Recent polling suggests Trump has been losing support among Republican voters since the spring. Likely Republican voters show less support than other Republicans.
It has become a commonplace among journalists and pundits to observe that Republican voters have remained largely behind President Trump. Recent polling still shows job-approval ratings for the President among Republicans remaining in the 85 percent range. But that focus on individual polls obscures a more complex trend, one that does not bode well for President Trump and his Republican Party.
This graph presents the “net approval” score (percent approving minus percent disapproving) for Republican voters in polls that disaggregate their results by partisanship. Like in the country at large, support for Trump declined during 2017 but has rebounded this year. (These data end before the decision to separate children and parents at the southern border became a national news event.) I estimated the trajectory of support using a fourth-order polynomial based on time in office, with the usual array of dummy variables to adjust for polling methods and “house effects.”
The bold line representing the President’s approval rating among likely Republican voters should be especially troubling. The Republicans most likely to turn out in November average about five points lower on net job approval than do other Republicans.
Even casual examination of the data points displayed here show that Republicans’ opinions about Trump’s performance in office have displayed wide variability since he entered the Oval Office. However the most recent polling shows a decline in approval since the spring of 2018.