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Trump Remains At Historic Low In Polls As Optimism About Future Decreases

Trump Sad Face

A new poll from CNN and SSRS shows that President Trump’s job approval numbers continue to be at historic lows for a newly elected President, and also shows that a growing number of Americans view the country as being on the wrong track:

President Donald Trump’s approval rating holds steady in a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, but that overall stability belies declining views on how things are going in the country today.

Overall, 37% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 57% disapprove — virtually identical to his marks in late September. But the percentage who say things in the country are going well has fallen from 53% in August to 46% now, about the same as after Trump’s tumultuous first weeks in office.

And as the White House pushes for congressional action on tax reform and takes steps to modify Obamacare on its own, few say they think Trump’s policies will bring about positive change. Around four in 10 (38%) say the policies Trump has proposed will move the country in the right direction, 56% say the wrong direction. Back in March, that was a near-even split.

Even fewer approve of Trump’s approach to Republicans in Congress. Overall, 32% approve of the way the President is handling his relationship with Republicans in Congress while 54% disapprove.

And as the White House pushes for congressional action on tax reform and takes steps to modify Obamacare on its own, few say they think Trump’s policies will bring about positive change. Around four in 10 (38%) say the policies Trump has proposed will move the country in the right direction, 56% say the wrong direction. Back in March, that was a near-even split.

Even fewer approve of Trump’s approach to Republicans in Congress. Overall, 32% approve of the way the President is handling his relationship with Republicans in Congress while 54% disapprove.

Looking at the poll averages we see similar numbers as Trump remains without question the most unpopular newly elected President in the history of modern polling. In the RealClearPolitics average, for example, Trump’s job approval average stands at 38.8% approve and 55.8% disapprove. Trump’s numbers on the economy are better, with approval standing at 45.6% and disapproval at 45.1%. This, no doubt, is a reflection largely of the fact that the economy at large remains in relatively good shape even though the Trump Administration has not really implemented its economic agenda in any significant respect that could be said to be responsible for the shape of the economy. On foreign policy, meanwhile, Trump’s numbers are more consistent with his numbers overall, with an approval average of 37.8% and a disapproval average of 54.8%. The President’s numbers at Pollster, meanwhile, are largely the same with an average of 38.6% approval and 56.8% disapproval. Looking deeper into those numbers, the President remains nearly universally negative among Democrats and universally positive among Republicans. Among Independents meanwhile, Trump’s numbers continue to be worse than among Americans as a whole. Finally, the FiveThirtyEight approval average, which is weighted based on factors such as pollster reliability, stands at 38.1% approve and 55.6% approval.

As the RealClearPolitics chart shows, Trump’s numbers remain near historic lows even for his Presidency notwithstanding a small uptick in the wake of the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma:

Trump Job Approval RCP 101717

As noted above, the CNN/SSRS poll also shows a high number of people viewing the country on the wrong track, and RealClearPolitics shows this number as standing at 28.6% who believe the country is on the right track, and 63.6% saying it is on the wrong track. To be honest though, as the chart below shows, this number has been in negative territory for the past seven years:

RCP RIght Track Wrong Track 101717

The CNN poll also shows Trump getting negative reviews for his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which ravaged the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico nearly a month ago:

President Donald Trump’s approval rating for handling the federal government’s response to recent hurricanes has dropped 20 points in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

In mid-September, 64% of Americans said they approved of Trump’s handling of the US hurricane response. That finding followed his administration’s handling of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit the US mainland in late-August and September. Now, as many Puerto Ricans remain without access to clean water or electricity nearly a month after Maria hit, just 44% say they approve.

In the weeks since Maria devastated the island, Trump’s response has vacillated between criticism and praise. He has used his Twitter account to contend that local officials aren’t doing enough to help and has threatened to withdraw assistance from the island entirely. At other times, he has praised the work of the military and first responders there.

In a Rose Garden news conference Monday, Trump mixed praise for the federal government’s response to the situation with criticism of local efforts, saying that ample supplies had reached the island but were held up by distribution issues.

“We have massive amounts of water,” Trump said. “We have massive amounts of food, but they have to distribute the food, and they have to do this. They have to distribute the food to the people of the island.”

