Donald Trump loves to criticize approval polls.
Well, not all of them. He loves the folks at Rasmussen polling because they consistently show him with a higher approval rating than other polling firms. Higher to the tune of an average of 5 points.
Today, the Trumpster took to Twitter to boast of his 50% approval rating:
Rasmussen just came out at 51% Approval despite the Fake News Media. They were one of the three most accurate on Election Day. Just about the most inaccurate were CNN and ABC News/Washington Post, and they haven’t changed (get new pollsters). Much of the media is a Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2018
But it’s important to note that there are reasons why Rasmussen shows a higher Trump approval result.
According to The Washington Post, Rasmussen’s methodology involves only polling likely voters instead of registered voters. That one aspect contributes to a “right lean” of the results since, generally speaking, Republicans tend to be more likely to vote than Democrats.
Also, Rasmussen only polls via landlines. In the past ten years, a lot of younger people have switched to life with only a cell phone. So, those folks never get contacted by Rasmussen.
Younger people tend to be more liberal and older tend to be more conservative. The math isn’t hard here.
Looking at that “right lean” effect, as The Washington Post notes, during Obama’s administration Rasmussen averaged 3.9 points below other polling organizations in terms of approval numbers. And, during Trump’s time in office they have averaged 4.9 points higher than others.
If you want to get a better sense of where Trump’s true approval numbers are, it makes sense to look at the Real Clear Politics average of polls tracking Trump’s approval rating:
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As you can see, Rasmussen is by far the highest rating Trump gets among polls. But the average shows him at 42.1% approval which right in the range he’s been since taking office.
But knock yourself out, Donnie. If you wanna happy dance around your one decent poll, go for it.
This Washington Post article is insightful to understand how some polling firms differ in how they measure approval ratings.