Donald Trump: A Stable President?

Visualizing approval polls across Presidents over the past 75 years

Figure 1: Donald Trump Polling Approval Ratings; Source: FiveThirtyEight

The Significance of Presidential Approval Ratings

Figure 2: Presidents used to be much more susceptible to large swings in approval, with the population evaluating their job in addition to their party affiliation.
Figure 3: The average President polled much better than Trump in their first four years, with only a few dipping below the 35–40% mark that symbolized Trump’s general support.

Do Political Events Even Matter Anymore?

Figure 4: Richard Nixon is a classic case of the negative swings that can take place if a president does something wrong, which eventually led to his resignation.
Figure 5: George W. Bush was a polarizing figure, but achieved significant support as president after the horrific 9–11 attacks in 2001.
Figure 6: Obama’s approval ratings were buoyed by independents both at the beginning, middle and end of his time as president. Interestingly, his popularity rose as he was leaving office.
Figure 7: Donald Trump’s approval rate might look like it had swung up and down, but compared with every other president there is little movement in his numbers.

The Lack of Change is in the Numbers

Figure 8: It is always helpful to look at the numbers behind any chart and come to your own conclusions!



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Dylan Anderson

Data Strategy Lead at Redkite. Code in R & blog about politics using data. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter or at my blog