The poll found Trump’s numbers on this score have dipped across party lines. His ratings are down 9 points among Republicans, 22 points among independents and 25 points among Democrats.

The decline also includes a steep drop in his approval rating on handling hurricanes among non-whites, from 52% in September to 25% now. Among Hispanics, approval for Trump’s handling of hurricane response has dropped from 49% in September to 22% now.

In the September poll, majorities of men and women and majorities across age groups approved of the way Trump was handling the Hurricane response. Now, among women, just 36% approve, while only 32% of those under age 45 approve.

The impact of the hurricanes can be seen in the RealClearPolitics chart above, where there was actually a slight improvement in Trump’s numbers in the wake of Irma and Harvey, where the Federal response was widely seen as being a success. The reality has been far different in the response to Maria, though, and while part of that is due to the fact that both U.S. territories are only accessible by air and sea it’s also been the case that Trump has largely been far more dismissive regarding the Federal response in these areas than he was in electorally important states like Texas and Florida and has been outwardly hostile toward authorities on the ground in Puerto Rico such as the Mayor of San Juan. Just yesterday, for example, Trump said that the military shouldn’t have to deliver food on the ground in Puerto Rico and said that he’s staying on top of the situation in the Virgin Islands by talking to their President, who, of course, is Trump himself. All of this has helped contribute to an air of callous disregard for more than four million American citizens who will be dealing with the ramifications of Maria for years to come.

Trump’s new numbers are largely consistent with what we’ve seen since the beginning of his Presidency. Unlike any other previous President, Trump has had exceedingly negative job approval numbers for the past eight months of his Presidency and, as we get closer to the one-year anniversary of his election, it doesn’t appear that this trend will improve anytime soon. What impact that has for legislative agenda items such as tax reform and the midterm elections next year is unclear, but it’s unlikely to be good news.

Update: This post was updated to include updated figures from the RealClearPolitics average from what was indicated this morning, and to include an updated version of the RCP chart for Presidential Job Approval.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jen says:

    I still find it disturbing that four in ten are okay with this dumpster fire of an administration. The “wrong track” numbers increasing have got to be of concern to Republicans. What the heck are they going to do if we actually have a (long overdue) stock market correction or recession?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. KM says:

    @Jen:

    Still love him. You miss the point – he pisses off libs and (seems to at least) hates the people they hate. He can sh^t all over them and their values as long as he keeps on antagonizing their enemies.

    These people don’t care if their lives are ruined so long as they get to see the Others suffer at that same time. Oh they’ll get mad but they’ll just blame the same groups they always blame and nothing will ever change. Changing their mind/actions means admitting they were wrong, even if it’s just to themselves. Pride’s a hell of a drug, don’t you know?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  3. MBunge says:

    @KM: These people don’t care if their lives are ruined so long as they get to see the Others suffer at that same time.

    No, it’s that they know YOU don’t care if their lives are ruined. YOU don’t care if they suffer. And when it comes to not admitting being wrong, they can see that people like YOU pretty much take the cake.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 25

  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The display Dumb Donnie put on yesterday was awe-inspiring.
    Bald-faced lies about former Presidents.
    Obamacare is dead. It’s not his fault. (He just signed the executive orders killing it)
    Diametrically opposite views on a number of topics including Bannon, and on Republican Senators.
    I don’t know how many times it bears repeating…the man is unhinged…and categorically unfit for office.
    He botched Puerto Rico. He botched the response to the deaths of 4 troops in Niger.
    And yet these were/are relatively easy issues.
    His incompetence is going to get us into a cataclysmic conflict in short time. I trust Bunge and JKB and Guarneri and J-E-N-O-S and Jack and the rest on the Comb-Over butt boys will be the first in line at the enlistment center when that happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @KM:

    Still love him. You miss the point – he pisses off libs and (seems to at least) hates the people they hate. He can sh^t all over them and their values as long as he keeps on antagonizing their enemies.

    Exactly. His core support is 35%, 38%, numbers like that, and it could go marginally lower. But, this is it.

    Unless he’s caught in bed with Sean Hannity and/or Vladimir Putin about the only thing that could stop him would be if in the 2018 mid-term elections Democrats win enough races to change the power balance in Congress. Perhaps I’m overly pessimistic but right now I do not see that happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. Davebo says:

    @MBunge: Admitting you’re wrong, when you aren’t, doesn’t make much sense.

