Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Editor's Pick

Trump’s improved image: Is it approval — or amnesia?

Donald Trump left the presidency with the lowest average approval rating for a tenure in modern history, at 41 percent. One reputable poll showed him bottoming out at 29 percent after Jan. 6, 2021.

That same former president is now looking like a favorite to reclaim the White House just four years later, leading in virtually every recent poll (albeit often within the margin of error).

There are multiple reasons for this, and they start with President Biden’s own problems. But could they also have to do with Americans’ short political attention spans?

Some Trump critics have wagered that the recent polls could reflect a bit of amnesia when it comes to how Americans once felt about Trump — and, its proponents hope, a temporary bout of it. The idea is that Biden’s 2020 supporters can be brought back into the fold when the chaos and controversy of 2017-through-2021 years come back into focus during the 2024 campaign, as well as Trump’s criminal trials.

There is surely some wishfulness involved, but it’s not totally unreasonable.

It’s long been evident that one of the best things a president can do to improve his image is leave. President after president has departed to find Americans suddenly holding him and his tenure in higher regard.

George W. Bush is a recent case in point. His approval rating on Election Day 2008 was just 25 percent, according to Gallup. But two years later, the same pollster showed that nearly twice as many Americans (47 percent) said they approved of his presidency. Nearly 6 in 10 now approve.

This is a particularly pronounced example, but Gallup’s data show every former president dating to John F. Kennedy is more popular today than he was upon leaving office. And since Ronald Reagan, every president except Bill Clinton became more popular the first time Gallup conducted what it calls its “retrospective approval” poll — usually conducted about two years after the presidents leave office. Barack Obama and both George Bushes saw their approval ratings jump by double digits.

Trump has certainly benefited less from this dynamic than his predecessors. Gallup this summer pegged his first retrospective approval rating at 46 percent, compared with the 43 percent when he was booted from office.

But that 46 percent was still higher than any average approval rating Trump enjoyed during his presidency, including during his brief honeymoon period in early 2017.

The other recent poll to test Trump’s retrospective approval rating was a Washington Post-ABC News poll, which in September also pegged his approval higher than it was at any point in his presidency: 48 percent. (This was one of Trump’s best polls and seemed to be an outlier at the time, but it’s what we have.)

The other way to gauge how views of Trump might have improved is his favorable rating. This is more a view of the man than his job performance, but it’s more regularly tested for former presidents.

Again, Trump hasn’t seen a huge bump but has seen improvement. His most recent average favorable rating from FiveThirtyEight is 41.9 percent. That’s higher than at any point since he left office.

The questions from there are whether even these modest apparent improvements are truly about people forgetting — versus, say, genuinely warming to Trump — and could, accordingly, prove temporary.

One of the reasons former presidents’ images tend to improve is that they fade from the spotlight. Basically, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

But while Trump isn’t as ever-present in American lives as he once was, he has hardly faded away like a normal ex-president. And there has seemingly been plenty to remind people about his liabilities over the past three years — from impeachment to the Jan. 6 committee to, currently, his criminal indictments.

At the same time, these are developments that large swaths of swing voters aren’t tracking very closely. Polling shows as many as one-third of Americans acknowledge they don’t understand Trump’s criminal charges very well. (Plenty of others could be overselling their awareness.) Lots of Republicans, in particular, appear woefully unfamiliar with the basic underlying facts.

Most Republicans do at least, though, say Trump did something wrong in one of his criminal cases. A majority of Americans overall believe Trump broke the law. And a near-prohibitive number of Americans say Trump being convicted would effectively disqualify him; the big recent New York Times-Siena College poll showed a five-point Trump lead in key swing states becoming a 10-point deficit if Trump were convicted.

All of which suggests that views of Trump could dim as the 2024 general election refocuses things on him and his presidency. Democrats can feel somewhat optimistic about a reversion to the mean if they can message this effectively.

Whether it would be enough is another matter — particularly given that the incumbent president is about as unpopular as Trump was during his White House tenure.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News And Articles.






    Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

    You May Also Like

    Editor's Pick

    LIVE OAK, Fla. — President Biden traveled to Florida on Saturday to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia, part of a storm response...

    Stock

    President Biden is asking his Cabinet to ‘aggressively execute’ plans for federal employees to return to their offices for work this fall after years...

    Stock

    A group of House Democrats penned a letter Thursday to several top Biden administration and White House officials, demanding the immediate continuance of uninterrupted...

    Stock

    Special Counsel Jack Smith proposed to begin former President Donald Trump’s trial in January 2024 for the charges he’s facing in relation to the...

    Disclaimer: beneficialinvestmentnow.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively “The Company”) do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.


    Copyright © 2023 beneficialinvestmentnow.com