Donald Trump has given himself a thumbs up for approval rating by repeatedly tweeting a Rasmussen poll over the last 24 hours that shows a Trump approval rating sitting at 50 percent. However, the poll is heavily contradicted by multiple other polls taken during the same time frame. In the same time frame that he tweeted his perceived approval rating bump this weekend, Donald Trump also tweeted concerns that protesters attending Trump Tax Day rallies last weekend, who were asking to see his tax returns, were paid protesters.
The actions of the protesters heard in 150 cities across America on April 15, Tax Day in America, are aligned with the polls that still have Trump’s approval rating much lower than 50 percent. Many Tax Day marches this weekend also had protesters asking to impeach Trump.
The most recent Daily Presidential Tracking Poll by Rasmussen Report has approval for the president sharply divided at 50 percent approve, and 50 percent disapproval. This report was promptly reported on by the Drudge Report, which Donald Trump retweeted. Donald Trump then tweeted the Rasmussen poll of his approval rating again today.
The Rasmussen Report poll showed Trump’s approval rating at 50 percent and a 30 percent approval rating for people that strongly approve of Trump. The same poll showed that 39 percent strongly disapproved. The numbers are much different than what other polls on Trump’s approval rating showed in the same timeframe.
CNN reports that the most recent Gallup poll has Donald Trump at 41 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval. A Marist poll has Trump’s approval rating today at 39 percent approval and 49 percent disapproval.
The Pew Research Center also reports that Trump’s approval rating is 39 percent and has not changed much since February. The Pew Research Center notes that less than half of voters they polled at 46 percent are somewhat confident in Trump’s ability to work with Congress. That number is down from 60 percent in December that expressed confidence in his projected ability to work with Congress.
Pew also reports that in December, 44 percent of voters said they were confident that Trump would be able to avoid a scandal. That number has fallen in recent polls that show only 36 percent of voters now feel confident he can avoid a scandal.
But Donald Trump has used the Rasmussen poll released this week to give himself a thumbs up on job performance. CNN conducted an analysis on the nature of the Rasmussen report to determine how the numbers were reached. CNN reports that there are “a few reasons to be skeptical” about Trump’s Rasmussen poll.
First, Rasmussen polls survey “likely” voters, but Rasmussen is reluctant to say how they arrive at who “likely voters” are. Also, Rasmussen conducts automated voice polling as opposed to a live person talking to respondents on the phone. This eliminates the ability to call cell phones of likely voters, as automated polls are banned for cell phones.
CNN notes that Rasmussen also will not disclose how they determine who they call. Most pollsters use a method called random digit dialing, where homes of voters are called randomly, while other pollsters will conduct their polls from a privately maintained voter file. It is unclear which of these methods Rasmussen uses, and Rasmussen will not disclose their methodology.
The Rasmussen poll of Trump’s approval also was not detailed in all aspects of his job, compared to other polls. Rasmussen only reported on job approval and disapproval, whereas other polls went deeper into issues related to the presidency, international affairs, Congress, and foreign policy.
In a Pew Research poll, America’s position internationally was explored. Forty-five percent in a Pew Research poll said that Trump’s policies have made America weaker. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was also given a very low approval rating and came out of the Pew Research poll, with just 29 percent approval rating and 54 percent of Americans disapproving of his job performance.
Only half of Republicans at 51 percent approve of Speaker Ryan’s performance, and Democrats overwhelmingly disapprove of it at 75 percent. Pew Research polling also showed a very divided Republican party. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans note the party is “mostly divided,” and 48 percent say the Democrats are mostly divided.
Also, a majority of Republicans and those who lean Republican are saying that Congress is under no obligation to support Trump, with 55 percent saying Congress can and should go another way if they do not support Trump. Only 43 percent of Republicans believe Congress should support Trump unequivocally.
Trump did not tweet those numbers this week, only the numbers that gave him a 50 percent approval rating, in a poll that appears to be shrouded in secrecy as to its methodology.
Meanwhile, as those polls were being taken, Americans were taking to the streets in 150 cities across America this weekend. The numbers of the Pew Research and Marist polls this weekend were paralleled by actions of voters present at the Trump Tax Day march, where protesters were asking Trump to show his taxes.
Reuters reports that “tens of thousands” marched to demand Trump release his tax returns. Trump has repeatedly said that Americans do not care about this issue in an effort to excuse himself from releasing them. He has also said that his taxes are under audit and that this is why he can’t release them.
But Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, refuted this herself, saying that’s not why he’s not releasing them, reported Vox in January. She said that unless Congress makes Trump release them, he won’t.
The Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Trump-Russia allegations has said that day may come with a subpoena. Also, a Quinnipiac University poll in August of 2016 refutes Trump’s claims that Americans do not want to see his tax returns. In that poll, 74 percent of Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, want to see his tax returns.
A Fox News poll in September 2016 revealed that 60 percent of voters, Republicans and Democrats alike, believe Trump is hiding something in his tax returns and that this is the real reason he is not showing them.
Trump is the first president in 40 years to not disclose his tax returns, and this is what has prompted the Tax March in over 150 cities this weekend. Reuters reports that the two biggest marches occurred in New York City and Los Angeles, each drawing over 5,000 protesters. Inflatable roosters were seen at the marches that appeared to be mocking Trump with a metallic orange hairdo and angry expression.
One protester in New York, 51-year-old Marni Halasa, was wearing a tutu and leggings made of fake dollar bills said that she thinks presidents should be required by law to release tax returns. There is currently a bill before Congress that is called the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, and has 33 cosponsors that include 31 Democrats and 2 Republicans. The two Republicans on the bill are Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina.
The White House could not be immediately reached for comment on the Tax Day marches happening this weekend. But Trump did tweet himself on Easter Sunday, saying that “somebody should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!”
But the rallies were not small and spanned 150 cities in America, as well as all across the world in Europe, Japan, and also New Zealand.
One of the most notable figures at a march this weekend was Congress member Maxine Walters, who appeared at a march in Washington, D.C.
Appearing at an event prior to the march, Maxine Waters said, “He is a con man. He is someone who will do whatever is necessary to get over at the moment.”
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) April 15, 2017
Maxine Waters also led an Impeach Trump chant at a Tax Day march.
Speaking beforehand, she said, “I don’t respect this president, I don’t trust this president. He’s not working in the best interests of the American people. His motives and his actions are contemptible, and I will fight every day until he is impeached.”
Rasmussen poll on Trump approval rating was reported on again today with the same numbers. It is the only poll today showing those numbers. Rasmussen Reports has been widely refuted since long before Trump took office as a heavily biased poll.
In 2012, expert pollster Nate Silver wrote in the New York Times that Rasmussen Report had a “strong pro-Republican house effect” but was wrong on Mitt Romney. In a separate report, Nate Cohn for the New York Times in 2014 said that the firm had “a record of relying on dubious sampling and weighting techniques.”
For the Princeton Election Consortium, Sam Wang in 2012 noted that, “Rasmussen’s organization is a frequent subject of discussion among obsessive consumers of polls. Statistically, the bias of his data is very well-documented.”
Trump tweeting Rasmussen polls in his favor are no surprise to anyone. Polls that do not align with his own perceived favor are called fake news by him and his dwindling base. When a poll shows something good for him, as Trump’s Rasmussen poll showed with Trump’s perceived approval of 50 percent, Trump is happy to tweet it several times, as he did so yesterday and today.
[Feature Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]