A new poll released by Gallup found that only 37 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as opposed to 58 percent who disapprove. This makes him the least popular president at this point in his first term since Gallup began the poll in 1945. In contrast, at a similar point in 2009, Barack Obama had a 60 percent approval rating.
There are many reasons for Trump’s low poll numbers. For starters, he was elected without winning a majority of the popular vote, which put him at a disadvantage from the onset. Legislatively, he’s hit major roadblocks with his controversial Muslim travel bans being struck down in the courts. And the current Republican health care bill is on life support after the Congressional Budget Office revealed it will result in 24 million Americans losing their health care coverage.
Behind all of this is lurks the dark cloud of an FBI investigation into allegations his administration worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
Historically, young presidents get a honeymoon period where they enjoy the highest ratings of their presidencies. If this is what Trump’s numbers look like while basking in that new-president glow, as time goes on, his approval ratings may drop even further. Although he is the most unpopular new president in 72 years, historically, there have been presidents who’ve been less popular later in their terms.
Harry Truman: Had a 22 percent approval rating in February 1952 after the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur.
Richard Nixon: In July 1974, Nixon had a 24 percent approval rating before his resignation due to the Watergate scandal.
George W. Bush: In October 2008, he had a 25 percent approval rating during the financial crisis.
Jimmy Carter: In June 1979, he dropped to a 28 percent approval rating as the country suffered from “stagflation.”
George H. W. Bush: In July 1992, Bush had a 29 percent approval rating caused by a sluggish economy.