Monday, April 24, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He managed to find something simultaneously true and false.

Trump tweeted today for the second consecutive day about his approval ratings, declaring that "fake news polls" were unfair to him and miscalled the general election. But he also said the "fake polls" contained "very positive" results for him.

Trump cited the latest ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News/WSJ polls, both released this weekend. Both gave Trump the lowest approval rating for any president at this point since polling began in the Roosevelt Administration. The one example he cited yesterday was ambiguous: a slight majority (53%) of the ABC/WaPo respondents called him a "strong leader," but since only 40% approved of his performance, this means at least 13% of the country feels he's leading the country in the wrong direction.

However, Trump's claim that polls miscalled the general election was itself fake news. The final margin in the popular vote was Clinton 48.2%, Trump 46.1%, a difference of 2.1%. The final average of polls had Clinton winning the popular vote by 3.3%, meaning that the actual result was well within the margin of error and on the side of the correct candidate.


  • Whether something is true or false, real or "FAKE," is a little more complicated than whether or not a president wants to hear it.
  • It cannot be a good sign if a president is still this obsessed with an election five months after the fact.