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Trump Job Approval 43%; Ties Party Polarization Record

Trump Job Approval 43%; Ties Party Polarization Record

Story Highlights

  • Approval back above 40% after dipping to 39% in prior poll
  • 86-point party gap in ratings ties highest in a single poll
  • Only three presidents have registered 80+ point gaps

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump's job approval rating is 43% in the latest Gallup poll, back above 40% after falling below that mark in the late August survey. His current rating nearly matches his 42% average for 2019 to date, ranging from 37% during the government shutdown in January to 46% in April after an initial positive report on the Russia investigation and strong economic news.

Line graph. President Trump’s job approval rating is back above 40% in the latest poll, at 43%.


The Sept. 3-15 Gallup poll was conducted during a time of generally solid stock market performance, even amid ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and other countries. Trump fired national security adviser John Bolton during this time after negotiations with the Taliban to end U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan broke down. Democrats also held their third presidential debate on Sept. 12 as 10 candidates made their case to win the party's nomination and attempt to defeat Trump in the 2020 election.

Trump's job approval ratings continue to be marked by extreme partisan polarization, with 91% of Republicans and 5% of Democrats approving of the job he is doing. Thirty-eight percent of independents evaluate Trump's performance positively.

Line graph. 91% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 5% of Democrats approve of the job President Trump is doing.

The 86-point gap in Republican and Democratic ratings of the president ties the highest Gallup has measured in a single survey. This is the third time Trump's approval ratings have reached this level of polarization. Eighty-six points also separated Democratic and Republican ratings of President Barack Obama at the time of the 2012 presidential election.

Largest Party Differences in Presidential Job Approval Ratings, Single Gallup Polls
  Poll dates Republican Independent Democrat Rep-Dem Gap
    % % % pct. pts.
Trump 2019 Sep 3-16 91 38 5 86
Trump 2019 Mar 1-10 90 33 4 86
Trump 2018 Nov 5-11 91 34 5 86
Obama 2012 Oct 29-Nov 4 6 51 92 86
Trump 2019 Aug 15-30 88 34 3 85
Trump 2019 Jun 19-30 90 34 5 85

George W. Bush is the only other president who has had a gap of 80 or more percentage points in approval rating by party. Most of those measurements came during the fall of 2004, as he was seeking re-election, with a high of 83 points in Sept. 13-15 (95% Republican, 12% Democrat) and Oct. 1-3 (94% Republican, 11% Democrat) polls.

Prior to Bush, only Ronald Reagan had registered a party gap in approval rating of at least 70 percentage points in any single poll, doing so in two separate polls during the fall of his re-election year of 1984.

The historical pattern of greater party polarization in job approval during incumbent presidential election years suggests there could be new standards set next year when Trump tries to win a second term.

Explore President Trump's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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