While President Trump’s approval has hit the mid-30’s on national polls of adults, our recent Public Opinion Strategies poll of voters (conducted March 23-27) shows the President with a 40% national approval rating. Importantly, though, his support among base Republicans has remained high.
Comparing our current polling to the February NBC/WSJ poll shows Trump’s approval among GOP’ers at essentially the same level – having slipped just two points – from 86% to 84%. And, among “strong” Republicans, Trump’s approval is at 95% (just two points lower than his February level).
While the media is focused on public polling showing the President’s approval slipping into the mid-30’s, it’s entirely possible that public polling is not picking up the true level of Trump support in the country, just as most pollsters missed his road to victory in the Electoral College.
In fact, recent focus groups with Trump voters conducted by Public Opinion Strategies indicate that some supporters were reluctant to tell others they were supporting Trump for fear of being attacked for their choice. In an effort to measure how that might be effecting the President’s current job approval score, we asked those who voters do not approve of the job Trump is doing whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:
“Even though I may not approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as President, I do like
some of the actions he is taking.”
Fully 18% of voters not approving of Trump agree with this statement; that’s 11% of our entire sample. So, 51% of voters polled in our sample either approve of the job that President Trump is doing, or “like some of the actions he’s taking.” Of course, “liking some of the actions Trump is taking” is not the same as “approval,” but it does perhaps indicate that current polling may undervalue real voter support for President Trump, just as it did Last November.