As Donald Trump again took to Twitter Monday morning to ridicule the National Football League over declining TV ratings, his own approval rating continued to wallow at record lows. Data from several polls shows that while the NFL ratings have dropped in 2017, Trump’s own approval ratings have plunged much faster since the start of his term in late January.
After 10 weeks of the NFL on television in the 2017 season — that is, prior to the past weekend of games — the league’s TV ratings were down seven percent from the previous year, which while a matter of concern to the NFL and its commercial sponsors, marks an improvement from the same point in 2016 — when ratings were down 12 percent.
A direct comparison with Trump and his approval rating is not possible, of course, because Trump is still in his first year in the Oval Office. But a comparison of Trump’s approval rating as of Monday, his 305th day in office, with his approval rating at the start of his term shows that Trump’s popularity has taken a worse beating than the NFL’s — almost three times worse, judged by the weighted average of all Trump approval rating polls as compiled by the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight.com.
Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017
In his Monday tweet, Trump singled out Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who has remained seated during the playing of the United States national anthem for each fame this season. Lynch sat again on Sunday during the anthem prior to the Raiders’ Sunday game against the New England Patriots — a game played at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico.
But as Trump noted, when the Mexican national anthem was played, Lynch stood. Trump has repeatedly blamed NFL players who have refused to stand during the U.S. national anthem — an ongoing protest against police violence against African Americans — for the decline in NFL TV ratings, as he did again on Monday.
So how badly have Trump’s approval ratings plunged, compared to NFL TV ratings? On January 25, five days after his inauguration, Trump’s approval rating peaked in the FiveThirtyEight.com average at 47.8 percent. But as of Monday, 300 days later, Trump’s approval had plummeted to an anemic 38.1 percent. That’s a drop of 9.7 percentage points — or a drop of more than 20 percent. That’s nearly three times as bad as the NFL’s seven percent drop.
In fact, NFL ratings have shown signs of recovering. Sunday night’s game pitting the Philadelphia Eagles against the Dallas Cowboys scored a healthy 13.5 rating, up 17 percent from the Sunday night game featuring the Patriots easily trouncing the Denver Broncos one week earlier.
And despite the fact that Trump as well as conservative political commentators have blamed the NFL’s ratings drop on the anthem protests and “liberal politics” in general, another sport favored by conservatives, NASCAR auto racing, has seen a significantly bigger drop in ratings than the NFL, with a whopping 17 percent plunge.
Individual polls have also shown a similar drop in the Trump approval rating since January. The Gallup daily tracking poll saw Trump at a high of 46 percent on January 25, but only 38 percent as of November 18, an eight-point drop, or a 17 percent loss of support for Trump since January 25.
Even Rasmussen Reports, which has been consistently the most positive approval rating poll for Trump throughout 2017, has shown a devastating drop. Trump hit his highest Rasmussen rating on January 26, with a 59 percent approval rating. But by November 20 Trump’s approval had sunk to 41 percent — a dizzying 30 percent loss of support for Trump.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harrer/Getty Images]