Approval ratings for President Donald Trump rose by one percentage point between the last week of November and early December. The slight increase occurred when he took credit for the development of a COVID 19 vaccine and continued to claim that he lost the election due to widespread electoral fraud.
The Rasmussen poll, conducted November 24-30, showed Trump’s approval rating was 49 percent. A second Rasmussen poll, conducted from November 29 to December 1, showed that Trump’s approval rate for the job had risen to 50 percent.
In the time between the two surveys, Trump gave his first television interview since the election. It was on Sunday, November 29, with Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo of Sunday Morning Futures. In it, Trump reiterated his unproven allegations of election fraud and said of the rapidly developing COVID-19 vaccine: “I have developed vaccines that people thought we would not have for five years.
Trump’s self-congratulation of the vaccine came when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the first “mass air shipments” of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine had traveled from Belgium to the United States as coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to rise in a third wave.
The federal government is now making preparations for the wide distribution of the vaccine, which the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve before 2021.
While the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program has helped several drug companies to quickly develop a vaccine, Trump has taken credit for its development to counter criticism of its handling of a virus that killed over 273,000 Americans by December 2.
During his interview with Bartiromo, Trump also claimed that voting machine glitches had shifted Trump’s vote to President-elect Joe Biden; that dead people had applied for postal ballots; and that the FBI and the Department of Justice, government agencies headed by his appointed officials, may have helped maintain widespread electoral fraud against him.
Although Trump’s re-election campaign resulted in some 40 complaints of election fraud, 39 of them were rejected, denied or withdrawn, largely due to lack of evidence.
Nonetheless, in the time between the two Rasmussen polls, Trump used his Twitter account to distribute numerous videos from the One America News Network, a political broadcaster considered more right-wing than Fox News, in its coverage of the Arizona Republican hearings on the allegations of election fraud.
A poll conducted in mid-November showed that 75 percent of Republicans believe that the election fraud benefited Biden in the election.
Washington Newsday has asked the Trump campaign for a comment.