what is the point: We still have five months to go until the general election, which, in theory, has time to change the race for the presidency. In fact, horse polls sometimes shifted dramatically between this point and election day.
However, presidential approval rates have not historically moved much from June from election year to election day.
It seems quite likely at this point that Trump’s approval rating will be 50% south and that the net approval rating (approval – reject) is negative when people vote. This should be very troubling for Trump, given the strong correlation between approval ratings and re-election opportunities.
The average president has experienced a change in his approval rating by just three points from now to elections. This will only cause Trump to reach his mid-forties. Trump’s assessment was similar during the mid-term of 2018, when his party lost control of the House.
Net approval ratings tell the same story. The average president got a shift in the net approval rate of just 6 points from that point forward. Given that Trump’s net rating is lowest in negative to mid-teens, an improvement of 6 points will drop with net approval around -7 to -10 points on election day. Again, this is where it was during mid-2018.
Although Trump is not over. President ratings may change. Harry Truman saw a 20-point increase in his net approval in the last five months of the 1948 campaign. On the other hand, Lyndon B. Johnson’s net acceptance rate fell by about 15 points in the final months of the 1964 election.
However, we’re only talking about two out of 13 presidents, whose net acceptance rate has increased by more than 10 points in the last five months of the campaign. One of these went in the wrong direction to the president. Trump needs his net approval rating to climb more than 10 points to reach a positive net rating.
Could Trump be one of the 20%? clearly. Not close to 20% to 0%.