Gallup corrects the record

Gallup corrects the record

Oh, boy. Trump supporters have really got to stop trying to link this Liberal New Yorker to Ronald Reagan. Every time they do they fail miserably. The latest claim is, sure Trump has really high negatives, but so did Ronald Reagan in 1980 at this stage in the process.

Ann Coulter is one of the people peddling this supposed “fact” which of course is now being repeated by every other Trump supporter. Because if you repeat a lie often enough, people don’t bother trying to find out the truth.

Well, long-time pollster Gallup corrects the record. Gallup decided to investigate this claim and guess what?

When it comes to Trump’s negatives versus Reagan in 1980, it isn’t even close.

We were not able to find a national Los Angeles Times poll conducted on March 25. Several Los Angeles Times national polls archived in the Roper Center from 1980 measured Reagan’s image. But none were conducted in March 1980. And none, something we will come back to shortly, showed Reagan with a 30% favorable rating.
In fact, the more we look at the data described in the 1980 Washington Post article, the more it appears that this author was referring to a Los Angeles Times exit poll of New York state primary voters. The New York primary was on March 25; there was a Los Angeles Times exit poll conducted then, and the article’s wording refers to Republican and Democratic voters, although the author did not label it as an exit poll per se. We were able to locate the data from the Los Angeles Times New York exit poll from March 25 from the Roper Center archives. This shows Reagan with an overall 35% favorable rating — similar to but not the same as the 30% reported in the Washington Post article. So there remains a mystery as to the origin of the 30% number cited in the Washington Post article. But regardless, these data are from New York state voters, who constitute a substantially different group than the national population with which it is being compared — not a useful comparison.
There are, in fact, a number of traditional, national poll results from 1980 which did measure Reagan’s image. In general, these data show that Reagan enjoyed mostly positive net favorable reviews throughout 1980.
Gallup’s 10-point “scalometer” method of measuring favorability found 70% of Americans viewing Reagan positively in May and August of 1980. And while the scalometer rating tends to produce higher favorable scores than binary favorable/unfavorable scales, Reagan earned a 60% favorable rating in a January 1980 Gallup/Newsweek poll using the binary wording.
A multitude of polls by other firms whose surveys are archived in the Roper Center polling database confirms Reagan’s generally positive 1980 image.
The Los Angeles Times national polls all show that Reagan’s image was more favorable than unfavorable, including polls in the fall of 1979 and in June, September and October of 1980. There is no Los Angeles Times poll which can be located from 1980 that shows Reagan with a more unfavorable than favorable image, as is the case with Trump today.
The New York Times/CBS poll provided the best time series of image assessments of Reagan throughout 1980. These polls showed Reagan’s favorable rating exceeding his unfavorable rating in each poll conducted in 1980 — with the exception of September’s poll, in which the two figures were even, at 38%. Reagan’s image was the most positive in the early months of the year, including polls conducted in January, February, March and April where his favorable rating was always above 50% and his unfavorable at least 19 points lower, with a consistently high “don’t know/unable to give an opinion” response percentage. His image dropped later in the year as the campaigning became more intense, but as noted, never moved into net negative territory in the New York Times/CBS polls. The Roper database shows one poll, conducted by NBC News/Associated Press, showing Reagan with a 52% favorable and 35% unfavorable image.
Only one organization’s polling — Cambridge Reports — consistently showed Reagan’s image with a somewhat less favorable tilt, including a 41% favorable/44% unfavorable rating in January 1980, a 39% favorable/44% unfavorable rating in April and a 35% favorable/49% unfavorable rating in July. But by October, Cambridge Reports gave Reagan a 51% favorable. From this time distance, it’s not possible to determine why this one organization’s polling was so out of sync with the others conducted roughly contemporaneously. But even the Cambridge numbers for Reagan were not nearly as negative as Trump’s overall image is today, with their “worst” assessment showing a -14 net favorable, compared with Trump’s consistent net favorable ratings of -30 or worse today.
The impulse to compare Trump today to Reagan in 1980 is curious on the basis of the available favorability data. But it makes some sense in context of the historical associations Reagan carried into the 1980 campaign. His entry into the California governor’s race in 1966 was met with much well-publicized skepticism about his background as a Hollywood “B-movie” actor. Incumbent Gov. Pat Brown was reportedly giddy over the seeming ridiculousness of running against “this politically inexperienced, right-wing extremist and aging actor.” By the time Reagan ran for president in 1980, he had a record as a successful two-term governor of the nation’s largest state and had run a credible challenge to Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976 as the darling of the conservative wing of the party. Some of the derision he faced in 1966 still lingered in 1980. Even as late as September 1980, Gallup found a majority of Americans associating Reagan with “putting his foot in his mouth.” And it is perhaps the memory of these types of concerns which has given rise to current comparisons between Trump’s current bid for the presidency and Reagan’s in 1980.
But in terms of image comparisons, the poll evidence shows that at this time in the 1980 campaign year, Reagan’s image was significantly more positive than Trump’s image is at the same time in the 2016 campaign.

