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??

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??

22 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder if the results coincide with talk of pardoning himself. Plenty of people may view a President favorably, but they still don’t feel that anyone, including “their man,” is above the law. Not that Trump has been proven guilty of anything regarding Russia, but people may view a pardon as a privilege which nobody else gets to perform, except a President, so exercising that on himself could be viewed as the pinnacle of self-aggrandizement.

    • I’ve been thinking about that.

      I think the Founders wanted to humiliate the leader of the government, which is why they gave him the title of “president,” which at the time meant he “presides” over the government, but doesn’t run it.

      Furthermore, I think the Emoluments Clause makes it clear that Congress is meant to be the watchdog over the Administrative Branch, including impeachment. And, of course, we’ve had many instances of the Supreme Court also telling a president what to do.

      And, finally, the Constitution specifically says that the president may not pardon in the case of impeachment, suggesting that the Founders would not have considered self-pardoning as possible.

    • Actually if you talk to a lot of Trump Supporters THEY DO think he’s above the law.
      Not the POTUS mind you. Just Trump.
      Kind of disturbing actually.

  2. I think that the fact the economy is booming and NOKO coming to the bargaining table while President Trump’s favorability ratings are slipping means only one thing. Some idiot called Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and other disgruntled losers AKA LIBTARDS multiple times during this poll!!!?

    • It’s not one poll. It’s the average of reliable polls, as reported by Real Clear Politics.

      I’m not criticizing Trump, just the opposite–I don’t understand the drop.

  3. The markets are now going through turbulence (tanking), and the job report for March 2018 was nearly 100,000 jobs lower than expected. If things continue in this direction, the turbulence will eventually crash the markets, the super rich will grab all of the capital they can, credit will evaporate, future projects will be shelved, jobs will vanish, and there will be no relief in sight. Most important, will Donald Trump, the president, and his “me, too” members of congress accept responsibility for what they have done?

    • You know full well that everything is cyclical. Nothing goes up forever be it the stock market, jobs or anything else. Rational people realize this fact and won’t run around like Chicken Little crying The sky is falling at the first dip.?

      For those who despise President Trump it wouldn’t matter if he found a cure for cancer, they still will find a flaw in his work. As far as the best president in my lifetime accepting responsibility for at best an iffy allegation by a Porn Star, I don’t think so.?

      Oh by the way I hope that you are ready for another 4 years of Donald J Trump as president after he serves his first four.?

  4. You need to get together with NewMax and get your stories straight. One of you is wrong!!!!

    • Actually, in the era of “alternate facts,” both of them can be right, while at the same time, both being wrong. One can rely on NewsMax and Fox, while the other relies on Daily Kos and Vox. And never the twain shall meet.

      Einstein theorized the possible existence of alternate universes. We are living it.

  5. The thought simply boggles my mind that any person is not aware that alternates facts are simply lies. It originated as a lawyer’s courtroom tool to mislead a jury about their client’s guilt. Kellyanne Conway, who is a lawyer, uses this tactic of alternate facts (lies) to promote Donald Trump and his agenda.

    There is no scientific evidence, including Einstein’s several theories, that the universe is infinitely cyclical. Parallel universes or dimensions that resemble our own have only appeared in works of Science Fiction. Who can forget Luke Skywalker and his fancy flying, his weapons, landing his torpedo in the vent with a loud explosion, and the Death Star is no more. Fascinating but, so far, just ficton.

    • It’s not a stupid idea, unless you consider Stephen Hawkings stupid.

      http://bgr.com/2018/03/19/stephen-hawking-parallel-universe-theory-paper/

      But I was only using it as a metaphor, anyway, or didn’t you get that?

      “History is written by the victors,” they say, and so, what we consider “history” is largely fiction. We believe what we think to be true. And in our bifurcated times, what is “reality” for many of us is rejected by the other side–and simply, does not exist.

      Today, “history” has sped up to being each day.

    • Earth to Berkley. Are you on planet earth? Or are you just a random set of molecules floating in the universe?

      • Howard…we are all just a random set of molecules floating in the universe. The fields of mathematics, probability, and statistics use randomness in all of their formal definitions. This probability concept is always based on uncertain knowledge, and that its quantitative evaluation is subject to change as they obtain more information. A person is not a random molecule. Any phrase or any action can seem spontaneous or unexpected, but no one person is any more or any less “random” than another. As Einstein phrased it “God does not play with dice”…Journal of Computational Chemistry DOI 10.1002

        It is my belief, Howard, that this is a subject that nether you or I can approach with any degree of pre-ordained knowledge. I know I had to get an old chemistry book to be sure of my answer.

        • I agree. I would like to have been the person that figured this out. But that wasn’t to be. Instead I was the person who told my students about process.

          I remember that I used to say “Don’t be the individual who plays/solves a particular game (ie. Rubik’s cube) but be the person who develops it.”

  6. The first two lines of the paper you suggested I read was “Hawking ventured some very educated guesses as to the conditions under which the existence of a parallel universe could be detected. The biggest hurdle to testing his theory is one of technology”. Meaning: Hawking’s theory is still just another unproven theory.

    Metaphors have never been defined as a factual description. Metaphors are used to compare two totally different things; describing one object as another. Personally, I’m not into using metaphors in an attempt at mind control of others.

    Just because Winston Churchill said “history is written by the victors” doesn’t make it an absolute. To bifurcate is to simply divide into two branches or parts. A good example is the present US government.

    • Dude. You can never see the forest for the trees. You get caught up in a p*ssing contest over some tangential or irrelevant detail, and derail the main consideration. You talk “at” people, trying to make points, to see if you can “win” an argument, but these days, there’s no such thing as “winning” an argument, because the other side will never concede a point, they’ll only redefine it. There’s no dialectic, only bomb throwing.

      You and Straight Shooter were at loggerheads. Ashley noted that you can’t both be right (and, if you didn’t know, she thinks you’re wrong). And I pointed out that “never the twain shall meet.”

      When fighting is what passes for communication, there is no hope for us.

      • That was a vicious attack, Goethe. I didn’t know toxic name calling was part of your game. Admittedly, I had to use the dictionary to find out you were calling me a thick-headed stupid blockhead. Since this is an open forum where many opposite opinions are posted daily, why individually attack me?

          • When engaging in everyday conversation, people very rarely state exactly what they mean. We often communicate in figures of speech and cultural references. Being lead down a rabbit hole is a mental and personal choice. Fortunately, most of the doublespeak that we convey and receive is easily understandable to anyone who doesn’t live under a rock or happens to have a cultural dictionary handy.

            Besides, what is the rabbit doing out of Wonderland anyway?

  7. Think I solved the question. RCP adds and drops polls for its average, which can cause large jumps, one way or the other, depending on which polls are currently in their average. Typically, Rasmussen is high (currently 47) and Gallup is low (now 40). When the polls are a few weeks old, RCP arbitrarily drops them from the average, and there is some question of the timing, since it appears that there is a conscious effort to suggest volatility.

    The FiveThirtyEight polling is more stable, and there was no such drop in their average, which has actually gained a point in the same period, from 40.6 to 41.7. One should remember that the margin of error is usually about 3%, so any small change is probably meaningless.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo

Comments are closed.