Poll of the week: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that President Donald Trump’s approval rating among all adults in 48%, while his disapproval rating is 46%.
Trump scores a very similar 49% approval rating and 47% disapproval rating with registered voters.
What’s the point: There’s no doubt now that Trump is experiencing a bump in his popularity following his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The ABC News/Washington Post poll is quite similar to the Monmouth University poll that came out earlier this week, for instance.
But what is interesting to me is that Trump’s jump is coming disproportionality from non-voters. Normally Trump does considerably better among voters than among adults. This gap, however, has disappeared and perhaps even reversed itself to a degree in the most recent round of polling.
In the ABC News/Washington poll, Trump’s net approval (approval - disapproval) rating among adults and registered voters is the same.
You can see this trend best when looking at an aggregate of polling. On average, Trump did 3.3 points better among voters than adults in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate. Prior to this week, there were a grand total of 3 days out of more than 1,000 when Trump had a higher net approval rating with voters than adults. All three of those days were after the GOP’s failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017.
Trump’s net approval rating with voters exceeded his net approval rating among adults on both Thursday and Friday this week. Not only that, but the nearly 1-point difference between the two on Friday was the largest of Trump’s entire presidency.
The reason Trump’s net approval rating has climbed disproportionally with nonvoters is because of the groups he’s picking up the most ground with. By comparing the latest Pew Research Center poll to their January one (with their very large sample sizes), we can examine these phenomenons:
- Age: Trump’s approval rating is up the most, 7 points, among voters under the age of 30 to 36%. It’s up the least, 2 points, among voters 65 years-old and older to 53%.
- Education: Trump’s approval climbed 8 points to 52% among those with a high school education or less. It was up only 2 points to 32% among post-graduates.
- Race: Trump’s approval rating is up 10 points among black and Hispanic Americans to 18% and 37% respectively. Trump’s approval rating is up a mere 3 points to 54% with white voters.
All of the groups that Trump rose the most with are the ones that are the least likely to be registered voters in a given demographic category.
Interestingly, a number of these groups (younger and less-educated Americans) that Trump has gained the most among are also the ones least likely to be paying close attention to news about the pandemic.
Nonvoters are the least likely to be ideological, as well. It would follow, then, that they’re the most open to changing their minds about the President, which seems to be what is occurring right now.
Going forward, we’ll find out if the current trend holds. If it does, it’ll be a true reversal of what has normally been the case in recent American politics.