But the primary season isn’t over yet. So I’m sure we’ll hear even more specious claims being made to try and prop up this Democrat in Republican clothing. They’d have much better luck if Donald wasn’t showing us his soft Liberal underbelly day in and day out.

Donald Wasserman-Trump

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9 thoughts on “Gallup corrects the record

  • April 23, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Donnie Wasserman-Trump is tremendous! (And a tiny bit scary!)
    I heard someone on my car radio today saying that Donald “I know words. I have the best words” Trump was the “greatest communicator since Reagan”. Sheesh!

  • April 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Well, gosh and shazam! I have a sneaking hunch that if we cloned Trump’s business sense with Cruz’s Constitutional savvy, we just might come up with a very good candidate. The problem then would be “What on earth do we call it?” Crump or Truz? Either one is less than salable to the general public and then we’d have to hope the loony left couldn’t come up with any catchy one liners to inspire their base to get out from in front of the brainsucker they sit in front of all day eating Cheetos bought with their Foodstamps and hitchhike down to the polls and actually vote. What a dilemna…

  • April 24, 2016 at 12:05 am

    This will only get uglier and uglier. We as a nation will be in meltdown on 9 Nov. Be prepared for things that you couldn’t have imagined ever seeing in this country just 7 years ago. The proverbial sh!t will hit the fan. Look at all the poop flinging monkeys already out there in front of the cameras.

  • April 24, 2016 at 7:51 am

    I used to be a huge fan of Coulter. For the last year, or so, her attitude seems to me to be shifting toward the Left, though. I’ve hung in there with her, hoping she’d move back to the right. But this campaign season has been just about enough to make me cut ties with her, completely. I can’t begin to understand how such a brilliant mind could be so easily duped by Trump. I’m beginning to believe she HASN’T; but that she’s actually gone, or going, over to the other side. For someone who loves to crow about Rhinos, it would appear that she, herself, has moped into the same. VERY disheartening!

    • April 24, 2016 at 10:49 am

      You are correct sir. Remember her love affair with Chrispy, errh…Christy, even after he cheated on her with Lil Bath-house Barry on the Sandy beach. Palin and Ben Carson are in that same fold. They must have accepted tRumph $$ somewhere along the way and now are paying off thier debts. They have become endentured servants. tRumph is literally BUYING his way to the nomination. This is evidence as to how tRumph would make deals while in the White House. Hillary is SELLING her way to the nomination. No worries, it is just business as usual in D.C.. Nothing to see here folks, nothing to see, go back to sleep, sleeep, sleeeepp…

      • April 25, 2016 at 9:44 am

        Exactly right about her picking Christie; at the time, it seemed she was right. Up until the incident where he began sucking up to Obama during the aftermath of the hurricane situation. After that, he seemingly “came out of the closet,” so to speak, and has been showing his true colors ever since.

        Time and circumstances brought out what was really there. But she is now turning a blind eye to Trump’s obvious penchant for left-leaning policies, and even the tactics he uses to attack his opponents screams that he uses the Left’side playbook.

  • April 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I think Fox News in general has drifted -Hannity, O’Reilly and others and become Trumped pychophants

    • April 25, 2016 at 8:09 am

      The issue discussed is favorable/unfavorable numbers, not hypothetical head-to-head match-up polling. The initial claim from Trump and Ann Coulter was that Reagan held as low a favorable rating as Trump. This is a lie as Gallup shows.

      Gallup didn’t cite the polling you link to because that polling was not, NOT about favorable/unfavorable, but head-to-head polling. Perhaps you would be well-suited to actually read the copy surrounding the graphs and you would have been able to glean that for yourself.

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