Throughout the course of his campaign, Donald Trump, for good or ill, made history. For starters, he was the first president in U.S. history to hold no military or political rank prior to taking office. Frustrated with politicians, many saw Trump’s lack of experience as a positive, so much that they were willing to overlook his many negative qualities and elect him to the highest office in the land. However, it seems that a mere seven months into his presidency, many Americans are starting to regret their choice as Trump holds the lowest approval ratings of any president in modern history.
CNBC reports that Trump has spent more time under 40 percent approval rating than any other first-year president. Given Trump’s penchant for adoration, he’s bound to hate hearing that news. Even more frustrating for him is the fact that his current numbers, 34 percent, are lower than anything obtained by President Obama during his entire eight years in office.
Trump hasn’t said much about his low poll numbers. That, by itself, isn’t uncommon. After all, who’s going to willingly talk about how low they are polling, but, during the campaign, Trump frequently boasted about how well he was doing in the polls. Now that he’s been elected and those numbers are falling, he has stopped talking about them save for the rare comment about fake news polls.
Like many things associated with Trump’s administration, his low approval ratings defy conventional wisdom. Most of the time, presidents enjoy fairly high approval ratings at the beginning of their terms. Even those from opposing parties tend to give them a chance. Trump, however, hasn’t been so lucky.
“Most presidents begin with a honeymoon period and then go down from that, and Trump had no honeymoon,” said Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport.
Beyond that, Trump’s lower approval numbers appear to be mostly a reflection of Trump himself. Normally, a president’s approval ratings fall due to external factors that are at least partially outside their control. Classic examples of this are being a weak economy or some major international crisis. Right now, however, the economy is still doing all right and there are no major foreign affairs. The issue with North Korea appears to have been resolved and Trump’s numbers were falling well before then.
That being said, there is another explanation for Trump’s low approval numbers. Scott de Marchi, who teaches political science at Duke University, says that his research indicates that residents are judged on their ability to get Congress to pass their agenda. Trump has had virtually no luck in that area. He campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare (ACA) but hasn’t even been able to do that with a Republican-controlled Congress. As of right now, it appears that his agenda has hit a stone wall.
‘The problem with Trump is that on any area like the budget or tax policy or even health care, people need to be led to a position to support.’
Given the fact that low presidential approval numbers tend to bode ill for the party that controls the White House, Trump may have even more trouble passing his agenda after the midterms. Who knows what his numbers will be in a year’s time?
Featured image via Getty Images.