Donald Trump often boasts of his approval rating, and sometimes he’ll single out a specific demographic. In particular, his approval rating among African American voters is contentious, since he’s frequently accused of racism, has open support of white supremacists, and ties to white nationalists keep surfacing in his administration. However, the latest polling doesn’t support Trump’s boasts and places his approval among black voters at only 3%.
Trump was specifically called out in January for false claims about his rating among black voters. Fact Check hunted down the likely source of the claim and found a lot of bad math behind it.
Unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded. Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled. Thank you, and it will get even (much) better! @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2018
Of course, approval ratings vary as political events shift people’s view of the president, and different polls find different results. Trump typically refers to Rasmussen polls, which lean very favorable for Republican candidates in their conclusions. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight gave a thorough explanation back in 2010 when Trump wasn’t even a consideration, of why Rasmussen polls need to be closely criticized. The short version is that he wouldn’t absolutely label the polls as biased, but pointed out that their choice of questions and wording can sometimes lead results in a certain direction.
Rasmussen’s results, in a poll Trump retweeted to his millions of followers, showed 36% of African America voters supporting him just last month, according to USA Today. However, the data elsewhere doesn’t support that.
Washington Post pointed out at the time that Rasmussen was not transparent about how they got those results, while polling organizations that share their data collecting information, including the number of people polled and wording of questions, instead found numbers in the teens or single digits.
Only two weeks later, The Week reports that Donald Trump’s approval is even worse — a Washington Post and ABC poll placed him at 3% approval, and 93% disapproval, with African American voters, and only 36% overall.
Trump’s overall approval, according to this poll, among all voters, is barely equal to the level of support he claims African American voters are throwing behind him. His claim for African American approval is more than ten times what this poll demonstrates.
Again, approval results do vary across different polling organizations, but the Washington Post published their results with the specific questions wording, polling methods, and sample sizes, as well as margins of error — a level of transparency Trump doesn’t offer for his own claim.