Trump Job Approval Largely Unaffected By Mueller Report

The President's latest job approval numbers show little sign of movement in the wake of the release of the Mueller report

The latest poll from CNN and SSRS shows that the President’s job approval is actually at its highest level in two years after the release of the Mueller report and the ongoing fights between Administration and Congress over the continued investigation of the 2016 election and other matters. Other polling, however, paints a different picture:

With Robert Mueller’s investigation finished, Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at its highest level since April 2017 in a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS, as the share who say Democrats in Congress are doing too much to investigate the President rises 6 points.

Trump’s approval rating remains largely negative in the new poll — 52% disapprove and 43% approve — but that approval figure is the highest — by one point — since a CNN poll completed around the 100-day mark of his time in office. At the same time, the share who say they strongly approve of the way the President is handling his job (35%) is at its highest level ever in CNN’s polling.

The American public increasingly feels that Democrats in Congress are going too far in investigating the President — 44% say Democrats are doing too much on that score, up from 38% saying so in March. That shift stems largely from independents, 46% of whom now say congressional Democrats are going too far.

Congressional Democrats have called for Attorney General William Barr to testify this week, including in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, and have issued subpoenas to try to gain access to the full, unredacted version of Mueller’s report and for former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify. The Treasury Department recently missed a deadline set by House Democrats for turning over the President’s tax returns, and the Trump administration is fighting subpoenas issued for financial records from accounting firms and banks connected to Trump

Even with growing concern about overreach, majorities want Congress to investigate whether Trump committed obstruction of justice in the course of the Mueller investigation (58%) and to pursue legal action to obtain the full, unredacted version of the Mueller report (61%). The public is divided on Barr’s handling of the release of Mueller’s report — 44% approve and 43% disapprove, with a wide partisan gap.
About two-thirds still say Trump ought to release his tax returns (66%, including 52% who consider it important for the President to do). And most, 54%, say the President is not doing enough to cooperate with Democratic investigations.

The poll finds no change in the share of Americans who say they believe the President ought to be impeached compared with a March survey conducted before the completion of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Overall, 37% say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 59% say they do not feel that way. And while most who do back impeachment feel that way strongly (34% of adults strongly support impeachment, just 3% back it but not strongly), the share who strongly oppose it is larger (45% say they feel strongly that the President should not be impeached).

The numbers in other recent polls are somewhat consistent with the CNN poll, but continue to show Trump operating within the same job approval range we’ve seen repeatedly in the past:

  • The latest NPR/PBS/Marist poll, for example, shows the President’s job approval at 42% and his disapproval at 54%;
  • In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, Trump’s approval stands at 44% and his disapproval at 53%;
  • The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll puts the President’s job approval at 42% and his disapproval at 54%;
  • In the latest poll from The Hill, Trump’s approval stands at 45% and his disapproval at 55%;
  • The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows the President’s approval at 40% and his disapproval at 53%;
  • In the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, President Trump’s approval stands at 39% and his disapproval stands at 57%; and finally,
  • In the Rassmussen poll, which has been a consistent outlier throughout the Trump Administration, the President’s job approval stands at the hard to believe level of 50% and his disapproval stands at 48%

All of these polls were taken in the period after the redacted Mueller report was released in mid-April and, with the exception of the Reuters poll which measures all adults, consists of interviews with either registered or “likely” voters. What these numbers tell us is that the release of the report has had little substantive impact on the President’s job approval and that, at least marginally, the public’s perception of Trump’s performance has improved slightly since the release of the report, although not by a statistically significant amount.

This is reflected in the polling averages, which show the President’s numbers as being largely stable in the short term. In the RealClearPolitics average, for example, the President stands at 43.0% approve and 52.8% disapprove, creating a deficit for the President of -9.8 points. In the FiveThirtyEight polling average, Trump’s approval stands at 41.5% and his disapproval stands at 53.2%, a deficit of -11.7%. For both measures, these numbers are largely consistent with historic norms for the President and they suggest that, at least for the time being, the release of the Mueller report has not caused the President any new damage. This can also be seen in the chart for the RCP average:

And the chart for the the 538 average:

This is I suppose good news for the President in the sense that it shows that, at least so far, he hasn’t seen any erosion in his base from the release of the Mueller report. Since it is the support from his base that the President is clearly most concerned with, this suggests that he and his Administration are likely to continue their present strategy of seeking to undermine the report and blocking efforts by House Democrats to expand their own investigations of both the 2016 campaign and other aspects of the President’s Administration, personal finances, and business dealings.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    This I got right, I didn’t think the numbers would move.

