The narrative seemed set: After a brief surge of public support for President Donald Trump in the early days of America’s fight against the coronavirus, his approval numbers had settled back into the low 40s.
Except that in Gallup’s latest two-week tracking poll, Trump’s job approval is back to 49% – matching the highest it’s ever been – while his disapproval is at 47%.
That marks a 6-point improvement on Trump’s approval number from the last Gallup tracking poll. And that improvement comes exclusively from independents – 47% of whom now approve of the job Trump is doing, the best he has ever done among that group in Gallup polling. (He was at 38% approval among indies in the last Gallup tracker.)
“During his 13th quarter in office, stretching from Jan. 20 through April 19, he averaged 47% job approval. That is four percentage points better than his previous high quarters – 43% during his 10th (April 20-July 19, 2019) and 12th (Oct. 20, 2019-Jan 19, 2020) quarters in office.”
It’s worth mentioning here that it’s entirely possible that this most recent Gallup poll is simply an outlier amid the broader public opinion on Trump. In fact, of the last 10 polls that asked a presidential approval question, only Gallup shows Trump’s approval higher than his disapproval. Overall, the Real Clear Politics polling average shows Trump’s disapproval 6 points higher than his approval.
A Monmouth poll released Tuesday showed Trump’s overall job rating had slipped over the past few months, with 43% approving and 51% disapproving.
At the same time, Gallup is Gallup – the gold standard of public opinion polling in the country. Which means that it would be dumb to entirely write off its latest findings.
The Point: Be wary of conventional wisdom. Especially when it concerns Trump.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the President’s disapproval numbers in the latest Gallup poll.