In a press conference full of extraordinary and norm-busting moments, President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested the media are suppressing poll results that show a majority approves of his job performance.
“A new Rasmussen poll, in fact — because the people get it — much of the media doesn’t get it. They actually get it, but they don’t write it. Let’s put it that way,” Trump rambled. “But a new Rasmussen poll just came out just a very short while ago, and it has our approval rating at 55 percent and going up.”
So let’s write it.
The president is correct. The Rasmussen Reports daily presidential-approval tracking poll — which updates on weekday mornings — does show Trump at 55-percent approval. It also shows 45 percent disapprove of Trump’s performance. By totaling 100 percent, the results suggest the pollster doesn’t include respondents who don’t have an opinion about the president thus far.
But Rasmussen is, thus far, an outlier when it comes to ratings of Trump’s job performance. According to HuffPost Pollster, Trump’s average job-approval rating is 45 percent, with a slight, 51-percent majority disapproving.
And of the 13 individual pollsters that have produced a Trump approval rating thus far, Rasmussen is the only one ever to show Trump cracking the 50-percent approval mark. Some pollsters, like Gallup (38 percent approval in the latest daily tracking poll) and Pew Research Center (39 percent), show far more negative views of Trump as president.
A number of factors could be at play here: There’s Rasmussen’s persistent Republican lean, flagged by observers for nearly a decade. Rasmussen also conducts its surveys using automated technology — and, generally, polls without a live interviewer have been more favorable toward the president.
There’s another possible factor: the universe of people Rasmussen is surveying. Rasmussen’s polls are conducted among likely voters — even though the next presidential election is more than three-and-a-half years away. By comparison, Gallup and Pew polls are conducted among all adults, and polls from POLITICO/Morning Consult and Fox News are among all self-identified registered voters.
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