President Donald Trump takes a lot of criticism for the time he spends focused on his own popularity. On the day after his inauguration, former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, stated the President's biggest concern lay with the comparatively small size of his crowd rather than the new duties Trump just assumed as a national leader.
As such, Trump often tweets about favorable poll results. On the evening after a mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, the President focused once again on his own public approval numbers.
There was only one problem. The number the President amplified with his tweet reflected public disapproval of the job he does, not their approval.
On Sunday evening around 8:30pm EST, Trump took to Twitter and posted:
"Over 90% approval rating for your all time favorite (I hope) President within the Republican Party and 52% overall. This despite all of the made up stories by the Fake News Media trying endlessly to make me look as bad and evil as possible. Look at the real villains please!"
Over 90% approval rating for your all time favorite (I hope) President within the Republican Party and 52% overall.… https://t.co/iDNjDIKyNz— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1535330378.0
But the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll he quoted gave him a 44 percent approval rating and a 52 percent disapproval rating. After his tweet, more people went to view the poll numbers amplifying the news of the negative public opinion of the President.
The Twittersphere quickly pointed out the President's mistake. Some responded directly on Trump's own tweet.
@realDonaldTrump Sir, you don’t have 52% approval in your own family. Give me a break.— Marc Young (@Marc Young)1535383846.0
@realDonaldTrump Wow, you can't even read a poll correctly. 52% disapprove of your performance. Who's making thing… https://t.co/XmujH0z26v— Bryant Lister (@Bryant Lister)1535376389.0
@BryantLister1 @realDonaldTrump yep! #PresidentCantRead #LiarInChief https://t.co/U4C2p71AjP— Orange October (@Orange October)1535378026.0
@realDonaldTrump Did you check your figures, Donald? Of course you didn't check them. A 44% approval rating, a 52%… https://t.co/vNrDn70PCF— Linda Ot (@Linda Ot)1535381473.0
@realDonaldTrump By the way, the 52% is a correct number. But it's the current disapproval rating for @POTUS accord… https://t.co/Q3Q4C8fq4P— Linda Maniccia (@Linda Maniccia)1535381966.0
He's thinking of the WSJ poll out today which has him at 52% DISAPPROVAL He's done this before There is no curren… https://t.co/9nmYFZdC89— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum)1535331960.0
Trump is lying about his approval rating again. He doesn't have a 52% approval rating even with his favourite polls… https://t.co/Gu6X54mFcW— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1535330727.0
@texasfella1 @realDonaldTrump 44% approval rating on FOX News this morning. Your fake news president lied again and it’s only lunch time.— JM (@JM)1535385812.0
Some offered advice.
@realDonaldTrump Your need for approval is so sad. Just do your job and quit lying.— Erin Thomas (@Erin Thomas)1535385664.0
@realDonaldTrump You’ve got it backwards, genius. It’s 52% disapproval. If you’re going to brag, get it straight!— Christopher🇺🇸#ImpeachAndRemove (@Christopher🇺🇸#ImpeachAndRemove)1535382712.0
@realDonaldTrump You might want to go back you re-read those poll results. 52% of Wall St/NBC poll DISAPPROVE of Tr… https://t.co/7CkvCojt1z— SHAWN HILL (@SHAWN HILL)1535383572.0
@realDonaldTrump Could you try not lying for just one day? Seriously, just one.— Jon (@Jon)1535383370.0
While others thought the President should be focused on matters other than his own popularity as the following responses show.
Many mentioned the death of Senator John McCain or the shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, that claimed the lives of two people while—according to the latest updated numbers—nine others were shot and two more injured fleeing the scene.
John McCain dead. Shooting in Florida. And Trump’s tweeting about his latest poll numbers? God help us... https://t.co/z23WLzfFzs— Billy Baldwin (@Billy Baldwin)1535368851.0
@realDonaldTrump You are disgusting! A war veteran hero who was also our Senator just died, 2 died and 6 wounded in… https://t.co/GpjmPxNZ4e— Donna Valente (@Donna Valente)1535381546.0
Donald Trump is tweeting about his “approval” ratings while young people are fighting for their lives after being s… https://t.co/L3euxSSKRK— Michael Skolnik (@Michael Skolnik)1535339686.0
There was another mass shooting in Jacksonville. And the below tweet is what @realDonaldTrump is thinking about.… https://t.co/Kb7ZTIqSqt— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu)1535351894.0
@realDonaldTrump Only a cold-hearted POS would worry about his fake approval ratings right after a man who selfless… https://t.co/YV8SOZGV59— Kellombo278 (@Kellombo278)1535385787.0
Trump continues to chase the elusive 50 percent approval mark for his presidency. Only the conservative polling company Rasmussen Reports ever placed him at or above 50 percent.
And five of the six total times Trump garnered the approval of half or more of Rasmussen poll participants was during the first two months of his presidency. Since then he only garnered a Rasmussen 50 percent approval rating one time, in a poll from April 15-17, 2018.
Trump took to Twitter to tout the good news. The same Rasmussen poll gave him a 49 percent disapproval rating however.
Working hard, thank you! https://t.co/pNXbFNcf8z— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1533230630.0
The news organization RealClearPolitics keeps running records of poll numbers. The last few weeks show Trump with an approval rating between 41 to 46 percent. His disapproval sat between 51 and 54 percent.
August 9-26, 2018 Trump approval-disapproval ratings (RCP graphic)
Their analysis of the polls since his inauguration shows a recent steady trend for Trump in his approval ratings for several months now. The black line is the President's approval rating while the red is his disapproval.
Tracking Trump approval-disapproval ratings (RCP graphic)
Heading into the midterm elections with a President that over 50 percent disapprove of worries some in the GOP. Several prominent Republican incumbents took a quieter campaign approach leading into the November elections, hoping to retain their seat only through name recognition as the incumbent.
Elections are slated for Tuesday, November 6, 2018.