ADVERTISEMENT

In our reporting on Tuesday’s primary, we noted that Donald Trump is on the upswing, according to the RCP average of reliable polls. His approval headed straight down from the day he took office to August, bottoming out at 37.7%, barely one-third of the public. But he leveled off, and after bottoming out again at 37.1%, he was on a steady rise, to a high of 44.4% on June 2. But things turned around, and over the past few days, his numbers have tanked. Our question is, why??

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump is always involved in so many things, it may be hard to figure out, but the drop has been precipitous. Here’s the chart we provided earlier. Notice the long drop, the bottom, and the strong rise, indicated by the green block.

Trump Favorable Trend

According to technical analysis, as is used in studying the movement of the stock market, it’s wise to bet on a trend. The drop from 45.9% to 37.1% is more than 20%. You could have made a lot of money in the wagering markets, betting against Trump last year. Likewise, the rise from 37.1% to 44.4% would have given you another 20% profit this year, if you had bet that Trump’s approval would rise. Of course, no one knows where the bottom or top are until afterward, so no one succeeds in those bets every time.

In hindsight, the rise was forecast by the “double bottom” on August 14 and December 13. The logic is that if the market “tests” the previous bottom, but doesn’t break it firmly, the “bulls” will rise again.

But a trend is expected to continue until it is broken. That brings us to today. The RCP average dropped from its high of 44.4% on Saturday, to 42.1% on Thursday. A couple of points may not seem like much, except that it’s the aggregation of a number of reliable polls. Here’s a new chart illustrating our point:

In order to maintain the “trend,” the average should have stayed above 43.5%. Of course, it may be a fluke, or it may just mean that the trend will not be as robust as it was, but breaking the “support” line is significant, in technical terms, which may forecast a new drop in Trump’s approval rating.

That’s the technical reading. So what are the “fundamentals” that may explain the drop? One would think our progress with North Korea would have people giddy. And the economy has been booming along, although frankly, it’s just an extension of the Obama recovery, as shown in this chart of employment:

Regardless, as Bill Clinton always said, “it’s the economy stupid,” and if the economy booms, the party in power can usually expect rewards at the polls.

Do you have any explanation for Trump’s dump? It couldn’t be the Melania mystery, the fact that she was missing in action for a few weeks, and seems so unhappy. And the “MeToo” movement has never had much effect on Trump, so Stormy Daniels can’t be causing the drop. So what’s going on?

Newsmax focuses on Rasmussen, the reliable poll that has been most “favorable” to Trump.

President Donald Trump earned a monthly job approval of 48 percent in May, down one point from the previous month. Fifty percent disapproved of his job performance this month, unchanged from April, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday.

Trump’s monthly approval rating reached a high of 51 percent in February of last year, his first full month as president and decreased to a low of 42 percent in August 2017 before registering higher marks this year.

The Rasmussen survey added an interesting note about Trump’s inability to reach even 50% approval in his entire term:

“Although Trump is not particularly popular with many voters, only 20 percent think that Vice President Mike Pence would make a better president.”

One thing to remember about polls is that they don’t forecast the future, and they don’t even talk about today. They can only report the responses they received over the polling period. So there’s a bit of a lag time, and Trump’s drop probably reflects a drop in approval over the past week or more.

However, it is totally untrue that the polls were wrong in 2016. The numbers bounced all over the place, but that was because there were so many influences, such as Trump’s “Access Hollywood,” and Hillary’s email woes. The only time you can tell if the polls are right is to compare to the actual voting—and the average of polls was almost exactly right about the percentage outcome, and remember, the final polls still didn’t fully reflect the response to Jim Comey’s FBI flip-flop, regarding whether Hillary was going to be further investigated, in the last few days of the campaign.

So now, we’re asking YOU—with the economy booming, and North Korea talking—why is Trump tanking??

Add Comment | Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Filed in: Politics Tagged in:
Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

Subscribe Via Email

Sign up for instant election alerts and the latest content delivered to your inbox:

Comments