Public Rates Presidents: Kennedy, Reagan, Obama at Top, Nixon, Johnson, Trump at Bottom

As Americans prepare to celebrate Presidents’ Day, they rate John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan the best of recent chief executives, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos in conjunction with the University of Virginia Center for Politics. The Center for Politics and Ipsos collaborated to survey Americans’ views […] Read more »

Trump’s First-Year Job Approval Worst by 10 Points

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating averaged 38.4% during his first year in office — slightly more than 10 percentage points lower than any other elected president’s first-year average. Bill Clinton is the only other president who was below 50% in his first year. All others were 57% or higher, […] Read more »

Politics and Polls: Goldwater, Brexit, and The Party Decides

In 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson crushed Barry Goldwater in the presidential election. Could we see another landslide like this in 2016? Or does today’s political environment make that impossible? Tune in to the first episode of “Politics and Polls” as Professors Julian E. Zelizer and Sam Wang debate this issue […] Read more »

Will Trump’s anti-Latino statements hurt the GOP?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently worried publicly that Donald Trump’s attacks on Latinos could damage the Republican Party, saying that when the 1964 presidential nominee, Sen. Barry Goldwater, voted against the Civil Rights Act, it “did define our party, for at least African American voters, and it still does […] Read more »

Presidential job approval ratings from Ike to Obama

Perhaps no measure better captures the public’s sentiment toward the president than job approval. … We looked at Pew Research Center data going back to Bill Clinton, and Gallup data going back to Dwight Eisenhower. These ratings reflect, for example, how views of presidents have become more politically polarized, as […] Read more »

1968: Ball of Confusion

If you lived through 1968, you can’t forget it — even if you want to. It was the worst of times, a year from hell, marked by savage warfare in Vietnam, political assassinations, urban riots, and militancy of all sorts. People talked seriously about whether the United States would hold together. […] Read more »

No Drama Obama

President Obama’s middling job approval rating has been quite steady over the last few months, devoid of much movement outside of the relatively subtle shifts seen from poll to poll. This is nothing new: Based on Gallup’s polling, Barack Obama’s approval rating has the smallest standard deviation of any modern […] Read more »

New research shows just how much presidents try to manipulate public opinion

The political scientists James Druckman and Lawrence Jacobs have just published a book, “Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation.” Early reviews call it “a breakthrough” and “a fascinating study” whose “picture is not pretty.” I talked with Druckman and Jacobs about the book via e-mail. An edited version of […] Read more »