In our latest Zogby Poll, the president has recorded his best job approval rating on record-52% at least somewhat approved/47% at least somewhat disapproved. When it came to intensity of surveyed voters, a third (32%) strongly approved while 35% strongly disapproved. There were specific demographics in the president's job approval numbers that helped move his overall rating upward: he improved drastically with younger voters aged 18-29 (50% at least somewhat approved/49% at least somewhat disapproved) and voters aged 30-64 (54% at least somewhat approved/45% at least somewhat disapproved. In contrast, the oldest voters aged 65+ (44% at least somewhat approved/56% at least somewhat disapproved) were less enthusiastic about the president's job performance to date.
The president continued to solidify his base by performing very well with men and Republicans. Thus, 63% of men at least somewhat approved of the president compared to 42% of women (36% of men at least somewhat disapproved vs. 58% of women). To no one's surprise, the president's job approval numbers were also strong with Republicans (88% at least somewhat approved/11% at least somewhat disapproved).
However, the president also improved his numbers with Independents (44% at least somewhat approved/53% at least somewhat disapproved). And intriguingly, nearly a quarter of Democrats at least somewhat approved of the president's job performance (23% at least somewhat approved/76% at least somewhat disapproved).
Trump's numbers continued to fall with non-college degree voters (47% at least somewhat approved/52% at least somewhat disapproved), but he continued to ride a wave of support among college educated voters, as a majority (58% at least somewhat approved/42% at least somewhat disapproved) approved of the president's job performance. When it came to region things were more fractured as voters in the East (53% at least somewhat approved/46% at least somewhat disapproved) and South regions (61% at least somewhat approved/38% at least somewhat disapproved) each had a majority give the president a positive approval rating. Voters in the West (43% at least somewhat approved/56% at least somewhat disapproved) and Central/Great Lakes regions (45% at least somewhat approved/53% at least somewhat disapproved) were less impressed with Trump's performance as president.
In order to get a grip on where Trump's job approval rating stands in the minority communities, we surveyed 351 African Americans, 382 Hispanics, and 350 Asian Americans. What we found were some instances of stronger job approval numbers, than previously thought, but also many numbers consistent with previous findings. Overall, among African Americans, the president's numbers (36% at least somewhat approved/61% at least somewhat disapproved) were much better than we saw in previous polling including his previous record of 27% approval. In addition to this surprising revelation, the president's job approval numbers were also very high among young African American voters aged 18-29 (54% at least somewhat approved/46% at least somewhat disapproved) and African Americans aged 18-24 (49% at least somewhat approved/49% at least somewhat disapproved). Our polls have registered this phenomenon before, but not at the current levels.
When it came to Hispanic and Asian voters, enthusiasm for Trump's job performance, especially among younger voters, leveled off. Hispanics' view of Trump's job performance was, at 37% at least somewhat approved/62% at least somewhat disapproved, similar to that observed among African American voters. A majority of almost every sub-group at least somewhat disapproved of Trump's job as president, with the exception of Hispanic weekly Walmart and weekly Amazon shoppers (both had majorities approve of the president's job). It must also be noted that Trump did somewhat well among Hispanic men and voters aged 30-49 (both 46% at least somewhat approved/53% at least somewhat disapproved).
Among Asian voters, slightly more than a third of likely voters at least somewhat approved of the president's job performance, while almost two-thirds disapproved (35% at least somewhat approved/63% at least somewhat disapproved). Again, like Hispanics, a majority of almost every Asian demographic sub-group at least somewhat disapproved of Trump's job as president.
Another area we are presently keeping an eye on is the president's job approval among urban voters. As violent protests and violent crime continue to spike in cities like Chicago, Kenosha, New York City, and Portland, Trump's standing with urban voters in large cities (59% at least somewhat approved/38% at least somewhat disapproved), and small cities (51% at least somewhat approved/49% at least somewhat disapproved) continues to climb higher. The president's job approval rating is lagging a little in medium size cities (45% at least somewhat approved/54% at least somewhat disapproved) and the suburbs (43% at least somewhat approved/57% at least somewhat disapproved), but remains very strong in the rural parts of the country (61% at least somewhat approved/39% at least somewhat disapproved).
