Accuracy in Media

While the New York Times is often under fire by conservatives for liberal bias, the Gray Lady wrote on its Upshot analytics blog that “Millions of Americans who did not like the president in 2016 now say they do. Overall, his personal favorability rating has increased by about 10 percentage points among registered voters since Election Day 2016, to 44 percent from 34 percent, according to Upshot estimates.”

Times reporter Nate Cohn’s headline read “Don’t Assume Trump’s Approval Rating Can’t Climb Higher. It Already Has,” with data showing both Gallup and YouGov polling on the rise for President Donald Trump since 2016.

“And over the last few months, some of the highest-quality public opinion polls, though not all, showed the president’s job approval rating — a different measure from personal favorability — had inched up to essentially match the highest level of his term,” Cohn reported.

“At the same time, there are signs that Mr. Trump’s job approval ratings have continued to improve over the first half of the year, since the conclusion of the government shutdown … In some periods over the last few months, his job approval rating increased to among the highest levels of his term, according to live-interview telephone polls, long considered the gold standard of public opinion research … It’s true that the president’s job approval rating has been unusually stable when compared with other presidents.

“But the possibility that he has lifted his ratings, however fleetingly, to match the highest levels of his presidency is a reminder that the ceiling on his support is higher than some may think. There are any number of forces that might knock him back, like a weakening economy, or hold him back, including his conduct on social media. But there’s no reason he’s limited to the support or turnout he had in 2016.”

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