  2. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Getting this one right is not a high bar to jump. Carnac the Magnificent could do it. The real story to this poll might be the people who think that the “Democrats in Congress are doing too much to investigate the President.” Those 6 pointsworth may be the entirety of the *swing vote* and provide the margin that will have the MAGAots chanting “Four more years!” on the first Wednesday in November 2020.

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  3. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Those 6 pointsworth may be the entirety of the *swing vote* and provide the margin that will have the MAGAots chanting “Four more years!” on the first Wednesday in November 2020.

    The same poll has Trump’s approval rating at 43%.

  4. rachel says:

    @michael reynolds:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Seriously, everybody who disapproves of him already knows he’s despicable, and the ones who approve like that about him. The only way his numbers drop with the latter is if he does something that impacts them in a negative and drastic way.

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  5. de stijl says:

    Support for Trump has proven so far thru his entire administration to be inelastic: those that approve are steadfast approvers, those that disapprove are likewise firm in their take.

  6. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Support for Trump has proven so far thru his entire administration to be inelastic: those that approve are steadfast approvers, those that disapprove are likewise firm in their take.

    I believe that’s largely true, but every now and then his approval experiences temporary dips. Last week a Reuters/Ipsos poll was released showing it at 37%, the lowest all year (including during the government shutdown), and some liberal blogs began crowing about how the Mueller report was finally taking a toll on his popularity. But now on the same pollster he seems to have returned to a lofty 40%. Maybe that was just statistical noise, but there have definitely been times (including during this year’s shutdown) where his approval went down only to bounce back as soon as the event in question passed. This is the “I don’t like what’s happening now, but I’m ok with Trump in general” bloc.

    At this point, the only thing I could see having a more long-lasting negative impact on his current ratings is an economic downturn–and then only maybe.

  7. Guarneri says:

    Alternatively, as I advised Reynolds two years ago, you got nuthin. Absolutely nuthin. Flog it if you want, but you look deranged.

    Next up, the Ohrs, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, Strzok, Page……and probably Lynch all in legal jeopardy. Maybe Yates.

    I’m stocking up on popcorn. I love to watch Rachel Maddow cry, and Lawrence O’Donnell make a fool of himself. I’d pick on CNN but it’s not kind to pick on the mentally impaired.

  8. de stijl says:

    @Guarneri:

    Who are you addressing?

    Flog it if you want, but you look deranged.

    Next up, the Ohrs, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, Strzok, Page……and probably Lynch all in legal jeopardy. Maybe Yates.

    Is this supposed to mean something? Are you trying to shame us? What is the intended message?

    BTW, I hope Lynch isn’t in legal trouble. He’s a unique director and a crackerjack actor to boot. Here David Lynch is in Harry Dean Stanton’s last movie called Lucky directed by rock star character actor John Carrol Lynch (no relation) in his directorial debut. In this scene David Lynch is defending his tortoise and the concept of perseverance and how pets enrich us.

    https://youtu.be/MCx-BahDSGg

    (I highly recommend Lucky, BTW.)

    Harry Dean Stanton was a oner. The day I saw Paris, Texas was a top 50 life experience, maybe top 25. It was a matinee and I went alone, and I walked out of it into a sunny, pleasant Saturday afternoon and I was on Hennepin Ave and the world was normal and I wasn’t.

  9. Paul L. says:

    “When a president openly threatens the integrity of the justice system, and says he has unlimited power to do so in the future, he not only can be impeached, he must be impeached.

    “Impeach Trump now.

    The currently known irrefutable evidence from the Mueller report, Cohen tapes and the Steele dossier broadcasted to the public by impeachment will drive down Trump’s approval rating and convince 20 Republican Senators that Trump must be removed from office.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Next up, the Ohrs, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, Strzok, Page……and probably Lynch all in legal jeopardy. Maybe Yates.

    Forget popcorn…your derangement seems to indicate someone who huffs paint…with all the money you supposedly have, you should seek out some medical help for your mental issues…

    The currently known irrefutable evidence from the Mueller report, Cohen tapes and the Steele dossier broadcasted to the public by impeachment will drive down Trump’s approval rating and convince 20 Republican Senators that Trump must be removed from office.

    More goal post moving I see…everyone knows that too many GOP senators are either too scared or too toadying of Trump to ever remove him from office…that wouldn’t be the point of impeachment…