Trump's last three months set another polling record, and historically, things should get even worse
President Trump's average job approval rating for his second quarter in office, from April 20 to July 19, was 38.8 percent, according to Gallup, a drop from the already historically low 41.3 percent Trump notched in his first quarter and inaugural 45 percent number. The lowest previous second-quarter approval rating for a president was Bill Clinton's 44 percent, and every other president since John F. Kennedy was above 55 percent at this point in his presidency, usually in the 60s, according to Gallup's data; Barack Obama was at 62 percent, and as CNBC's John Harwood notes, Obama never polled lower than 40 percent in any week of his presidency.
More broadly, Trump's second quarter ranks 250th out of the 287 president quarters Gallup has polled back to 1945. Most of the 12 percent of quarters worse than Trump's were for troubled presidents — Richard Nixon, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush — near the end of their administrations. And Trump probably should expect things to get worse, not better, at least over the next year, Politico says, based on its analysis of four decades of Gallup's extensive presidential polling data.
That's partly because of growing political polarization and historical trends — Trump's six immediate predecessors saw their approval rating drop an average of 9 points from the six-month mark to 18 months, according to Gallup data — but also because of the nature of the objections to Trump. Among the majority who disapprove of Trump, most cite his character and personality, not his policies, a departure from previous presidents and a situation that would make it harder for Trump to win over skeptics. Trump is also much more unpopular among independents than his predecessors.
From his first to his second quarter, Trump lost 2 points among Republicans, versus 3 points for independents and 1 point among Democrats, but he is still at 85 percent approval in his party — Republicans and conservatives are the only groups that give him above 50 percent. Still, for Trump to get above 50 percent overall, he would have to get the support of almost 100 percent of conservatives, Politico finds, or double his supports among moderates or quadruple his backing by liberals. You can play with various groups to try to get Trump above 50 percent support at Politico. Peter Weber
Seventy-two percent of people who strongly approve of President Trump, and 65 percent of Republicans overall, say they are "absolutely certain" to vote in the 2018 midterm election, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll has found.
Historically, Democrats have struggled to bring voters to the polls for midterms, with Republican turnout 17 percent higher than Democratic turnout under Democratic presidents and 6 percent higher under Republican presidents, The New York Times reports.
In the poll, 57 percent of Democrats said they were certain to vote in 2018, as did 61 percent of strong Trump critics. Of all adults, 53 percent said they wanted Democrats to take control of Congress in 2018 "to act as a check on Trump." Fifty-eight percent said they were "absolutely certain" to vote in 2018.
President Trump's approval rating lingers at historic lows, from 36 percent approval to 41 percent favorable, but things are looking better for the president in "Trump counties," or 439 key counties in 16 states identified by NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollsters where Trump outperformed 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney or flipped the county from former President Barack Obama. In these counties, Trump's approval rating sits at 50 percent, with 46 percent disapproval, as The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib explains, pointing out some interesting nuances. (Obama's approval rating in these counties: 50 percent positive, 38 percent negative.)
On specific issues and attributes, Trump's policies are broadly more popular than his personal qualities, the poll found. Trump's most popular policy, bargaining with Carrier and GM to keep jobs in the U.S., had the support of 75 percent of respondents, with 14 percent disapproving. These voters also mostly liked his threats against North Korea (68 percent approve/22 percent oppose), attack on Syria over its chemical weapons use (66/22), and travel ban against six majority-Muslim nations (53/38). The numbers are more mixed on the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch (38/22) and firing FBI Director James Comey (33 approve/42 disapprove), and mostly negative on pulling out of the Paris climate accord (32/48) and calling critical media coverage "fake news" (38/49).
Trump also got low marks on trying to repeal and replace ObamaCare (33 percent approve/54 percent disapprove), refusing to release his tax returns (25/53), and dealing with Russia and its interference in the U.S. election (20/51). His highest disapproval number was for his use of Twitter, however, with 62 percent opposed and 24 percent in favor. "Without a doubt, Donald Trump's personal style was part of his appeal in the 2016 campaign," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the poll with GOP pollster Bill McInturff. "But more and more it appears to be a distraction that is starting to hit a sour note with his base."
Still, 55 percent of "Trump county" respondents agreed that the U.S. political and economic system is stacked against them, higher than the 43 percent national number from a WSJ/NBC poll five months ago, and by a two-to-one margin they said Trump is bringing the right kind of change to Washington politics. A 43 percent plurality is unwilling to predict if Trump's presidency will be a success, but 27 percent said they think it will be and 30 percent said it won't. The poll was conducted July 8-12 among 600 adults, and it has a margin of error of ±4 percentage points. Peter Weber
Only 40 percent of Americans think that President Trump's campaign worked with Russia to influence the outcome of the election, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll has found. Although 60 percent of Americans think Russia tried to interfere in the election, up slightly from April following revelations about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer for incriminating information about Hillary Clinton in June 2016, just 44 percent suspect Russia's meddling benefited Trump.
Of Trump Jr.'s meeting, just a quarter of Americans thought it was "appropriate" for the president's son to meet with the lawyer. On the other hand, 63 percent of voters found the meeting to be "inappropriate," with even independents considering the meeting inappropriate by a 36-point margin. Only Republicans found the meeting more appropriate than inappropriate, although that margin was still relatively slim, just 15 points.
