US President Donald Trump ended his first year in office more unpopular than any President in modern history, various polls have said. Among many other polls, NBC and the Wall Street Journal released data last week show that Trump’s approval rating was 39 percent in their poll, lower than the figure at the end of Barack Obama’s first year (50 percent), George W. Bush’s (82 percent, thanks to 9/11) and Bill Clinton’s (60 percent). This was the lowest figure the poll has found for a modern President completing one year in office, according to NBC News.
Figures from Gallup’s historic polling show something similar. The most recent figure for Trump has his approval at 39 percent, same as the NBC-Journal poll. That’s eight points lower than Ronald Reagan or Clinton, who were each at 47 percent around the time of their first anniversaries as president.
Trump’s approval ratings have maintained a steady low across different polls during his first year in office. This, despite the booming economy — which, Gallup noted last week, may be because Americans still give Obama more credit for how the economy is doing.
Though Trump’s overall grade was low, his marks improved on a few specific topics. According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll, 42 percent of voters gave him an “A” or “B” on both jobs and the economy. Trump split the vote on fighting terrorism, with 39 percent saying he deserved an “A” or “B” and another 39 percent giving him a “D” or “F.” The rest, 14 percent, graded him a “C.”
Trump’s fewest positive marks came on his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” Just 22 percent gave him an “A” or “B” there, while 42 percent gave him a “D” or “F.” His lowest grades were or climate change (49 percent “Ds” or “Fs”).
Fifty-seven per cent of respondents to the NBC/WSJ poll said they disapprove of Trump, including 51 per cent who said they “strongly disapprove.” According to the poll, 46 per cent of men approve of Trump while just 33 per cent of women responded the same.
A new Economist/YouGov poll that was also released last week showed every adult member of the Trump clan with “underwater favorability” ratings. However, there was one exception: First Lady Melania Trump.
Trump remains a deeply politically polarizing figure. He continues to enjoy support from Republicans—72 percent gave him an “A” or “B.” Just 10 percent of Republicans gave Trump a “D” or “F”, while 79 percent of Democrats did. Only 8 percent of Democrats gave Trump high marks. Trump didn’t fare much better with Independent voters: about 27 percent said he deserved an “A” or “B” and 45 percent gave Trump a “D” or “F.”
Trump’s unpopularity has been one of the factors cited for predictions that the Republicans could face a bloodbath in congressional elections this November. Another factor that plays a role in those predictions are the numbers from the so-called generic ballot question: Who will you vote for in your local House race, the Democrat or Republican?
But there’s an important caveat for any Democrats popping champagne bottles at Trump’s unpopularity. Over the past month or so, his numbers — and the GOP’s — have improved. In mid-December, the Democratic advantage on that question hit a remarkable 13 points in the RealClearPolitics average. But since then, the gap has narrowed. In its most recent iteration, the average shows only a 9.1-point gap.
He is the only US President since Harry Truman to have a negative net approval rating after 12 months in the White House – some 24 points below Barack Obama at the same time in his presidency.
The year since Donald Trump’s inauguration has been packed with controversy and intrigue – during which there have been persistent allegations over Russian connections. He has fired the head of the FBI, launched tirades against the media, failed to push through healthcare reform and has escalated his rhetoric surrounding North Korea. All of this led to a slump in approval ratings, with Trump achieving a majority disapproval rating in a record of just eight days since his inauguration. And, it stayed the same for the rest of his first year in office.