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Trump’s Bad Poll Numbers Are Starting To Impact The GOP

Trump And GOP Elephant

A new poll finds that President Trump’s continued woes in polling regarding his job approval are having an impact on his party:

President Donald Trump continues to lag his predecessors in public approval and his unpopularity appears to be trickling down to other Republicans in Washington.

Trump’s approval rating, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Monday, is 39 percent — precisely the same as two months ago. The percentage of Americans who disapprove of Trump is virtually unchanged: 54 percent, compared to 56 percent in February.

Forty-four percent of Americans disapprove of Trump very strongly, according to the poll conducted April 5-11, more than the 30 percent who approve very strongly.

The most profound shifts in the Pew survey are in Americans’ perceptions of the GOP beyond Trump. Just 40 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, down from 47 percent in January, prior to Trump’s inauguration.

(…)

On the issues, Americans trust Republicans over Democrats on dealing with the threat of terrorism by a 12-point margin, 48 percent to 36 percent. The GOP also has a 5-point edge on gun policy, 46 percent to 41 percent.

Americans are more evenly divided on the economy and trade, with Republicans holding 3-point advantages on each, and on taxes. But more Americans think Democrats would do a better job on a number of other issues, including some that were previously GOP strengths.

By an 8-point margin, Americans say Democrats better represent their views on government spending, 48 percent to 40 percent. In January 2013, just days after lawmakers avoided the so-called “fiscal cliff” by passing spending and taxation provisions, Republicans held a 6-point advantage on this question.

Americans now trust Democrats over Republicans when it comes to dealing with immigration, 50 percent to 39 percent. In nine separate Pew surveys conducted over the course of Barack Obama’s second term as president, the two parties were never separated by more than 2 points on this question.

On foreign policy, Americans have shifted drastically toward Democrats: Forty-nine percent say the party would do a better job, compared with 36 percent who trust the GOP more. But last April, more Americans trusted Republicans (46 percent) than Democrats (38 percent).

Health care has represented the GOP’s most concerted domestic effort so far, and the poll shows little confidence in the party moving forward. A 54 percent majority says Democrats would do a better job on health care, far greater than the 35 percent who say Republicans would do a better job.

This poll comes as it is starting to become evident that recent events overseas, such as the missile strike on Syria and the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, have not had a significant impact on the President’s job approval numbers. As of today, RealClearPolitics continues to show the President as being upside down on job approval, with an average of 42.4% approving of the President’s job performance and 50.4% disapproving while Pollster shows the number at 42,4% approval and  51.1% disapproval. While both of these averages show some slight improvement from the low point Trump was at just a few weeks ago, it still represents a historic low for an incoming President who is still more than a week ago from reaching the end of the iconic, though admittedly entirely arbitrary, first 100 days i office. It also comes on the same day that Gallup released a poll showing that the percentage of Americans who think Trump keeps his promises dropping from a high of 68% in February to 45% today, a number that seems only likely to drop further given the fact that Trump has recently backtracked on a number of promises he made during the campaign on issues ranging from health care reform to his claim that he would label China as a “currency manipulator” soon after entering office. All of this adds up to an unpopular President who is unlikely to become more popular in the near future, and now we have at least some confirmation that

Given the fact that we’re still a long way from either the 2018 or 2020 elections, it’s arguably the case that these early poll numbers don’t mean all that much, Outside of a handful of Special Elections, including one tomorrow in Georgia that is likely to result in a runoff between the Democratic candidate and which ever of the large number of Republicans also running for the seat, there’s not likely to be much political impact from Trump’s low job approval numbers or from the fact that the GOP is sliding in the polls itself. It’s also worth noting that the Pew Research poll from which these numbers come also show that public approval for the Democrats has fallen over the same time period from from 51% in January to 45% today. Nonetheless, the fact that Republicans are falling behind on key issues doesn’t bode well for their ability to get matters through Congress notwithstanding the fact that they control Congress. Additionally, if Republicans in the House and Senate begin to perceive that close association with Trump could potentially have an impact on their own reelection chances in the midterms which are just over eighteen months away, they could start striking out on their own and assert independence from the White House in ways that make it all the more difficult for a White House that has already been shown to have trouble getting its agenda through Congress to get what it wants out of Capitol Hill. In the end, the Congressmen and Senators up for reelection then are going to act in what they believe is their self-interest regardless of what the White House says or what the President sends out during own of his traditional Twitter tirades, and that could make life in Washington even more unpleasant for the 45th President.

