President Donald Trump is hoping for re-election come 2020, but his biggest obstacle to actually getting there may be himself. According to a new poll released through the Associated Press, Trump’s disapproval rating has reached a wildly high 62 percent, while an estimated just 36 percent of the public actually approve of the job that he’s doing in office. How exactly does he plan on winning a second term in office if he can’t convince more than one out of three Americans that he’s doing even just an effective job in his first term?
Although it’s a different pollster, there’s a readily apparent trend — according to Gallup, shortly before winning re-election in 2012, Barack Obama had the approval of around half of the American population. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, was at often in the low to mid-40s around that time. Shortly after winning re-election, it went all the way down to just 37 percent, with two-thirds of the population either actively in support of him or unsure. That’s nowhere near anything Trump has managed for the entirety of his time so far in office.
The Associated Press notes that in their polling released in cooperation with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Trump’s approval rating has stayed between about 32 and 42 percent during his entire time in office so far. FiveThirtyEight notes that his average approval rating at present is about 42 percent, while on average, about 54 percent of the public actively disapproves of the job that Trump is doing. As the 2020 election season heats up and a more focused spotlight hits Trump’s behavior, those numbers could definitely further shift.
The one “bright spot” for Trump in the new AP numbers covers his handling of the economy. Although economists have warned of a potentially incoming recession thanks to the volatility inflicted by his punitive import tax back-and-forths with major powers like China, 46 percent of people approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, according to the AP. Still, that’s not even half of Americans. A full 51 percent of Americans disapprove of the president on that front, according to the same numbers. On issues including immigration, health care, foreign policy, and gun policy, Americans approve of Trump’s job performance on levels about the same as their overall approval of his time in office.
Philadelphia’s former Republican John Sollenberger commented to pollsters:
‘The economy is doing OK, but he’s doing a horrible job for the country. To me, it’s the vitriol that comes out of him. He’s obviously a racist. He’s anti-immigrant. He foments discontent with so many people it doesn’t matter what the economy’s doing really.’
Not even the economy may last as a point slightly less grim than the rest. Besides those fears of a recession, American businesses are struggling under the weight of the import taxes that Trump already has in place. Just in June alone, one recent study estimated that American businesses had lost a full $3.4 billion that they’d otherwise have had without the tariffs. Even as these effects pile up, Trump keeps singling out the economy as a supposed help for his public image.
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