When it came to our unique demographics, Trump performed well with consumers, such as, weekly Walmart shoppers (62% at least somewhat approved/37% at least somewhat disapproved), NASCAR fans (67% at least somewhat approved/32% at least somewhat disapproved), weekly Amazon shoppers (60% at least somewhat approved/40% at least somewhat disapproved), union voters (62% at least somewhat approved/37% at least somewhat disapproved) and swing voters, who voted for both Obama and Trump (84% at least somewhat approved/15% at least somewhat disapproved).
Why is Trump performing well with voters when he shouldn't be? There is still a pandemic, although a lot less worse than before, the economy is still hurting from the shutdown, and Joe Biden is coming off an impressive (he didn't botch a pre-taped acceptance speech) party nomination. How in the world are things close again? The short answer is the race has always been close! While some polls have had Biden leading by wide margins, some as high as 15 percentage points, we've always had the race tied or within as much as four points. Trump will always do well with his base, which is roughly 40-45% of the electorate and there is always going to be the same portion (40-45%) of the electorate, who will never vote for him, no matter what. It's possible that we do not have another landslide presidential election for a few generations. We are as polarized a nation, on a level not seen since the Civil War.
The battle for each campaign, whether it's Biden or Trump, is for the middle 10-20% who haven't made up their minds, and probably won't until the they are in voting booths come November 3, 2020. That's also the difficult task for pollsters: we can get a good idea of what's going on in the electorate but we can't determine the psychology of the voters who haven't made up their minds, or who might change their minds.
Outside of little good news as of late, except for the UAE and Israeli peace deal, Trump has had little domestic and international accomplishments to brag about. It seems as though he has taken a back seat recently, a la Joe Biden. He has had definite distractions, mainly a pandemic and struggling economy to contend with, both which have prevented him from promoting his second term agenda.
While most voters will point to definite failures from the Trump administration, such as a slow federal response to Covid-19, enough voters might not totally blame him for the pandemic and its fallout. Our polling shows that less than a majority (49%) of voters blame the president for the 166,000+ death toll. While that is a large percentage, it might not be enough to throw him out of office: the remaining 42% did not blame Trump and 9% were not sure. Another factor continuing to help the president's high approval rating is a rise in crime in our nation's biggest cities. Unlike a year ago, the president is performing well with voters in large cities. It's highly likely he is benefiting from the uptick in violence. His law and order message is resonating with urban voters at the moment.
The president is also improving his job approval numbers with African Americans and Millennial African Americans, which is a trend we witnessed last year. Trump has been making the case that he has done more for African American voters, by way of prison reform and previously low Black unemployment, than Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, both of whom have been accused by the president for increasing incarceration among African Americans for generations on non-violent drug charges.
Trump is also polling better with younger voters and Millennials. Trump will have to take advantage of this momentum going into his convention speech, and make the case for why he should be re-elected and why we should stick the course with him. He will do what Joe Biden didn't and won't do, be accessible every night, and try to convince us, the voters, why we want to reclaim our independence and economic livelihood by re-electing him, even if there is a new normal and things may never be the same.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
8/17/20 - 8/19/20
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 36% Democrat, 34% Republican and 30% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for each sample is as follows:
|Sample||Number of Completes||Date||Margin of Error|
|Nationwide||901||8/17/20 - 8/19/20||+/- 3.3 Percentage Pts|
|African Americans||351||8/17/20 - 8/19/20||+/- 5.2 Percentage Pts|
|Hispanic||382||8/17/20 - 8/19/20||+/- 5.0 Percentage Pts|
|Asian||350||8/17/20 - 8/19/20||+/- 5.2 Percentage Pts|
This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.