Trump Approval Ratings: ‘Dilbert’ Creator Scott Adams Provides A New Way To Analyze Polling Data

Evan VucciAP Images

Earlier this week, Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams theorized that U.S. President Donald Trump’s historically low approval ratings are unlikely to improve, assuming polling data itself is valid, because the American public is so polarized.

With so many voters locked into their respective positions either pro- or anti-Trump (and the latter cohort includes the Never Trump Republicans who may actually support some aspects of his agenda), traditional approval-related polling is akin to the regimented process of taking attendance, Adams insisted.

In its daily tracking poll for today, Rasmussen indicates that 44 percent of likely U.S. voters respond favorably to the president’s performance. Recall that Scott Adams long predicted that “master persuader” and “3-D chess master” Donald Trump would win the presidency in Election 2016 because of what he describes as the ex-real estate mogul’s talent stack.

On his blog, Adams asserted that a better measuring stick for the president’s approval in contemporary America is the Small Business Optimism Index, which the National Federation of Independent Businesses claims hit an all-time high in 2017.

Adams writes that business optimism, and how it plays out it in the economy, should reset the deck for presidential approval, and based on that standard, Trump is doing very well.

“I contend that business optimism — and small business optimism in particular — are the new standard for presidential approval because ‘economics’ captures most of what a president influences…In a free, capitalist country, ‘the economy’ captures all the goodness and badness of a presidency without really trying. And the measure that best reflects the future of the economy, in my opinion, is small business optimism….But when small business owners are feeling good about the economy, that means the president is doing a more bottoms-up job of getting things right. President Trump has focused on bottoms-up economics from the start, meaning jobs and lessened regulations. Apparently that is working.”

POTUS Trump small business optimism approval rating
Featured image credit: Evan VucciAP Images

Adams added that Trump’s personality-driven lackluster showing in “old-timey” presidential approval polls also explains why North Korea is headed to the bargaining table with their southern counterparts. “President Trump’s tweets didn’t cause a war; they caused North Korean flexibility.” Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s president, has publicly credited Trump with making the talks happen.

Trump is expected to campaign extensively across the country for GOP candidates seeking election or reelection in the 2018 midterms.

Separately, NFIB President Juanita Duggan explained that her organization’s optimism index in 2017 set a record high in its 45 years of existence. “With a massive tax cut this year, accompanied by significant regulatory relief, we expect very strong growth, millions more jobs, and higher pay for Americans,” she added. According to other data, consumer confidence and manufacturing expansion are also said to be up. Moreover, corporate America began handing out bonuses to employees almost immediately after the tax reform legislation cleared both houses of Congress.


In October 2017, Bill Clinton’s former pollster pushed back against conventional wisdom about Donald Trump’s low approval ratings. He seemed to suggest that voters can hold at least two thoughts simultaneously, i.e., disliking Trump’s inflammatory or hyperbolic tweets or discourse (or by extension, unnecessary feuds with his political foes), but still backing the policies of the man who was a former Democrat and independent and who ran for and won the presidency on the GOP ticket as a first-time candidate. There are also published allegations in The Daily Caller and elsewhere that pollsters — who got the 2016 election wrong — tend to oversample Democrats in their surveys. History, for example, has shown that the experts’ insistence that Donald Trump had a limited ceiling of voters was way off the mark.