Trump Set To Leave Office With A Higher Approval Rating Than George W. Bush
President Donald Trump is leaving office with a higher approval rating and the Republican Party on better footing than after President George W. Bush exited the office in 2009, when the younger Bush saw historically low ratings.
According to RealClearPolitics’ aggregate of polls, Trump is moving out of the White House with a nearly 40 percent approval rating overall. Bush enjoyed just under 30 percent of Americans on his side at this same point in his presidency. One recent poll by the Pew Research Center made headlines this month. It was conducted in the aftermath of the attacks on Capitol Hill and showed Trump on his way out with the same approval rating as his last Republican predecessor, at 29 percent. Yet the poll is an outlier among seven other surveys conducted entirely in the aftermath of the latest Capitol riots, showing Trump’s approval well above 30 percent. The most recent poll included in the RealClear average, from Rasmussen and conducted Jan. 11-14, shows Trump with a 48 percent approval rating.
At the same point in Bush’s presidency, days before the incoming Democrat’s inauguration, the outgoing president also saw a poll illustrating public support below the outgoing average at 22 percent, still far lower than the survey results from the Pew Research Center released on Trump Friday. The ousted one-term Republican has also left his party in better shape than it was in when he took office, transforming the GOP into an increasingly multi-racial, working-class party and with Democrats holding razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate after capturing the White House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will now preside over a 10-vote majority, compared to a 79-vote majority as Bush left office in 2009. In the Senate, Democrats now hold a majority merely because they control the White House. Vice President Kamala Harris will be the tie-breaking vote in a 50-50 Senate where West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin looms large and has a red-state constituency to satisfy.
In 2009, Democrats held a 59-41 majority and the chamber’s two independent members caucused with the Democrats. Democrats later claimed a 60-40 supermajority once then-Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties early in the Congress.
For all the negative headlines about Trump, it’s clear the president remains far more unpopular in the media establishment driven by beltway narratives than in the rest of the country.
Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.