Interesting. I never thought about it before, but it makes a lot of sense. Gallup’s theory is that there is almost no success that will allow Trump to win over his opponents, and almost nothing so heinous that it can turn his base against him. Breaking sharply from the trends in past years, only a small portion of the population can be swayed by current events.
“Americans’ approval of the job Donald Trump is doing as president has been highly stable, showing less movement than all previous presidents’ ratings during their first two years in office. His presidency also has been notable for the absence of two historically reliable patterns in presidential job approval — honeymoon periods and rally events. It is possible that Trump … has ushered in a new era of marked stability in job approval ratings resulting from extreme party polarization.”
One of the remarkable facets of the stability of Trump’s approval ratings is this: while his low points fall within the normal range, he has no high points.
LOW points: Trump’s low of 35 is not the lowest on the list, and five other Presidents have dipped into the thirties in their first two years: Clinton, Reagan, Ford, Carter and Truman.
HIGH points: This is where Trump is unusual. Every other president has risen at least to 59 in his first two years. Nine of the Presidents crossed the 70 threshold, and four of them topped 80. Trump’s high is 45. Six former presidents have a LOW point higher than Trump’s HIGH!
As a result of Trump’s lack of high points, his average approval rating for the first two years is BY FAR the lowest in history. He has averaged 39%. The next lowest is 48%. The average for all Presidents is 59%.
I think Gallup may be reaching a hasty conclusion about Trump’s inability to create approval increases through rally events. The fact that he has not done so doesn’t mean it is not possible. I believe he could still get his ratings up with notable successes or acts of statesmanship, the equivalent of killing bin Laden or the Camp David accords. I just don’t know whether he is capable of such acts.