As Trump’s time in office drags on, he has proven himself to be worse at managing the country than anyone could expect. He’s not good at getting legislation passed, he hands out federal appointments based on personal allegiance rather than skill or competence, and he threatens our allies and strengthens our enemies through reckless use of social media.
At least, that’s what the country seems to think. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Trump’s approval rating is lower than ever, and there are some hidden gems that are really going to upset him:
Overall, respondents gave Trump a historically bad 37 percent approval rating, with 59 percent disapproving of “the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president.” There’s bad news for Democrats, too: 61 percent of Americans think that Democrats are “just criticizing Trump without presenting alternatives,” with barely more than a quarter of respondents saying that they’re “presenting alternatives.”
In fact, more people in the survey identified as Democrats than said the Democrats are offering useful alternatives.
While Democratic Party members may contend that’s the fault of messaging, rather than inaction, when it comes to politics, perception is key. Then again, it’s difficult to do much more than scream and stamp your feet when you’re the minority party at all levels of government. The best thing Democrats can do now is resist and organize, but it’s difficult to cast that as “offering useful alternatives.”
Only 12 percent of Americans think Trump has accomplished “a great deal” in office, while 65 percent say he’s accomplished “little or nothing.” An additional 23 percent think he has accomplished “a good amount.”
This is notable, because that means even some of his own supporters think he’s accomplished “little or nothing.” For a man who said “only I can fix it,” that’s not such a good look.
Part of his inability to accomplish anything may stem from the fact that he hands out appointments based entirely on perceived loyalty or friendship, not qualifications or competence. It’s difficult to create a government that functions well when the most highly-valued trait in your staff is bootlicking.
More than two thirds of Americans, 70 percent, think Trump is doing “not so good” or “poor” dealing with race relations. In fact, a staggering 51 percent rated him “poor,” the lowest rating, and only seven percent rated him “excellent,” the highest rating. An additional 21 percent rated him “good.”
The good news here is that white supremacists, while currently feeling empowered, clearly do not have the level of support they believe they do. Somewhat surprisingly, despite believing that Donald Trump is doing a poor job of handling race relations, many Americans do not seem to think it comes from a place of ill will. Only 50 percent responded that Trump is “biased against black people,” with 42 percent indicating they do not feel that is the case.
A higher percentage, 55, said that Donald Trump is biased against women.
Leadership and Honesty
In response to the question, “Do you think Trump is honest and trustworthy, or not?”65 percent of respondents said “not,” with only 33 percent indicating they believed he is trustworthy. This, again, is lower than his approval rating, showing that at least some of his followers believe he is dishonest. Only two percent had no opinion. When it came to personality and temperament, the results were the same: 31 percent said yes, with 66 percent saying no.
It’s interesting that Trump’s approval rating is six percentage points higher than the number of people who think he has the “personality and temperament” to be president. Another question asked may demonstrate why; when asked “Do you think Trump understands the problems of people like you, or not?” 37 percent said “yes,” with 62 percent saying no.
The takeaway there is that they recognize that Trump does not have the temperament to be president, but feel represented by him, so approve of him anyway. It’s inherently selfish, but not too surprising.
When asked if he’s keeping his campaign promises, responses followed a similar pattern; 35 percent believed yes, whereas 55 percent said no. The remainder answered with a mix of yes/no or had no opinion.
When it comes to American leadership around the world, the majority of those questioned disapproved of Trump’s impact, saying that the United States has become weaker:
Questioned if they would classify Trump as a “strong leader,” respondents were more split: 40 percent yes, 59 percent no. Asked if he’s “good at making political deals,” only 37 percent said yes. Additionally, only 42 percent said he has brought “needed change” to Washington.
The majority of Americans do not trust Donald Trump to handle the situation in North Korea effectively. Fewer than one in three trust him “a great deal” or “a good amount,” and more than half responded “not at all.”
When it comes to healthcare, the results were a little more complex than for most questions. The question, as posed, is as follows:
‘Do you think that Trump is trying to make the current federal health care law work as well as it can, or trying to make it fail? (IF MAKE THE LAW WORK OR MAKE IT FAIL) Do you support or oppose his doing that?’
A third of those surveyed said that he’s “trying to make it work,” while more than half said “fail.” Here’s the breakdown:
When Richard Nixon was impeached, his approval rating was in the twenties. If Trump keeps it up, even Republicans won’t be able to deny the writing on the wall.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images