Race, Education, Gender Key Factors in Trump Job Approval

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The FINANCIAL — Among major U.S. demographic groups, white men without a college degree are most likely to approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president. Blacks and nonwhite women are among the groups least likely to approve of Trump.

The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 20 through March 8. Over this period, 42% of Americans, on average, approved of the job Trump is doing.

The large samples obtained in the daily tracking allow Gallup to analyze patterns of Trump job approval among major demographic characteristics such as race, age and gender, but also combinations of those characteristics. Analysis of the demographic groups with the highest and lowest job approval ratings for Trump suggests that race, education and gender are key differentiators in people’s opinions of how the president is doing his job.

The demographic groups giving Trump his highest approval ratings generally share one or more of these common characteristics: non-Hispanic white, male, and not having a college degree. Roughly two-thirds of Americans who possess all three of those characteristics approve of Trump. Trump also tends to fare better among older than among younger subgroups, according to Gallup.

At the other extreme, the demographic subgroups with the lowest approval ratings are all nonwhite. Also, education appears to make little or no difference in nonwhites’ opinions of Trump.

Full results by demographic category can be found at the end of this article.

To a large degree, these demographic differences in Trump job approval reflect the underlying partisan leanings of the demographic groups. For example, white men without a college education are most likely to identify as Republicans, and blacks largely identify as Democrats. However, the various demographic characteristics (including race, gender and education) do appear to have a modest additional effect on Republicans’ and Democrats’ views of Trump, and they play a more significant role in shaping Trump approval among political independents.

Overall, 88% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 10% of Democrats approve of the job Trump is doing.

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Race and Ethnicity

Among non-Hispanic whites, 54% approve of the job Trump is doing, making whites one of relatively few subgroups giving the president majority approval ratings. Whites’ job approval is at least twice as high as that of any other major racial or ethnic group — 27% of Asians, 22% of Hispanics, and 13% of blacks approve of the job Trump is doing.


In addition to the racial differences, there is a significant gender gap of 13 percentage points in Trump’s job approval, with 49% of men and 36% of women approving. White men (60%) and white women (48%) are far more likely than nonwhite men (26%) and nonwhite women (14%) to approve of Trump. Despite these differences, the gender gaps for whites and nonwhites are the same, 12 points each. The gender gap is also apparent within age and educational groups.


Educational differences in Trump job approval are muted when one looks at the broader population of all U.S. adults, partly because of differences in educational attainment by race. Most generally, 37% of all college graduates and 45% of all college nongraduates approve of Trump. But there are larger distinctions within those broad groups. For example, those with postgraduate education are the most divergent in their views of the president — just 31% of this group approves of Trump, compared with 41% of those with a bachelor’s degree, 47% of those with some college education and 44% of those with a high school education or less.

Education is a factor in ratings of Trump only among whites — nonwhites’ approval ratings are identical regardless of educational attainment. But there is nearly a 20-point difference in approval between white college graduates (41%) and white college nongraduates (60%).


Roughly half of Americans aged 50 and older approve of Trump. Trump’s approval rating falls to 39% among those between the ages of 30 and 49, and drops further to 31% among those younger than 30.

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As shown in the gender table, Trump’s approval rating ranges from a low of 24% among women younger than 30 to a high of 56% among men aged 50 or older.

Educational differences also persist by age group — college nongraduates’ approval of Trump is roughly 10 points higher than college graduates’ approval in each age bracket.

Like education, age appears to matter little in nonwhites’ ratings, as Trump approval is near 20% for nonwhites regardless of age. However, Trump approval increases significantly in each successive age group among whites.

Bottom Line

Trump’s electoral coalition was different from that of his immediate predecessor. Barack Obama won election in large part because of his solid support among blacks and other nonwhites, as well as Americans with the most formal education. Those groups were among Obama’s strongest backers throughout his presidency, but Trump’s support is lacking among the same subgroups. Rather, Trump’s strongest backers tend to be older, white, male and those who do not hold college degrees.

While racial and gender gaps have long been apparent in presidential ratings, the education and age gaps for Trump differ from those of the last Republican president. During George W. Bush’s presidency, older Americans and younger Americans had identical average 46% job approval ratings, while Bush’s approval was higher among middle-aged groups. Also, Bush’s approval ratings tended to be lower among postgraduates (44%) and those with a high school education or less (48%), but higher among those with a bachelor’s degree (53%) or some college education (52%).

While partisanship is the overriding factor in Americans’ assessments of presidents, the patterns of support among demographic groups can change, depending on a president’s relative appeal to certain groups as well as potential changes in the way those groups align themselves between the major parties.


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