Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump remains as unpopular as ever, setting a course to become the most unpopular president at this point in his administration since the dawn of modern polling.
A batch of new polls released on the eve of Trump’s six month presidential anniversary show that there has been no honeymoon period for a president who has largely refused to moderate his rhetoric and policies since assuming office.
According to a Washington Post/ABC poll released on Sunday, the president’s approval rating has dropped to 36%, while his disapproval rating rose to 58%.
The poll was conducted between July 10 and 13, amid Senate Republicans’ faltering attempts to pass an Obamacare replacement bill, and revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who reportedly promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Russian government. It surveyed 1,001 American adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5% points.
A Bloomberg poll conducted around the same period and published on Monday showed similar results, with 40% of Americans saying they approve of the job he is doing, and 55% saying they disapprove. The telephone poll surveyed 1,001 American adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1% points.
Monmouth University also released a survey on Monday that showed Trump’s approval rating at 39%, with 52% disapproval, a rating the pollster said was identical to his rating in May. The poll surveyed 800 Americans by telephone, and reported a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5% points.
Taken together, FiveThirtyEight’s approval tracker of major polls put Trump’s approval at 39%, with a disapproval rating of 55%. The site noted that “barring a sudden turnaround this week, Trump will conclude his first six months in office as the most unpopular president, at that point in his first term, since modern polling began.”
Polls have showed the president’s highest approval area appeared to be the economy, though Bloomberg’s survey noted that just 46% approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 44% of Americans disapprove.
Reprising a habit he began throughout the 2016 election, Trump attempted to discredit the polls.
In a tweet on Sunday, the president reminded Americans that most polls showed Trump would lose the election to Clinton, his Democratic opponent, though Trump omitted that some pollsters and polling analysts put a Trump victory comfortably within the margin of error.
Although the new administration has battled a number of alarming headlines about the Trump campaign’s potential connections to Russia, it remains somewhat unclear whether the issue will seriously damage Trump in the eyes of the public.
As HuffPost pointed out, the unfolding events surrounding the investigation of the Trump campaign’s potential connections to Russia, and Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as FBI director have barely moved public opinion against Trump.
The Washington Post poll showed a split along partisan lines regarding whether voters felt Trump benefited from Russian meddling in the 2016 election, though Bloomberg reported that the FBI’s approval rating has improved ten points since December.
Monmouth’s Monday poll also showed that 60% of Republicans believe that Russian interference in the 2016 election did not damage American democracy, compared to 28% of independents and 6% of Democrats who felt the same.
“Donald Trump’s job rating has basically held steady amid another round of supposedly damaging news,” Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said. “Most Americans disapprove of his son and other advisers meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, but that hasn’t really moved the needle on any other public opinion metric related to the president.”
Despite Trump’s low approval rating, Democrats may not be much better off.
The Washington Post/ABC poll found that only 37% of all adults surveyed said the Democratic Party stands for something, compared to the 52% who said the party simply exists to oppose Trump.
Among self-proclaimed independent voters, just 32% believed the Democratic Party stands for something, compared to the 55% who said it just stands against Trump.
Many Democrats voiced concern over the negative rating, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic rising star who has impressed top Democratic leaders including former President Barack Obama.
The ABC/Washington Post Poll, even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017