Political Update; Where News And Perceptions Meet Reality

In this reality check, we take a look at what's really going on with the public's opinion of the president and view of the direction of the country. President Trump's current approval rating is 45%.

The impeachment trial finally began in the Senate this week. The first few days of the trial already has the feeling of a few weeks. Regardless of one’s opinion of President Trump and the impeachment proceedings, the trial has been monotonous. And while the impeachment trial has been playing out this week, President Trump has remained highly active and effective. After the success of the Phase 1 China trade deal and USMCA last week, he headlined the World Economic Forum in Davos for two days before visiting South Florida to meet with Republican party leaders for the 2020 election cycle and today to headline the March for Life Conference in Washington D.C. Its clear impeachment isn’t slowing President Trump down. But, how’s all this playing politically? 

President Trump’s average approval rating is up a point this week to 45%. For comparison purposes, President Trump’s average approval rating trails President Obama’s by one point on this same date. Among likely voters, however, President Trump has a three-point advantage over Obama at this stage in the cycle. Plus, as usual, the more informed and engaged people are, the more likely they are to approve of President Trump. 

  • Adult only samples: N\A
  • Registered voters: 44%                                              
  • Likely voters: 48%         

What you never hear reported are the ratings of the Democratic leaders opposing him. Speaker Pelosi has a 38% approval rating and Chuck Schumer a 30%. It’s telling that both remain far less approved than the impeached president. 

Now, if we take a look at the direction of the country this week we're at 39%, that's 9% more optimistic than in the aggregate of the Obama years.

Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

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