One of the enduring myths of President Trump’s political career is the belief that “nothing matters” — that the controversies that surround him have no effect on his standing with the public.
The three weeks since Trump’s inauguration have once again proven that untrue: Trump has lost significant ground in public approval in the aftermath of a rough start.
Without question, Trump, who won the presidency with a minority of the votes cast, has retained a strong hold on his core supporters, whose loyalty remains ardent. And he has plenty of time to turn around the current negative trend.
But the pattern is consistent: After a brief increase in popularity early in his transition, almost all public polls show a decline in Trump’s support, though the exact amount varies.
In Gallup’s surveys, Trump’s job approval has gone from an even split the week of his inauguration, with 45% of Americans approving and 45% disapproving, to a 10-point deficit in the latest average, 42%-52%.
Gallup has tracked every American president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and before Trump, none hit 50% disapproval for months, sometimes years. Trump has fallen below all but the lowest points for President Obama and into territory plumbed by Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.
Other polls showing a decline include aGOP favorite, Rasmussen, which has shown Trump dropping from a 14-point net approval rating when he started to four points now; YouGov, which has found a 13-point decline; and Quinnipiac, with a 17-point drop.
Among major nonpartisan surveys, the only one to depart from the pattern is the Reuters/Ipsos poll, which had Trump’s approval at a two-point deficit when he started and now has him barely in positive territory, with 48% approving and 47% disapproving.
For now, what matters most to Trump is holding the support of his core voters. That’s key to his strength in Congress, especially in the House, because his popularity remains high in most Republican-held congressional districts.
But if his decline persists, it could weaken Trump’s sway in the Senate, where members need to run statewide.Read More...
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