Gallup: Trump Approval More Stable Than Approval for Prior Presidents

To date, Trump has averaged 39% job approval as president, with his survey ratings ranging from a low of 35% to a high of 45%. The 10-percentage point range in Trump’s approval is the smallest for any president during his first two years in the Oval Office by a significant margin. Richard Nixon had the second smallest range of job approval at 16 points, while the average for presidents prior to Trump during their first two years is 28 points.

Five other presidents, like Trump, registered job approval ratings below 40% at some point in their first two years in office. Those other presidents tended to have wider ranges in approval — four had ranges in excess of 30 points, and the other had a range of 22 points.

Presidents who had smaller ranges tended to have much greater support than Trump does now. In other words, they started with high approval ratings and generally stayed high over their first two years, whereas Trump has started low and stayed low.

Another way to measure the stability of presidential approval is to look at the standard deviation around a mean, which indicates how spread out all measures are around the mean value. Larger standard deviations indicate there is more variation in a measure. The standard deviation around Trump’s 39% average approval rating is just 2.3 points, meaning roughly two thirds of his job approval ratings have been either 2.3 points above or 2.3 points below his average rating (roughly between 37% and 41%).

The average standard deviation in job approval ratings for presidents prior to Trump is 7.6 percentage points, more than three times larger than for Trump.