By Glynn Wilson –
President Donald Trump’s job approval rating took another nose dive this week down to 36 percent, according to the latest Gallup poll, in the wake of the failure of House Republican leaders to muster the votes to pass a new healthcare bill that would have repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act.
It stood at 37 percent in mid-March and 41 percent in February. The high point came at 46 percent in the week following his inauguration January 20 and it has crept down to an average of 42 percent since then.
Trump’s rating is two percentage points below Barack Obama’s lowest point of 38 percent he hit briefly in 2011 and 2014.
Trump has also edged below Bill Clinton’s all-time low of 37 percent, recorded in the summer of 1993, his first year in office, as well as Gerald Ford’s 37 percent low point in January and March 1975. John F. Kennedy’s lowest approval rating was 56 percent, while for comparison’s sake, Dwight Eisenhower’s was 48 percent.
Other presidents in recent decades have registered lower than Trump, including George W. Bush who hit 25 percent and left office with about that number. George H.W. Bush hit 29 percent. Ronald Reagan came in with a 35 percent approval. Jimmy Carter hit a low of 28 percent and Richard Nixon bottomed out at 24 percent.
“Presidential job approval ratings are fluid, and all presidents have seen both upward and downward swings in their ratings at various points in their administrations,” Gallup points out in its analysis of the numbers. “An encouraging sign for Trump, perhaps, is that all presidents whose ratings fell below 36 percent — with the exception of Nixon — saw their ratings improve thereafter.”
Clinton provides a particularly relevant example. His approval rating dropped to 37 percent in June 1993, but recovered to 56 percent by September of that year.
But if the drip, drip, drip continues over Trump and his cohorts’ ties to Russian oligarchs, Vladimir Putin and the Russian mob — and if the policy failures and broken campaign promises continue to dog his administration — the numbers could continue to slide downward. At some point a lack of confidence on the part of the public could cripple Trump’s presidency, as Watergate did for Nixon.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.