Despite strong economic data, low unemployment, and soaring stock prices, President Donald Trump’s approval ratings continue to languish near record lows. In fact, Trump is the most unpopular president to ever enter his second year in office. And his popularity is waning.
According to one poll, 38% of American likely voters think the U.S. is heading in the right direction. That’s a two-point drop from the previous week, which had been the highest level of optimism since April 2017.
At the same time, a majority of American voters, 56%, believe that the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. That’s a one-point increase from the week ended December 29, 2017.
Before Trump won the election, Democrats were much more likely than Republicans and independent voters to think that the U.S. was heading in the right direction. Times have changed; today, 77% of Democrats think the U.S. is heading down the wrong path.
Meanwhile, 64% of Republicans think the U.S. is heading in the right direction. That sounds significant, but it’s down from 70% last week. Of those voters who “strongly approve” of Trump’s job performance, 92% think the U.S. is heading in the right direction. By a similar margin, 96% of those who “strongly disapprove” of the way Trump is handling the country say the U.S. on the wrong track.
This sentiment is echoed in another poll, which shows that Trump’s approval rating slipped marginally to 37%. Trump’s disapproval rating increased three points to 58%.
When it comes to presidential unpopularity, Trump is standing on the shoulders of giants. Over the last 80 years, presidents have had an average approval rating of 53% at this point in their presidencies. The same cannot be said for President Donald Trump. He started 2018 with a record low approval rating.
Unlike the stock market, Trump’s approval ratings have been declining since he ascended into the Oval Office. In fact, when Trump took office in January 2017, his approval rating was at a personal high of 45%.
For comparison’s sake, when Barack Obama entered the second year of his presidency, his approval rating was 49%. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter had approval rates of between 48% and 80% at this point in their presidencies. What about Richard Nixon? His approval rating at the beginning of his second year was 63%.
Should President Donald Trump be unable to turn his image around, it could spell disaster for the Republicans come the November mid-term elections.
“Right Direction or Wrong Track,” Rasmussen Reports, January 8, 2018.
“Trump Job Approval (Weekly),” Gallup, Inc., last accessed January 9, 2018.