Confusion Reigns Over Trump’s Popularity Ratings, But He’s Not as Unpopular as the Press Claims

-By Warner Todd Huston

The media is still telling America that Trump is “the most unpopular president in history” or some such thing. But just what are President Trump’s approval ratings? And barring those numbers — and even more importantly — how popular are his policies?

The media is bound and determined to make Trump into the most unpopular president in American history. And whatever his real ratings may or may not be, the media is filled with claims about how unpopular he is. Take a piece this week by The Hill newspaper which insisted, “Trump’s approval rating slides.”

The Washington-based newspaper reported that Trump’s poll ratings fell a few points to 47 percent from the 49 percent seen last week. The Hill isn’t alone. Let’s look at a few other recent headlines…

Vox wrote, “Donald Trump is remarkably unpopular.” The Washington Post said, “The unprecedented unpopularity of Donald Trump.” The New York Times exclaimed, “Trump Entering White House Unbent and Unpopular.” And so on and so forth.

But are all these left-wing media outlets right? It appears that the truth is a bit muddier than it might seem.

Even the liberal Politico recently said that trump is more popular than the prevailing Washington opinion might indicate.

Politico found that there is a disparity between types of polls with one type finding that the president is more popular than the other kind.

“Traditional phone polls that use live interviewers — including some of the most trusted polls in politics and media — report limited support for Trump and the controversial executive orders he’s signed,” Politico wrote. “But automated phone and Internet-based surveys tell a different story. Once the element of anonymity is added, the president’s approval ratings suddenly look a lot better.”

Indeed, even as some polls find Trump underwater at less than 50 percent approval, others are not as clear cut.

But whatever one makes of Trump’s personal popularity polls, it is his policies that are more important and in many cases his policies are more popular than liberals want to believe.

For instance, Trump himself recently Tweeted that his immigration order is one of his most popular actions yet… and again it was Politico that made the report.

The poll by Rasmussen Reports “finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen,” the company reported on January 30. Only 33 percent oppose the action.


Similarly, 56% favor a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the government approves its ability to screen for likely terrorists. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose this temporary ban, and 11% are undecided.

Rasmussen isn’t the only one to find support for the travel order. The Daily Caller just noted that an Investor’s Business Daily poll found that 51 percent of voters approve of the president’s travel order.

But these are hardly alone. In another example of how these approval ratings are more complicated than one might think ,another poll measuring how Americans feel about the media in comparison to how they feel about Trump is illuminating.

Shockingly — at least shockingly to the elites in the media — the new poll finds that a majority feel that President Trump is more truthful than the Old Media establishment.

Yes, it appears that the news media is far less trusted than Trump. In a new Emerson College poll fully 53 percent of the registered voters polled said that the media is untruthful with just 39 percent saying the media tells the truth, according to The Hill newspaper.

The result concerning Trump’s truthfulness is closely split, granted, with 49 percent of registered voters saying Trump and his administration are truthful and 48 percent saying it isn’t. Regardless, more respondents trust Trump than trust the media.

It should not be surprising that the results split along party lines with more Republicans (9 in 10) saying they trust Trump than Democrats. 3 in 4 Democrats say they don’t trust Trump at all.

That split remained on the question of the media, too. 69 percent of Democrats feel the media is telling the truth while 91 percent of Republicans say the media is lying to us.

Naturally, those who claim to be political independents think both the media and the Trump administration aren’t to be believed. 52 percent of independents doubt the Trump administration and 47 percent say the media is untrustworthy.

Then there is the polling of folks outside the U.S. Apparently Trump’s travel order has quite a lot of support outside the U.S.A. Once again it was Politico that found that many countries in the Middle East think Trump’s travel order is a good idea!
Click to see image larger

Click to see image larger
Amusingly, even Mexicans support the ban at a two-point majority!

Now add all this to a sharply partisan political climate in D.C. and the support that Trump has gotten may seemed even more amazing for how good it really is.

The Washington Times recently said that Trump is facing the “most obstruction since George Washington.”

Senate leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, was incensed at how slowly the approval process is going for Trump’s cabinet picks saying, “It’s a historic break in tradition, a departure from how newly elected presidents of both parties have been treated in decades past.”

Indeed, Daily Caller pointed out that Trump has had fewer cabinet picks approved than any president in modern history.

“Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama had seven of their nominees confirmed by their first day in office in 2001 and 2009. Bill Clinton had three confirmed the day he was sworn in,” DC wrote. And today? “Trump had two.”

“By this time in 2001, Bush had his entire Cabinet confirmed. In 2009, Obama only need three more confirmations to have his Cabinet filled. Trump has been in office for 21 days, and with the confirmation of Jeff Sessions Wednesday night, now has eight of his nominees confirmed,” DC added.

Trump has noticed too…

And remember this: Democrats have said for nine years that Republicans have perpetrated “unprecedented obstructionism” against Obama.

But if we want obstructionism, it appears that it is Democrats who are the masters.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Follow Warner Todd Huston on:

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as,, BizPac Review, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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