He’s painted into a corner.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that President Trump’s approval rating has dipped again. It remains the lowest of any president at this point in his term since polling began in 1939. Among American voters, 33% approve of the job he’s doing while 61% disapprove. But he has a long way to go before hitting the all-time low mark. In 1952, Harry Truman hit a low of 22%, Richard Nixon was at 24% before resigning in 1974, and George W. Bush bottomed out at 25% in late 2008.
The poll revealed that the biggest change in Trump’s approval rating came from Republicans. In June, 84% of Republicans approved of the president, and that has dropped to 76%. There’s another trend that should be alarming for Trump as well: Among those who support him, many have moved from the “strongly approve” category to the “somewhat approve.”
Unless there is a major event that shakes up the country, Trump’s numbers aren’t likely to rise in the near future because there’s little room for improvement. “What Trump doesn’t have is very many people who ‘somewhat disapprove’ of his performance; this group makes up only about 11 percent of the country,” blogger Nate Silver wrote on FiveThirtyEight. “It might not sound helpful to have voters who somewhat disapprove of you, but they’re a lot easier to bring over to your side than voters who strongly disapprove of you.”
On the positive side for Trump: Given today’s highly polarized political climate, there isn’t much room for his approval rating to dip much lower, either. “Americans are not responding to information in the same way,” Robert Shapiro, political science professor at Columbia University, told PBS. “They have perceptual biases. People see what they want to see.” The stable economy should help keep Trump’s numbers from going much lower, as well. “The economy is basically holding steady and improving in a lot of respects,” Shapiro added.