Donald Trump Approval Rating Over Time

In the world of politics, approval ratings serve as a key measure of a leader’s performance and popularity with the public. Since his election in November 2016, Donald Trump’s presidency has been marked by both fervent support and intense opposition. As such, his approval ratings have experienced significant fluctuations over time, influenced by various events and policy decisions.

The Early Days: Trump’s Inauguration and First Months in Office

Donald Trump entered the White House on January 20, 2017, amid a great deal of controversy and divided public opinion. While his inauguration drew sizable crowds, protests erupted across the country. Shortly after taking office, President Trump signed a series of executive orders that polarized the nation.

According to Gallup, a well-respected polling organization, Trump began his presidency with an approval rating of around 45%. This initial rating was lower than those of most previous presidents, setting the tone for a presidency marked by a high level of polarization.

Trump’s early policies, such as the travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries and the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, drew both support and criticism. As a result, his approval rating experienced fluctuations during the first few months in office, but generally remained in the mid to high 40s.

Milestones and Controversies: A Rollercoaster Presidency

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, major events and controversies continued to shape his approval ratings. For instance, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which aimed to cut taxes for individuals and businesses, temporarily boosted his approval rating to around 50%.

However, the administration’s handling of various crises, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the COVID-19 pandemic, caused significant declines in Trump’s approval ratings. His response to the civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd also polarized the nation, leading to further declines.

A significant milestone during Trump’s presidency was the impeachment proceedings initiated by the House of Representatives in 2019. The impeachment inquiry, followed by his eventual acquittal in the Senate, had a notable impact on public opinion. According to polls conducted by reputable organizations like Pew Research Center and FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s approval rating dipped into the low 40s during this period.

The 2020 Election and Final Months in Office

The 2020 presidential election served as a major turning point for Trump’s approval ratings. As the country faced the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, his response to the crisis became a defining issue for voters.

Throughout the election year, Trump’s approval rating fluctuated in the low to mid-40s. However, as November approached, his ratings experienced a slight boost following successful nominations to the Supreme Court and the signing of historic peace agreements in the Middle East.

Ultimately, the 2020 election resulted in Joe Biden’s victory. Trump’s repeated attempts to challenge the election results and claims of voter fraud further polarized the nation and contributed to a decline in his approval ratings. By the time of his departure from office on January 20, 2021, Trump’s approval rating stood at around 34%, according to Gallup.


Donald Trump’s approval ratings over time revealed the highly polarized nature of his presidency. With an initial rating lower than past presidents, his policies, controversies, and response to various events continually influenced public opinion.

It is important to note that approval ratings can be subjective and can vary depending on the polling organization conducting the survey. Additionally, public opinion should not be viewed as a definitive measure of a leader’s effectiveness or policy success.

Despite the controversies surrounding his time in office, Donald Trump maintained a strong base of support throughout his presidency. As is the case with any president, the full impact and historical significance of his tenure will be analyzed and debated for years to come.


  1. Gallup Poll on Trump Job Approval in January 2020
  2. Pew Research Center’s Analysis of Biden vs. Trump on Six Issue Areas
  3. FiveThirtyEight’s Analysis of Trump’s Weekly Polls

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