    You seem to be more unhinged than usual which is hard to believe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  7. barbintheboonies says:

    Why do we still believe polls? The pollsters may be just as biased as our media. The people in the middle who do not scream in the streets are a big part of voters that keep in the shadows until voting time. I would love to listen to a forum on each side without screaming fools. I believe the right and the left have gone off the deep end it`s time to meet in the middle to move forward.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:
    when it comes to not admitting being wrong
    Your dear leader just signed an executive order that immediately raises everyones insurance premiums…and provides for far less coverage.
    How is that helping the folks in fly-over country.
    He’s signed onto the same failed economic policies that have decimated middle class incomes for the last 30 years. How is that helping the folks in fly-over country.
    Your blame for the maladies of the white middle class are so far mis-placed it is laughable.
    Look at Kansas. Going with the full Republican monty…an it has decimated them.
    You and all those people have been believing the lies fed to you for so long that you are beyond brain-washed.
    MBunge…Dunning-Kruger poster boy…and all-around Trump boot-licker.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I believe the right and the left have gone off the deep end it`s time to meet in the middle to move forward.

    The “Left” has gone off the deep end? How so? And if so, do you really see it as a ‘both sides do it’ proposition?

    The Right controls the entire federal government, and the president and his cabinet, with some bumps in the road, are implementing their agenda. I fail to see how the “left” has any played any part in the ongoing dumpster fire that has characterized this administration since Inauguration Day 2017. Let me know how the “left” has gone off the deep end, and how in any manner it is proportionately equal to what the Right indulges in constantly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    If you haven’t seen or read McCain’s speech from last night, or read about it, you should.
    It is a scathing indictment of Trumpism;

    some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.

    McCain and Corker are leading the Republican opposition.
    Neither of them has anything to lose; one is retiring and one is dying.
    Now if some other Republicans could only grow a spine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  11. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Comb-Over butt boys

    PS – I realize you’re pissed, but there are probably better ways of expressing this than homophobic comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  12. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    It’s OK…I don’t think Donnies little Cheeto will hurt them, much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. teve tory says:

    Looking deeper into those numbers, the President remains nearly universally negative among Democrats and universally positive among Republicans.

    The GOP: Stupid people with shitty values.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. DrDaveT says:

    @MBunge:

    No, it’s that they know YOU don’t care if their lives are ruined. YOU don’t care if they suffer.

    You’re projecting again, Mike.

    If I don’t care about them or their lives or their suffering, why am I so willing to donate lots of my hard-earned $$$ to help give them (and their children) better lives — if they would only accept the offer?

    I’ve done a helluva lot more for them than they’ve ever done for me, and I continue to do it. Their ingratitude annoys me, but not as much as their ignorance does — but neither prevents me from caring about them as people. Probably because I’m not a Republican: I don’t require people to agree with me or be my relatives before I can care about them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @teve tory: Values Voters, doncha know? Just not the values they profess. But you already knew that too, didn’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. reid says:

    @DrDaveT: Amen. We do what we can to vote for and support government leaders who will make their lives better. They actively fight us and vote for people who act against their interests. And this is our fault?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @reid: “Shut up you pointed headed elitist Libtard! We don’t want better paying jobs, or OSHA regs that keep us safe, or air quality controls so we don’t have to breath poison, regs against water pollution so we can’t drink poison (we LIKE poison), or access to healthcare or good roads to drive on or safe vehicles to drive on them, or any of that other libtard BS you are always trying to cram down our throats! We want all the guns we can shoot and all the ammo we desire in 100 round drum magazines with silencers and RPGs and flame throwers! We want all the grease one can cram into a McDonalds value meal! We want to drink as much carbonated corn syrup as possible! We want unlimited access to meth I mean heroin oxy well SOMETHING anyway! And most of all we want all you libtards to live a most excruciatingly painful and meaningless existence! Just like we do,”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. barbintheboonies says:

    @al-Ameda: You are so delusional to believe the far left and far right are not off. We have given up so much to a crazy PC culture instead of believing in our own common sense. The far right has their crazy nonsense too. We will never get anywhere with a society as this. We need to start to come closer to the middle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  19. LaMont says:

    @MBunge:

    No, it’s that they know YOU don’t care if their lives are ruined. YOU don’t care if they suffer. And when it comes to not admitting being wrong, they can see that people like YOU pretty much take the cake.

