Politics

Race, Education, Gender Key Factors in Trump Job Approval

Race, Education, Gender Key Factors in Trump Job Approval
by Jeffrey M. Jones

Story Highlights

  • Two-thirds of white men without college degrees approve of Trump
  • Blacks' approval lowest among racial, ethnic groups
  • Whites' approval twice as high as other major racial, ethnic groups

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- 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.

President Trump Job Approval, by Demographic Group

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.

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.

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.

President Trump Job Approval, by Race and Ethnicity

Gender

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.

President Trump Job Approval, by Gender
Approve Disapprove N
% %
Gender
Men 49 45 12,915
Women 36 58 11,396
Gender by race
White men 60 36 9,128
White women 48 48 8,290
Nonwhite men 26 64 3,293
Nonwhite women 14 79 2,791
Gender by age
Men, 18 to 29 years old 38 55 2,162
Women, 18 to 29 years old 24 71 1,418
Men, 30 to 49 years old 46 47 3,753
Women, 30 to 49 years old 33 61 2,713
Men, 50+ years old 56 38 6,830
Women, 50+ years old 44 51 7,049
Gender by education
Men, college graduate 44 53 5,801
Women, college graduate 30 67 4,883
Men, college nongraduate 51 42 7,058
Women, college nongraduate 39 54 6,451
Gallup U.S. Daily, Jan. 20-March 8, 2017

Education

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%).

President Trump Job Approval, by Education
Approve Disapprove N
% %
College graduate
Yes 37 60 10,684
No 45 48 13,509
Educational attainment in detail
Postgraduate education 31 65 4,808
Four-year degree only 41 56 5,876
Some college education 47 48 6,916
High school or less 44 48 6,593
College graduate by race
White, college graduate 41 56 8,313
White, college nongraduate 60 34 9,041
Nonwhite, college graduate 20 75 2,093
Nonwhite, college nongraduate 20 71 3,966
Gallup U.S. Daily, Jan. 20-March 8, 2017

Age

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.

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.

President Trump Job Approval, by Age
Approve Disapprove N
% %
Age
18 to 29 years old 31 63 3,580
30 to 49 years old 39 54 6,466
50 years and older 49 46 13,879
Age by college graduate
18 to 29 years, college graduate 25 71 1,123
18 to 29 years, college nongraduate 33 61 2,446
30 to 49 years, college graduate 33 63 3,288
30 to 49 years, college nongraduate 43 49 3,157
50+ years, college graduate 43 55 6,072
50+ years, college nongraduate 53 41 7,746
Age by race
18 to 29 years, white 44 51 1,951
18 to 29 years, nonwhite 17 76 1,530
30 to 49 years, white 52 44 4,076
30 to 49 years, nonwhite 21 70 2,186
50+ years, white 58 38 11,135
50+ years, nonwhite 20 70 2,294
Gallup U.S. Daily, Jan. 20-March 8, 2017

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.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Explore President Trump's approval ratings in depth and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 20-March 8, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 24,311 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. Margins of error for subgroups vary, but in most cases are ±3 percentage points or lower at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

President Trump Job Approval, by Demographic and Attitudinal Subgroup, Ranked From High to Low
Approve
%
U.S. ADULTS 42
Republican 88
Conservative 73
White, male, college nongraduate 67
White, college nongraduate 60
White male 60
White, 50+ years old 58
Male, 50+ years old 56
Married man 55
White, female, college nongraduate 54
White 54
College nongraduate, 50+ years old 53
White, 30 to 49 years old 52
Male, college nongraduate 51
Married 50
50+ years old 49
Male 49
White female 48
White, male, college graduate 48
South 47
Midwest 47
Some college 47
$36,000 to $89,999 annual household income 46
Male, 30 to 49 years old 46
$90,000 or more annual household income 46
Female, 50+ years old 44
High school education or less 44
Male, college graduate 44
Married woman 44
White, 18 to 29 years old 44
Noncollege graduate, 30 to 49 years old 43
College graduate, 50+ years old 43
Unmarried man 42
White college graduate 41
College graduate (four-year degree) only 41
Female, college nongraduate 39
30 to 49 years old 39
Independent party identification 38
Male, 18 to 29 years old 38
West 37
Female 36
East 36
Moderate 36
Not married 35
Less than $36,000 annual household income 35
White, female, college graduate 35
Female, 30 to 49 years old 33
Noncollege graduate, 18 to 29 years old 33
College graduate, 30 to 49 years old 33
Postgraduate education 31
18 to 29 years old 31
Female, college graduate 30
Unmarried woman 29
Asian 27
Nonwhite, male, college graduate 27
Nonwhite male 26
Nonwhite, male, college nongraduate 26
College graduate, 18 to 29 years old 25
Female, 18 to 29 years old 24
Hispanic 22
Nonwhite, 30 to 49 years old 21
Nonwhite, college graduate 20
Nonwhite, college nongraduate 20
Nonwhite, 50+ years old 20
Nonwhite 20
Nonwhite, 18 to 29 years old 17
Nonwhite, female, college graduate 15
Nonwhite female 14
Nonwhite, female, college nongraduate 14
Black 13
Liberal 12
Democrat 10
Gallup U.S. Daily, Jan. 20-March 8, 2017


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