Donald Trump Approval Rating At Lowest Since May, Journalist Asks What If Barack Obama Polled As Low As Trump?

A prominent political reporter has compared media coverage of Barack Obama's approval ratings with Donald Trump's and found some striking differences.

Donald Trump gestures.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A prominent political reporter has compared media coverage of Barack Obama's approval ratings with Donald Trump's and found some striking differences.

Donald Trump’s approval rating, as calculated in an average of all polls by FiveThirtyEight.com, now sits at its lowest point since May, and has not topped 43 percent since March of 2017, when Trump had been in office only two months. In fact, Trump remains the only president since approval rating polls were first taken in 1945 never to enjoy average approval of more at least 50 percent at any point in his term — a term which for Trump is now 953-days-old.

According to the FiveThirtyEight.com average, Trump now wallows at a 41.3 percent approval rating. The last time Trump was that low in the average of all approval polls came on May 25, when Trump’s average approval dipped to 41.2 percent.

While Trump’s average approval is lower than any previous president, after 953 days Trump’s rating tops only one president, Jimmy Carter, who at the same point in 1979 stood at a dismal 32.2 percent approval. But while Trump has frequently boasted, if dubiously, that he presides over “the greatest economy in the history of our country,” according to The Washington Post, the economy in 1979 under Carter was anything but great.

In fact, consumer price inflation under Carter spiked to nearly 15 percent, according to The Week.

At the same time, following the Islamic revolution that overthrew the United States-supported Shah of Iran, the country was plunged into an “oil shock” that sent gasoline and fuel prices skyrocketing, according to a history by The Federal Reserve.

Barack Obama gives a press conference.
President Barack Obama answers questions from reporters. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

But Trump has no such external factors to account for his historically dismal approval ratings.

On Sunday, journalist and media critic Eric Boehlert — a former reporter for Rolling Stone and many other publications — published a commentary on The Daily Kos site, asking why media coverage has not reflected the severity of Trump’s approval rating crisis, instead often portraying Trump as reaching a “high mark,” and even the “highest approval rating of presidency” even when his approval remains well under 50 percent.

Boehlert notes that media coverage of President Barack Obama’s polling stood in stark contrast to the charitable coverage received by Trump. One 2011 essay appearing in The New York Times Magazine, asked the alarming question, “Is Obama toast?” when Obama’s ratings took a slight dip.

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Boehlert also notes that, as The Inquisitr has reported, Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden has consistently led Trump by double digits in head-to-head polling.

But when a poll in 2011 showed Obama tied with prospective Republican challenger Mitt Romney, The Guardian called it a “shock poll” and warned that “Obama’s hopes of re-election to the White House next year took a knock.”

If Obama’s polling in 2011 was as bad as Trump’s polling today, the press would have told him “not to even bother running for a second term because his presidency was effectively over,” Boehlert wrote. “Beltway journalists love to portray Trump as supersavvy and always two steps ahead of Democrats. But that’s not what the actual polling shows today.”