Why is President Trump's approval rating climbing?

I just don’t get it. This guy is seriously mismanaging this pandemic. A lot of people are going to die because of his lack of action. Yet Five Thirty Eight has his approval rating at all time highs:

538 Trump Approval Tracker

Can someone explain this to me?

Far better people than I have been trying to understand it since November 2016.

Rally around the flag. Free publicity. Coming together in times of crisis.

This and I don’t think a lot of people know what mismanagement here looks like.

Exactly this. Trump is so lucky, he should be investigated for reality-alteration abilities.

Maybe it’s the anti-expert trend. A doctor contradicts Trump, so Trump gets more popular.

It’s only going to be short-lived. People rally around a president if he shows any semblance of leadership in a crisis, even if only half-baked leadership. By summer, as the death spiral mounts and the U.S. exceeds all other nations by hundreds of thousands of cases, his approval will nosedive sharply.

IMHO, two things:

  1. We as a nation are very divided in where we get our news and information from. If you’re getting your view of Trump strictly from Trump himself or from Trump-friendly sources, you’re going to have a favorable opinion of him. If you just watch what Trump himself says, he’s got this thing under control and it’s all going to be over by Easter.

  2. Like Velocity said, “People rally around a president if he shows any semblance of leadership in a crisis.” In times of crisis, people want to believe that the guy in charge has things under control.

I really want to believe this but we’re already seeing the groundwork being laid for his excuse, “This is all Obama’s fault for mismanaging the country for 8 years, and the Democrat’s fault for blah blah blah.” I’ve lost so much faith in my fellow citizens over the last 3 years that I don’t think even people dying in the streets due to piss-poor leadership will result in anyone thinking differently.

He’s good at saying things a lot of people want to hear (i.e. wish were true) - that the pandemic isn’t that bad, we are over-reacting, that we can go back to normal life soon, that there is an FDA-approved cure now, etc.

40% are gong to approve of Trump no matter what he does. They approve of Trump simply because he’s Trump.

The other 20% or so are just easily swayed by the optics and jingoism of the press conferences. There probably is some kind of wishful thinking, too, in that they would like to think this whole thing is going to be done and finished in a few weeks, so they become co-delusional, as scr4 points out above.

It’s also possible that, because the majority of people are too lazy to learn how their government actually works, they think Trump is personally responsible for the rescue package which they think is going to make all their finances better.

“Things would be a lot worse if anyone else was President. America is lucky to have me.” - Trump’s winning campaign slogan 2020

Actually his Rally around the Flag popularity bump is a lot smaller than most.

Bush the Elder got a huge boost with the highest approval ratings seen with Desert Storm and his excellent handling of it. (89%)
Reagan got a big boost from being shot by Hinkley and again following the Bombings of Libya.
W. got a large boost following 9/11. (90%)
Even Carter had a boost immediately following the Hostages being taking.

Obama, Clinton and Trump have never seen really high approval polls. None topped 60%.

Because Dems aren’t making the case against him.

This is the Mueller Report all over again. The GOP cried “Exoneration!”, the Dems said nothing, so outside of us left-of-center news junkies, the country was divided into people who thought the Mueller report exonerated Trump, and people who figured it was a nothingburger, even if it didn’t specifically exonerate him.

So now Trump gets up there every day and says what a great job he’s doing, and there’s no meaningful rebuttal from the Dems. And the same damn thing is happening all over again. Other than us left-of-center news junkies, the country is divided between people who think Trump’s doing a great job, and people who might be skeptical but have no reason to believe otherwise.

As Casey Stengel would have said of these Dems, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

It’s because he looks like he’s doing something and anyone who isn’t predisposed to hate the SOB (I fully admit that I am) wants to give him a chance.

I actually get it. I didn’t vote for GWB in 2000 but I wanted to give the guy the benefit of the doubt in handling 9/11 and I was even a lukewarm supporter in getting tough with Saddam Hussein (I stopped a little short of calling for the invasion, though). I was among those who approved of his performance in late 2001 and I felt fairly good about him until late 2002 when the surge started in the Persian Gulf.

Trump leaves no room for me to be that flexible. His presidency is an unmitigated stain on the country and he has sullied the office, 2-century tradition that began with a noble general of the Continental army, permanently. But there are people out there who still want to believe we might have a normal president and a normal executive office, and this is their way of showing the president that he might have one last chance to prove he can magnanimous in a manner that is commensurate with the tradition of Washington, of Adams, of Jefferson, of Lincoln, of Rutherford B Ha-- , er, of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and even Obama.

I can’t help but think, and I want to believe, that as this contagion inevitably ravages communities across the US, that it will eventually flip on a bright flashing neon sign in their heads that they’ve been conned. Because if we don’t get to that point, we’re really, truly doomed. We may already be so.

I agree with this 1000%. The Dems didn’t bother to do a hard sell on Obamacare and they let themselves be outshouted by the Republicans. Same with Mueller Report, as pointed out.

In my other thread, I asked for suggestions about exactly WHAT the Dems SHOULD BE SHOUTING-- clearly they need to step up and make themselves heard. If indeed, they have anything to say besides “trump bad.” :dubious: They (Biden) must seize the opportunity to take the stage and say who they are and what they are all about. Otherwise why elect them at all?

In some ways, the exhaustive onslaught of criticism from day one might in fact be backfiring in this particular case, which is not to say that the criticism hasn’t been warranted or that we should have sat on our collective duffs and done nothing. But some people could understandably come to the conclusion that his critics are amplifying the scale of the crisis as a way to bring down his popularity and his presidency. I am hopeful that minds will change once they see truckloads of coffins being taken to cemeteries where they will be buried without mourners.

There’s also a non-negative number who are in favor of him just to fuck with the system.

I wonder if this will get people’s attention:

Morgue Space in NYC Expanded With 45 Cooler Trucks

Probably not. After all New York City is practically a foreign country, amirite?

To be clear: I mean those who are in favor just to skew the results, not the 40% who approve simply because he’s Trump. Although I’m sure there’s some overlap.

Because our society is in SERIOUS decline. That’s my belief, and I’m sticking with it.