The Washington Post notes that "responses to the question correlate strongly to how people feel Trump is doing as president," adding that "there's a correlation between views of Trump and views of Russian meddling." If you believe Trump is doing a good job as president, that is, you're more likely to believe Russia didn't try to influence the election either.
Additionally, voters don't tend to waver once they've made up their mind about Trump's possible collusion with Russia. "[H]ow you felt about Trump and Russia in April is pretty much how you feel about it now," the Post concludes.
The Post/ABC News poll also saw Trump's approval rating drop to 36 percent from 42 percent in April and found that 48 percent of Americans think the country has become a weaker world leader since Trump was inaugurated. The poll was conducted between July 10-13, reached 1,001 random adults on both cell phones and landlines, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. Read more about the results here. Jeva Lange
Most Americans support President Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll has found. As Politico notes, poll results have historically varied widely on the topic depending on how questions are worded and how the poll is conducted. With no mention of Trump or the president's executive orders on immigration in Politico/Morning Consult's polling, though, 60 percent of voters said they supported the measures while a mere 28 percent opposed them.
The divide is strongly partisan, with 84 percent of Republicans supporting the ban while a more middling 41 percent of Democrats do. Independents tip in support of the ban, with 56 percent in favor compared to 30 percent who oppose it.
"Since we last asked about Trump's travel ban, we've seen a drop in those who oppose the executive order, though we've also seen an uptick in those who do not have any opinion on the matter or have yet to settle on one," said Morning Consult chief research officer and co-founder Kyle Dropp.
The Supreme Court has approved a modified version of Trump's ban, which will stand through the Court's arguments in October. The Politico/Morning Consult poll reached 1,989 registered voters between June 29-30, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 points. Jeva Lange
On Monday, the Pew Research Center released a survey on how 37 countries view the United States under President Trump, and overall, the numbers are pretty eye-opening. In the six months since former President Barack Obama left office and Trump was sworn in, favorable views of the U.S. have dropped from 64 percent at the end of Obama's tenure to 49 percent, while unfavorable views rose from 26 percent to 39 percent. It took former President George W. Bush eight years to get numbers that bad, especially in Western Europe, Pew said, but under Trump, the change has been almost immediate.
But the drop in American esteem wasn't universal. In two of the 37 countries, people have more confidence in Trump to do the right thing than they did Obama, Pew found, and the shift is way more dramatic in Russia than Israel.
The other bright spot for Trump is that a 55 percent majority of people in the 37 countries view him as a "strong leader" — though that's below the number who view him as "arrogant" (75 percent), "intolerant" (65 percent), and "dangerous" (62 percent), and above the percentage who see him as "charismatic" (39 percent), "well-qualified to be president" (26 percent), and "caring about ordinary people" (23 percent). Broad majorities disagree with almost all of his main policies.
Foreign views of America matter because they determine how foreign leaders engage with U.S. interests, former diplomat Frank Wisner tells The Washington Post, and Trump's dismissal of traditional U.S. principles has already left a mark. "America's image has taken hits in recent years, from the decision to invade Iraq to the events of 2007 and 2008, when the American financial model took a huge hit," he said. "But the most consequential is the ascent of Mr. Trump to the Oval Office."
Pew conducted its surveys from February to May, and the margin of sampling error varies between countries from ±3.2 percentage points to ±5.7 points. You can read more about the world's views of Trump's America at Pew. Peter Weber
President Trump's Gallup daily approval rating on Sunday was just 36 percent, even worse than former President Richard Nixon's rating of 39 percent in July 1973, when he refused to turn over the infamous White House tapes. Nixon's approval rating didn't hit a low of 36 percent until mid-August, as the Watergate scandal heightened, and at that point he only had a net differential of minus-18, The New York Times reports.
As of Sunday, Trump's differential was actually even steeper than Nixon's, at minus-22:
Trump approval: 36%, disapproval: 58%. Net approval: -22. Obama at same point was +33. Trump is 55 points worse, net pic.twitter.com/3kfUSQl7Po
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) June 4, 2017
Trump's approval rating hasn't been higher than 43 percent since April 28. At 36 percent, he is just one point away from his lowest job approval rating ever, 35 percent, which he hit March 28.
At this same point in their respective presidencies, President Barack Obama was tracking at an approval rating of 61 percent, President George W. Bush at 55 percent, and Bill Clinton at 37 percent, CNN reports. Jeva Lange
Voters have plunged from optimistic about Trump's 'next few years' to pessimistic in just a few weeks
Another day, another startling poll about how Americans view President Trump. Today's major revelation: Voters' optimism in Trump's remaining tenure has dramatically dropped in three months' time.
In a new Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, 45 percent of voters said they were optimistic about Trump's "next few years" as president while 52 percent said they were pessimistic. Compare that with how voters felt in March: When asked the same question then, 52 percent said they were optimistic and 46 percent said they were pessimistic.
Trump's overall job approval rating, however, hasn't fluctuated dramatically. In the survey released Wednesday, he was approved of by 37 percent of voters and disapproved of by 55 percent. In the March survey, he was approved of by 36 percent of voters and disapproved of by 58 percent.
— Quinnipiac Poll (@QuinnipiacPoll) May 24, 2017
The poll additionally found that a majority of voters (54 percent to 43 percent) believe Trump "is abusing the powers of his office." "President Donald Trump remains mired in dreadful mid-30s approval numbers and the red flags that are popping up tell an even darker story," said the assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, Tim Malloy. "Retirement age voters are leaving in big numbers. But by far the most alarming determination is that President Trump is abusing his office."