HUFFPOLLSTER: How Much Have Trump's Approval Ratings Dropped? It Varies By Survey

Most polls find some level of rising disapproval.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the law enforcement at the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) Winter Con
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the law enforcement at the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) Winter Conference in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2017

Approval trackers show an uptick in negative reviews for the president. A survey measuring views of Islam shows a decline in unfavorable opinions. And a new poll finds some confusion about the difference between Obamacare and the ACA. This is HuffPollster for Friday, February 10, 2017.

DISAPPROVAL OF TRUMP’S PERFORMANCE RISES - HuffPollster: “There’s a fair amount of discrepancy between individual pollsters on where Trump’s job-approval numbers stand, although a majority give him negative ratings. A few weeks into Trump’s presidency, however, there’s enough data to look at how each of those pollsters think Trump’s ratings have changed since he took office. The chart below compares the latest polls, as of Wednesday afternoon, with the earliest from eight pollsters who’ve released at least two surveys on Trump’s job performance since his inauguration. There’s a substantial amount of variance here, as well, for potential reasons that may range from methodology to when each poll was conducted.  But most pollsters, regardless of where they think Trump started, now find his net approval rating ― the difference between his approval and disapproval numbers ― to be at least somewhat lower than when he became president….What’s also notable is where the biggest change comes from in most of these polls….Trump’s overall ratings seem to be falling because some people who started off with a neutral impression on Inauguration Day have since soured on the president. Each of the eight surveys shows disapproval increasing, with the change ranging from 2 points to 13 points.” [HuffPost]

-Kathy Frankovic finds Republicans “very happy” with Trump’s first weeks as president. [YouGov]

-Patrick J. Egan examines whether “shy” Trump supporters could be hurting his ratings. [WashPost]

AMERICANS SIDE WITH TRUMP ON TRADE, BUT NOT OTHER POLICIES - HuffPollster:  “Americans support President Donald Trump’s stance on renegotiating major trade deals by an unmistakable margin. But when it comes to other items on Trump’s agenda, such as building a border wall and repealing the Affordable Care Act, voters are considerably more skeptical, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Sixty percent of voters said they were in favor of Trump ‘renegotiating major trade deals with other countries, even if it means paying more for the products you buy,’ according to the poll. Meanwhile, 31 percent said they opposed the idea. Elsewhere, though, support for the president’s proposals was less robust. Fifty-nine percent of voters said they oppose building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, compared with only 38 percent who said they support it….When asked if Trump should support efforts to repeal the ACA, voters were split, with exactly half saying he shouldn’t support repeal and 46 percent saying he should.” [HuffPost]

NEGATIVE VIEWS OF ISLAM HAVE DECLINED - HuffPollster: “Americans’ view of Islam are, by and large, hostile. But negative opinions of the religion have dropped significantly during the past year, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, despite ― or perhaps in response to ― the anti-Islam rhetoric often espoused by President Donald Trump and his advisers. Last March, Americans were 42 points more likely to view the religion negatively than they were to view it positively. That gap dropped to 33 points by June, and to 20 points in the most recent survey, the lowest it’s been since HuffPost/YouGov surveys first asked the question nearly two years ago….In June 2016, Democrats, Republicans and independents all held net negative views of Islam, although the gap was most pronounced among Republicans. Since then, Democrats’ opinions of the religion have improved significantly ― favorable opinions have risen by 11 points, while unfavorable opinions have fallen by 13 points. Independents’ negativity toward Islam has also noticeably lessened, although that primarily reflects opinions shifting from ‘unfavorable’ to ‘not sure,’ rather than an increase in positive opinions….Republican views seem to have stayed the same, or even moderated slightly.” [HuffPost]

NOT EVERYONE REALIZES THE ACA IS THE SAME AS OBAMACARE - Kyle Dropp and Brendan Nyhan: “A sizable minority of Americans don’t understand that Obamacare is just another name for the Affordable Care Act. This finding, from a poll by Morning Consult, illustrates the extent of public confusion over a health law that President Trump and Republicans in Congress hope to repeal. In the survey, 35 percent of respondents said either they thought Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different policies (17 percent) or didn’t know if they were the same or different (18 percent). This confusion was more pronounced among people 18 to 29 and those who earn less than $50,000 — two groups that could be significantly affected by repeal.” [NYT]

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FRIDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Monmouth University sees health care topping Americans’ list of concerns. [Monmouth]

-Reuters/Ipsos quantifies “the emotional cost of the 2016 election.” [Reuters]

Jeffrey S. Passel and D’vera Cohn note that unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. are concentrated in 20 major metropolitan areas. [Pew]

-Harry Enten finds few congressional Republicans voting against the president. [538]

-Kyle Kondik looks at the districts where voters split their tickets in 2016, and the implication for the next midterms. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Amy Walter questions whether the GOP’s strategy last year can translate to 2018. [Cook Political]

-Stephen Wolf maps out the Republican-held districts where Trump received less than half of the vote. [Daily Kos (D)]

-David Byler explains why megacities haven’t gained much in political power. [RCP]

-Steve Koczela argues that polling now matters more than ever. [Commonwealth]