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/trump-remains-at-historic-low-in-polls-as-optimism-about-future-decreases/#ixzz4vmtQYWTF

    I think you just exposed who the real snowflakes are. It’s too bad that you identify with them.

    Clearly, the biggest reason Trump supporters voted for him is because they knew he would likely piss off the “establishment” and “liberals” alike. Now, it is about the only thing they can count on seeing that Trump is completely incapable of doing anything else as President. The problem is that adults do not typically base their opinions and actions on what other people feel toward them or anyone/anything else. You just reaffirmed the narrative that most Trump supporters and defenders are intellectual infants!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. reid says:

    @barbintheboonies: Whatever “PC culture” exists is the least of our problems. (That sounds like something that was all the rage in the ’90s, honestly.)

    The “far left” is tiny. Most Democrats are in the middle of the political spectrum. Even Bernie, who is not afraid of the label “socialist”, is hardly a radical in most ways.

    The “far right” is large and has a great deal of control of the GOP and conservative media. This has gotten worse and worse over the last few decades, especially so since 2009. For the most part, they only care about cutting taxes for the wealthy, destroying government programs, and removing regulations so companies can profit more. Unless you’re in the top 1%, this will likely hurt you.

    If you’re not a troll, please wake up and stop equating Democrats and Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  21. al-Alameda says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    You are so delusional to believe the far left and far right are not off. We have given up so much to a crazy PC culture instead of believing in our own common sense.

    Okay, I’ll take the bait. Crazy PC culture? Yeah some of it bother me too, however, much of what the Right calls PC, also happened to intersect with basic human rights objectives for many Americans.

    Most of the Republican Party is now dominated by the ‘far right, and very little of the Democratic Party is commandeered by the ‘far left’. So what is it about Democrats that you see as extreme? Free Trade? Progressive Taxation? What?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @LaMont:..I think you just exposed who the real snowflakes are. It’s too bad that you identify with them.

    These are the snowflakes Comrade Bunglevitch is so concerned about.
    White Supremacists Return to Charlottesville Chanting, ‘Russia is Our Friend’

    And this is his treacherous Dear Leader on the campaign trail.
    Russia if you’re listening…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  23. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @MBunge: Yep, you’re totally right. Once I found out my elderly mother voted for Trump, I stopped doing her daily IV infusions, refused to continue drive her to Kroger and her medical appointments, and kicked her out of my guest room and onto the street.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:
    She deserved it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. teve tory says:

    from shareblue:

    Asked why it had been nearly two weeks and Trump still had not mentioned the four U.S. troops killed in an ISIS ambush in Niger, let alone contacted their families, Trump only said, “It gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day, it’s a very, very tough day.”

    Resign you piece of shit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. CET says:

    Ah yes….the famous decorum and moderation that the comments here at OTB are known for throughout all of Christendom….

    But seriously, a question:

    RealClearPolitics shows this number as standing at 28.6% who believe the country is on the right track, and 63.6% saying it is on the wrong track. To be honest though, as the chart below shows, this number has been in negative territory for the past seven years:

    Does anyone know if a pollster has looked at that over several years in tandem with a way to gauge whether the respondent thinks the current direction is too far left or too far right? It seems like almost everyone I know (or read) is convinced that the end is nigh, and the disagreement is whether the horseman will come from the left or the right. I’d be curious if that balance changes over time. (I notice the polling Doug cites does indicate dissatisfaction with the Trump is high, but even there, I’d be curious if a sizeable portion of respondents want something farther to the right….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. DrDaveT says:

    @CET:

    Does anyone know if a pollster has looked at that over several years in tandem with a way to gauge whether the respondent thinks the current direction is too far left or too far right?

    I was wondering the same thing, actually. Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity agree that the country is going to hell in a handbasket, but for very different reasons.

    The closest I saw in the quoted text was the specific reference to whether President Trump’s policies would bring about positive change. Even that, though, could easily conflate a leftist like me who hates them for what they’re trying to accomplish, and a Trumpkin who’s angry that he hasn’t built that wall yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0