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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. Jeremy says:

    Oh please oh please oh please let his approval rating go below 30 so we can see the flames come out his ears.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    Winning! WooT

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. An Interested Party says:

    How long do Republicans think they can have this orange albatross around their necks without adversely effecting them…

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Karma is, indeed, a beotch … 😀

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  5. EddieInCA says:

    The Right Wing Fever swamps are all touting Rasmussen’s most recent poll, which have him over 50%.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. gVOR08 says:

    Per a recent poll, Mitch McConnell is the least popular Senator with his own constituents while Bernie Sanders is the most popular. Yertle the Turtle is underwater at 44%/47% approve/disapprove in KY while Bernie is 78/21 in VT.

    How much does this worry Mitch? How much will it constrain his actions? Not one whit. He’s confident that before the only poll that matters to him, November 2020, he will have been able to convert some portion of his huge war chest into popularity with the rubes in KY, as he has since 1984. (Assuming he doesn’t retire. Also, don’t dump on me for calling them rubes, I’m interpreting Yertle’s attitude.)

    Polls are going to have to get a whole lot worse before it matters. Something Trumpsky is perfectly capable of.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  7. Liberal Capitalist says:

    While Trump may share part of the blame…

    The reality is that the GOP built such a machine based on an alternate reality that it has come back to bite them hard.

    The GOP are now in charge. The alternate reality cannot face the light of day.

    They are rudderless asshats now.

    I find the numbers are high, given that they are running around trying to defend their failure of producing the alternate reality that they sold the followers.

    I very much enjoy the articles where Trumpkin pundits state that it’s going well.

    Bagdad Bob would be envious.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  8. An Interested Party says:

    The GOP are now in charge.

    And it certainly shows…this crew have no clue how to govern…outside of getting Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, this inept bunch of clowns haven’t accomplished much of anything…say what you will about Democrats, but at least they actually know how to govern once they gain the levers of power…

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. teve tory says:

    trump:

    “There is only one way to stop the Washington Liberals from taking your congressional seat and your money and your safety.”

    Only you can stop the super-liberal Democrats and Nancy Pelosi’s group, and in particular Jon Ossoff. If you don’t vote tomorrow, Ossoff will raise your taxes, destroy your healthcare, and flood our country with illegal immigrants

    GOP last-ditch effort to scare elderly white people.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/news/329208-trump-records-robocall-slamming-democratic-candidate-in-georgia-special

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  10. Mr. Bluster says:

    This poll comes as it is starting to become evident that recent events overseas, such as the missile strike on Syria and the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, have not had a significant impact on the President’s job approval numbers.

    This will not deter Pud from more saber rattling and threats.
    I suspect he is dumb enough to believe the US can engage in war with North Korea with minimum damage to his sorry ass.
    If things go bad he will be more than willing to blame Obama.
    The man is a genuine cretin.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. MBunge says:

    Doug, if you ever start writing and wind up having to include a qualifier like “I know this may not really mean anything, but still…”, it’s a sign you need to start over from the beginning.

    I do wish, though, that people had paid half as much attention to Hillary’s poll numbers starting about September 2015 because we might have avoided this whole mess.

    And at the risk of tooting my own horn, let me remind folks that I am one of the few who said Trump had a real chance to win. I said it at the beginning of the campaign and I said it at the end of the campaign. I didn’t necessarily think Trump would win but I at least recognized it as a live possibility, unlike most around here. And in that spirit, I’m going to tell you that Trump right now stands a good chance of getting reelected in 2020.

