As is common at the end of a full calendar year, many people take a moment to reflect what popular culture idioms came about, what new trends were set, and how our world changed in general. The world of politics is no different.
With that in mind, here are three sets of statistics regarding President Donald Trump’s year, examining his social media use, his approval ratings, and Americans’ views on his impeachment.
Trump’s Twitter use is Up
Trump wasn’t the first president to use social media (nor the first to be criticized for it), but his use of platforms like Twitter is unprecedented for any commander-in-chief, and well-beyond the rate that most Americans in general use it.
At the start of 2019, Trump tweeted on average about 11.9 times per day. By December of this year, that average ticked up to 38.1 times per day, with a few days left to increase the average still.
Overall, Trump tweeted 7,760 times in 2019 — an increase of 117 percent compared to how often he used the platform in 2018.
His approval rating is Stagnant
Trump hasn’t had a net-positive approval rating in quite sometime — in October, HillReporter.com reported that it had been more than 1,000 days since an average of polls had him with higher approval than disapproval numbers.
All things considered, however, Trump has one thing going for him: while his numbers are low, the average of polling data from FiveThirtyEight shows things haven’t gotten worse for him.
FiveThirtyEight found that at the beginning of this year, Trump’s average approval rating was 41.4 percent. As of the end of December, very little has changed, and that number has even ticked up slightly, though not by much, to 42.6 percent.
His disapproval numbers are similar. In January, Trump averaged a 53.5 percent disapproval rating in the polls. By the end of December, that rate was mostly unchanged, to 52.9 percent.
There have been a few ups-and-downs in the averages over the course of the year, with his approval dipping down to the high-30s and disapproval nearly cracking 60 percent in the polls. But to end the year where he started demonstrates public opinion, while not so great for Trump, hasn’t worsened since last year.
Americans’ support for impeachment Increases
If Trump can count his lucky stars for his net-approval rating staying relatively stagnant over the year, he’s not so lucky when it comes to impeachment.
At the start of the year, polling showed most Americans wanted to avoid impeachment. An ABC News/Washington Post poll, taken at the end of January, found that just 40 percent of the American public wanted impeachment hearings to begin against the president.
A lot has happened since then. The Russia investigation/Mueller report was released, and the Ukraine scandal rocked headlines for the better part of the past four months. An impeachment inquiry was started, and articles of impeachment formally approved, with the House voting to impeach Trump this past month.
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) December 21, 2019
During this time, the polls found that Americans’ support for impeachment has gone up, flipping the stats that were seen in January. In a Politico/Morning Consult poll released just this past week, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they support impeachment and removal of the president.
There are many ways to look at how the past year has gone. But these three stats demonstrate how the president’s year has been, and for the most part, it doesn’t look great for Trump.
While his approval rating isn’t changed, it’s still very negative; a majority of the U.S. has accepted, and indeed has a desire for, his impeachment; and it’s clear that Trump is feeling the pressure of the office, as his social media use has more than doubled from the year prior.
What will 2020 bring for Trump? A presidential election and a continued examination of his alleged abuses of power. In short, expect it to be more stressful than even this year has been for the chief executive.