WASHINGTON, D.C. — In Gallup polling conducted over the two weeks leading up to the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating is 46%, its highest point since May. Although still short of the majority approval that incumbent presidents typically need in order to be confident of reelection, more Americans say they expect he, rather than Joe Biden, will win the election.
Trump’s Pre-Debate Approval Rating Remains Below His Personal Best
Trump started the year with the highest approval rating of his presidency (49%) amid his acquittal on impeachment charges, but it subsequently descended to the 38% to 42% range during the summer as the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic downturn, and racial injustice issues afflicted the nation.
Although the increase of four percentage points in Trump’s latest rating is not statistically significant, the poll’s internals suggest a rise in his support the second half of the Sept. 14-28 field period coincident with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and lying in state, as well as Trump’s announcing that he would quickly make a nomination to the Supreme Court. This suggests that some viewed his handling of the situation positively.