    1. Do I really need to go into polling just months after almost all of you made idiots of yourselves over mindless poll watching? Is Trump unpopular right now? Sure. If you think these numbers say anything other than that, you have learned nothing. Trump came in as the least popular winning candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992 and has gotten some of the most aggressively negative media coverage any of us has ever seen. What kind of poll numbers did anyone expect?

    2. But just as Obama recovered from a solid year of approval ratings in the low 40s to leave office a pretty popular guy, Trump has about three full years to recover and it won’t be that hard. He just has to avoid a stupid protracted war and get economic growth back up to its historic average, which at worst is doable by trading long term costs for short term benefits.

    3. If he does that, he’ll roll into 2020 with 99.9% of the GOP unified behind him and that means hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent supporting Trump in 2020 that wasn’t spent in 2016.

    4. And considering the evidence that anti-Trumpers will remain unshakably resolute in learning absolutely nothing, I’d put some money down on Democrats running Hillary again or somehow finding an even worse candidate.

    Of course, Trump remains more than capable of leading us into a disaster that a combination of George Washington, Abe Lincoln and FDR couldn’t overcome. But having been so spectacularly wrong so very recently, you might want to avoid counting those chickens before they hatch.

    Mike

    ReplyReply

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  12. Lit3Bolt says:

    @MBunge:

    Doug, if you ever start writing and wind up having to include a qualifier like “I know this may not really mean anything, but still…”, it’s a sign you need to start over from the beginning.

    Oh, OK. Glad to have new ground rules.

    I do wish, though,

    Aw, how adorable, you contradicted yourself without anyone helping you!!

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  13. Pch101 says:

    If hot air from Dunning-Kruger blowhards could be used as an energy source, then Bunge could make the US energy-independent.

    Alas, it can’t, so what good is he?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. Eric Florack says:

    So, how to explain Obama’s job approval numbers?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

    ReplyReply

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 21

  15. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    How to explain it?!?!

    Racists like yourself don’t like the idea of a black president. I’d think that one would be a no-brainer :roll:

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  16. al-Alameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    So, how to explain Obama’s job approval numbers?

    You mean, besides the fact that over half the Republican Party believed the Birther claim/conspiracy that Obama was a Kenyan Muslim interloper who was in fact not a legitimate president? Besides that?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. wr says:

    @MBunge: Oh, goodie, another endless missive from the least interesting commenter on the internet.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  18. grumpy realist says:

    OT, but the guy banging the drum for Calexit has just vamoosed in a fit off to Russia.

    Start your conspiracy theory engines, gentlemen, please!

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The Russian are attempting to create and encourage instability throughout the world.

    I find it interesting that the Russians are producing what is mostly right-wing fake news online as well as operating what is primarily a left-wing propaganda cable station (RT). It’s not about peddling a particular worldview but about disrupting ours.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  20. CB says:

    @MBunge:

    And at the risk of tooting my own horn

    Yeah, I bet that’s just breaking you up.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  21. Scott says:

    @MBunge: Unfortunately, a lot of what you say is correct. I don’t underestimate the short memories and the lack of political consistency of the American voter. We tend to be a punch down, suck up society so as long is there something/someone to vote against, then that’s good enough. I didn’t think Trump had a chance and in retrospect, he barely won by pulling out close elections to get the electoral vote. But the next election is far away and national amnesia with a lack of concern for logic and reason make predictions difficult.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. Gavrilo says:

    Doug,

    You copied and pasted the entire Politico article word for word except for one sentence.

    The Democratic Party, however, isn’t faring dramatically better — views of the Democratic Party also ticked down from 51 percent in January to 45 percent now.

    That is some world-class hackery.

    So, the GOP favorability has dropped 7 points since January because of the orange albatross, yet the Dems favorability has dropped 6 points during the same period. What’s their excuse?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  23. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    …for a White House GOP Congressional Caucus that has already been shown to have trouble getting its agenda through Congress to get what it wants out of Capitol Hill.

