jerusalem declaration and the Franken/Conyers/Franks resignations.  The latter provided strong linkage to the Alabama Senate special election this week, in which Trump pushed all his chips to the middle of the table behind the oft-accused sexual harasser/assaulter Roy Moore, and lost “bigly.” 

The total embrace of Moore certainly hurt Trump politically, proving his inability to carry a candidate to the finish line (for the second time in Alabama, as Trump had backed Luther Strange over Moore in the GOP run-off).  More importantly, though, Trump’s own disgusting history of abuse was put back on display, as three of his victims returned to the airwaves to tell their stories.  Immediately after their testimony, Senator Kirsten Gillebrand led the charge by calling, for the first time, for Trump’s resignation.  She was supported by several other Democratic Senators (although, it should be noted, by far fewer than had called for Franken’s head).

While the tax bill also dominated the news this week, and appears on its way to passage next week, this is an unpopular bill – according to the polls – by itself and in comparison to major recent legislation and other tax cut bills.  This may be a legislative win, but it could be an albatross when it kicks in and the “99%” realize that their modest and short-lived benefits hardly match the “biggest ever” rhetoric that Trump has used in describing them.  Plus, it will be proven once again that nothing “trickled down,” as the corporate bigwigs take their gains and pass them on, in large measure, to shareholders instead of “investing in jobs.”

The congressional midterms calculus was jolted by the Doug Jones win in Alabama, as the previously near-impossible path to Democratic Senate control has been upgraded to “possible” with one clear path to glory for the Dems – defend well, and flip the vulnerable Arizona and Nevada GOP seats.  And the generic ballot, in which the Democrats saw their “lead” increase from +6 points to +8 points – underscores that the House is surely in play, as that gap, if it remains, should translate to greater than the 24-seat flip needed by the Dems a year from now to take the majority.

SaturData Review
Jan 2017   Post-Inaug.
Wk ending   Dec 9
Wk ending   Dec 16
Chng vs. Last Week
Chng vs. Jan 2017
Trump Approval
48%
40%
37%
-3 pp
-11 pp
Trump Disapproval
44%
56%
58%
+2pp
+14 pp
Trump Net Approval
+4 pp
-16 pp
-21 pp
-5 pp
-25 pp






Generic Ballot Dem - Rep
D + 6
D + 6
D + 8
+2 pp
0 pp






Trumpometer
0%
+20%
+20%
0%
20%
Unemployment Rate
4.7
4.1
4.1
0%
13%
Consumer Confidence
114
130
130
0%
14%
Price of Gas
2.44
2.62
2.60
0%
-7%
Dow-Jones
19,732
24,329
24,652
1%
25%
Most recent GDP
2.1
3.3
3.3
0%
57%


The economic news continued to be solid, with little change in the key indicators, and the Trumpometer still at +20% versus Trump’s Inauguration Day (meaning, on average, five key economic indicators are up 20% versus their level back then, as detailed in the chart).  In the last week, the Dow reached new highs and gas prices fell again, albeit modestly.

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