The Fluctuating Approval Rating of Donald Trump Among Republicans

The approval rating of former President Donald Trump has been a consistent topic of discussion and analysis, particularly among Republicans. From the moment he announced his candidacy in 2015 to the conclusion of his four-year tenure in 2021, Trump has evoked strong emotions and polarized opinions within his party. In this blog post, we will delve into the dynamics of his approval rating among Republicans, examining its fluctuations over time and the factors that influenced these changes.

Understanding Approval Ratings

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s important to grasp the concept of approval ratings. Approval ratings measure public sentiment towards a political figure and are generally calculated by polling organizations. They provide an indication of how well a political leader is performing in the eyes of the public. It is crucial to note that approval ratings are different from support or voting intentions, as they reflect the overall sentiment towards a leader rather than the likelihood of voting for them.

Early Republican Support for Trump

Donald Trump emerged as a unique and unconventional political figure, positioning himself as an outsider who aimed to “Make America Great Again.” In the initial stages of his candidacy, Trump garnered significant support among Republican voters, many of whom felt disillusioned by the traditional political establishment. His blunt rhetoric, promise to prioritize American interests, and his business background resonated with a considerable portion of Republican voters.

According to a Gallup poll conducted in early 2016, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans stood at around 79%. This reflected a sense of enthusiasm and excitement within the party, as many saw Trump as a political disruptor who could shake up the status quo. However, it’s worth noting that approval ratings during the campaign season can be influenced by temporary factors, such as media coverage and primary victories.

The Election and Early Presidency

Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election was met with mixed reactions among Republicans. While many celebrated his triumph as a victory for the party, others remained skeptical or had concerns about his ability to govern effectively. Nonetheless, the early stages of his presidency witnessed relatively high approval ratings among Republicans.

According to Gallup, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans averaged around 87% during his first year in office. This can be attributed to several factors, including the fulfillment of campaign promises, such as tax cuts and conservative judicial appointments. Additionally, Trump’s strong public image and confrontational approach appealed to his base, who appreciated his unapologetic stance on issues like immigration and national security.

Coping with Challenges and Divisions

As Trump’s presidency progressed, his approval rating among Republicans experienced fluctuations, largely influenced by external events and policy decisions. For instance, his response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, causing some erosion in his support within the party.

Another key inflection point in Trump’s approval rating came during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The management of the crisis and conflicting messaging drew both support and criticism. While some Republicans praised Trump’s efforts to boost the economy and accelerate vaccine development, others were concerned about his handling of the public health emergency.

Impeachment and Aftermath

Trump’s two impeachment trials, first in 2019 and again in early 2021, also had an impact on his approval rating among Republicans. The first impeachment, which revolved around allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, did not significantly dent his support within the party. However, the second impeachment, following the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, exposed deeper divisions.

While a significant portion of Republicans stood by Trump, a notable number expressed disillusionment and distanced themselves from him. According to a Civiqs tracking poll, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans dropped from approximately 80% in January 2021 to around 60% by early February.

The Impact of Personal Style and Media Coverage

Donald Trump’s personal style and his often contentious relationship with the media had a significant impact on his approval rating among Republicans. While his passionate supporters admired his brashness and directness, others, including some within his party, believed that his rhetoric was divisive and damaging to the institution of the presidency.

Furthermore, media coverage played a crucial role in shaping public opinion of Trump, including among Republicans. While some conservative media outlets provided unwavering support, other more mainstream media sources often portrayed the president in a negative light, which could influence the perception of his performance.


Donald Trump’s approval rating among Republicans has seen substantial fluctuations over the course of his political career. It began with strong support during his candidacy, remained high during the early stages of his presidency, and experienced challenges during moments of controversy and division. The impact of external events, policy decisions, media coverage, and personal style all contributed to these fluctuations.

It’s important to recognize that approval ratings are not static and can be influenced by a variety of factors. Understanding the nuanced dynamics of approval ratings is essential for comprehending the complexities of political support, particularly within a diverse group like the Republican Party.

While this blog post provides an overview of Trump’s approval rating among Republicans, it’s crucial to refer to reputable polling organizations and news sources to stay updated on the latest developments related to approval ratings in real-time.


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