    FTFY (though not very grammatically). The Trump WH, in the mode of construction contractors everywhere, does not have any “what it wants.” He was always intending to build someone else’s design. To some degree, he even admitted as much as early as 2014 when he was saying that if he decided to run for President, he would run as a Republican because they’re easier to sell to.

    I do wish, though, that people had paid half as much attention to Hillary’s poll numbers starting about September 2015 because we might have avoided this whole mess.

    “It’s dead, Jim Mike; let it go.”

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Gavrilo:

    What’s their excuse?

    Not taking a hard-line approach in the mode of what Dems/Indies are expecting? Taking too hard a line, not “giving Trump a chance?” Both? Neither? Cussedness? Take your pick.

    Since you apparently didn’t read the whole article, I’ll let you know that Doug brought up the point about the Democrats’ favorable drop in the next to the last (IIRC) paragraph of his post, attributing it to Pew Research. So, he’s not the hack you claim he is. You can try to accuse him of plagiarism, though; that has pretty good mileage sometimes.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. Gavrilo says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Ok. You’re right. He did mention it in the last paragraph. I still think it’s a hack move to cut the one sentence from the excerpt that destroys the whole premise of your argument, but perhaps I’m being harsh.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  26. teve tory says:

    or perhaps you spoke without being properly informed.

    Big surprise.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  27. Mr. Bluster says:

    What’s their excuse?

    Democrats are waiting for the tar to come to a boil and for the feathers of the chicken sh!t republicans to molt revealing them to be the foul creatures that they are to keep making excuses for this pussy grabbing pervert.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. Jeremy says:

    @MBunge: The polls in 2016 really weren’t that far off, though. They were only off by a point or two. The problem was that everyone forgot about the Electoral College and stupidly assumed that Michigan and Wisconsin would just automatically go for Hillary because they’ve been Democratic for years.

    I’ll grant you that Trump has three years to recover, and if Javanka (I love that word) forces Bannon out, it might make Trump pivot to the center. That could lead him to try and make deals with the Democrats (as he has said he is open to) so yes, maybe he could improve his numbers with the center and Democratic voters. But then he has to contend with betraying his base, who will view any working with the Democrats to be tantamount to treason against the Constitution.

    And on top of that, he is demonstrating that he is incredibly incompetent, and that fact is beginning to dawn even on some of his own voters.

    I don’t think he’ll get reelected in 2020. There’s maybe a 25% chance he won’t even run.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge:

    And at the risk of tooting my own horn, let me remind folks that I am one of the few who said Trump had a real chance to win.

    Looking back over some of the old threads from last year, I’m not seeing what you’re suggesting. There were times when some of us grew overconfident about Hillary’s chances. But the majority of commenters here, while considering Hillary a favorite, generally maintained a tentative, wait-and-see attitude throughout the race. Your shtick was essentially that Hillary was a monster and anyone who disagreed was a Hillary sycophant who thought she was the most awesome candidate ever. You didn’t show any particular predictive insight.

    Trump came in as the least popular winning candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992

    Bill Clinton in 1992 had net favorable ratings of +11.4, significantly higher than Obama’s in 2012. Share of the popular vote isn’t the same thing as “popularity.” Typically a candidate’s favorability is higher than their share of the popular vote because voters don’t necessarily dislike a candidate they didn’t vote for; 2016 is an anomaly, in that respect.

    I actually agree that Trump’s low poll numbers don’t necessarily mean his presidency is over or that he can’t be reelected. (I made this very point earlier this year.) It’s a long way to 2018, not to mention 2020, and the public has a short memory. But that doesn’t mean these numbers are meaningless. Not only are they likely to affect downballot races, they probably make it harder for him to govern, as well. Dems have many opportunities to lever this situation to their advantage, as long as they can avoid the mistake of complacency that plagued them during the campaign.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod:

    Looking back over some of the old threads from last year, I’m not seeing what you’re suggesting.

    You mean Bungle built a strawman?

    This is my shocked face. 😐

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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