President Trump has had problems with his approval rating ever since entering the race for president. After almost a month in office, the situation remains unchanged. In fact, Trump’s approval rating at this point in his administration is lower than that of any other president of the modern era.
Gallup’s daily tracking of the presidential approval rating found that Trump is currently at 40 percent approval. This puts Trump 21 points below the average for presidents since polling began in the Eisenhower era. He is 11 points below the lowest previous mid-February rating, Bill Clinton in 1993 at 51 points. Jimmy Carter had the highest one-month approval at 71 percent.
President Trump is the first president since Eisenhower to start with approval below 50 percent and has already moved further into negative territory. As he was inaugurated, Trump had 45 percent approval, five points above his current level. On average, presidents have gained one percentage point by mid-February, but Presidents Eisenhower, Obama and Clinton also saw their ratings decline. At seven points, President Clinton had the largest decline.
So far, only Bill Clinton has fallen below 40 percent approval in his first year. Trump stands one point away from the dubious distinction of being the second to do so.
Trump’s approval is concentrated within the Republican Party. Eighty-seven percent of Republicans approve of the president while only 35 percent of independents and eight percent of Democrats approve.
At less than a month into his presidency, Trump has plenty of time to win over the American public, but this may require a change of style. Such a change is something that Trump seems very unlikely to do. His approval may also benefit if his policies lead to a dramatic improvement in the economy.
Although it is still much too early to make predictions, the president’s prospects for re-election seem dim unless he can appeal to a broader range of voters. Or unless the Democrats nominate another historically unpopular and incompetent candidate.