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Title:Donald Trump Approval Rating Polls | QT Politics
Published:15 April 2019
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In this video, I'll break down Donald Trump's job approval numbers and his favorability. I'll break down how approval on key issues ought to affect campaign strategy for 2020. And, drawing from lessons learned in the 2016 presidential election, I'll provide some context for how favorability numbers might predict the 2020 election. In fact, I'll give you a single number value that should provide an answer to this question:

What does he need to win?

President Donald Trump shared some interesting poll results with his twitter followers, tweeting, Great News! MAGA. Accompanying his message was a graphic showing his approval rating to be 55%. That graphic came from Lou Dobbs, who reported the figure on his show on Fox Business, a figure misquoted from a Georgetown poll. This prompted the director of Georgetown University Politics, which produced that s tudy, to point out the mistake. As his tweet correctly pointed out, the poll found that Trump's job approval is 43%, and his disapproval is 52%. That 55% number may have been mistakenly drawn from the President's unfavorable rating, which was 55%, while his favorable rate was 40%.

While Trump has yet to pull down his tweet, which has so far received 130 thousand likes and 32 thousand retweets, credit where credit is due: Lou Dobbs made a correction, one albeit couched in kinds of other distractions

The fact that Trump has yet to do the same is obviously wrong, as he's misinforming his following. But, more interestingly is the fact that it's likely imprudent. The people who get their information from Trump's twitter feed are diehard, MAGA caterpillars. If Trump's approval rating was really 55%, he would be pretty much a shoe-in for re-election. If his supporters believe this tweet, and continue to believe he is that well-regarded on election day, that could hurt Trump in the only poll that really matters. If you're certain your candidate is going to win, you might be less likely to vote.

While an American president pushing misinformation is certainly problematic, if routine, there's another layer of stupidly overlaying this entire incident. And, that is the tendency of partisans of all stripes to cherrypick single polls that support their viewpoints, and ignore the larger patterns. If only one poll exists on an issue, it might be reasonable to cite that one poll. Indeed, digging into a single poll's qualitative results can provide detailed insight. But the reality is that a single study in science is virtually meaningless, and a single poll in politics is equally misleading. In other words, you have to separate the signal from the noise...

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Question Time features video essays about politics, history and culture, with a particular focus on the United States of America. Topics are inspired by events and trends in news and current affairs, and attempt to provide context for a robust discussion in the comments section. All opinions presented in videos are my own, but yours matter, too. Your thoughts are highly valued, even when you don't agree. At the heart of every vibrant democracy are ordinary people, engaged in debate over policy and values.


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