Trump’s Job Approval Numbers Hit Another Historic Low

Just about two months into office, Donald Trump's job approval number are worse than any newly elected President since World War II.

Trump East Room Press Conference

A new poll has Donald Trump hitting a new low in job approval for his still-young Presidency, and a historic low for any President since such polling began after World War II:

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is at a low 37 percent, according to Gallup daily tracking poll results released Monday.

A solid majority of Americans polled, 58 percent, said they disapprove of the president’s job performance.

The results represent Trump’s worst results in the poll since his inauguration in January and a swing from just over a week ago, on March 11, when 45 percent of those surveyed told Gallup they approved of the president’s job performance (49 percent said they disapproved then).

As recorded by Gallup, Trump’s approval rating has been under water every day since his inauguration except for three, and for many of those days, the poll registered majority disapproval of the president.

These numbers are consistent with other polling of Trump’s Job Approval that we’ve seen to date, although Gallup’s numbers for both approval and disapproval are markedly higher and lower respectively than we’ve seen from other polling. Even the Rasmussen poll, which had been showing Trump in positive territory early in his Administration now has Trump with a negative rating overall, and a gap between approval and disapproval that has been widening as we’ve gotten further into what has only been roughly sixty days of the Trump Administration. It’s also reflected in the poll averages, which show Trump hitting new lows on an almost daily basis. The RealClearPolitics average, for example, gives Trump an approval rating of 43 6% and a disapproval rating of 50.3% and, on Pollster, his numbers stand at 42.7% approval and 53 .8% disapproval. Additionally, the chart of Trump’s approval rating so far shows quite starkly just how badly the numbers have been for Trump so far:

Trump Job Approval RCP 32116

As I’ve said when I previously looked at the President’s job approval in these early days (see here and here), the exceedingly negative position that President Trump finds himself in is highly unusual for a new President. In the past, even after very close and contentious elections such as the 2000 contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore when there was reason for resentments to run high due to the circumstances under which Bush’s victory was finally acknowledged by his opponent, incoming President’s have entered office with relatively good favorability numbers and have maintained positive job approval numbers for an extended period of time after entering office even when the condition of the country would seem to justify public disdain for people in power. President Obama’s job approval, for example, remained positive until roughly May of 2010 and President Bush’s remained positive until well into 2004, although in his case those numbers were inflated in no small part to the reaction of the public to the September 11th terrorist attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Trump, on the other hand, has yet to see a day when his average job approval numbers were positive even for one day. One of the primary reasons for this appears to be the fact that, unlike previous incoming Presidents, Trump is not very well liked at all. As indicated by the averages at both RealClearPolitics and Pollster show, Donald Trump entered office with the majority of the public viewing him unfavorably and those numbers have only expanded in the past two months. Because of that, Trump is not getting the benefit of the doubt from the public for virtually any decision he makes, and that’s showing up in his job approval numbers.

The question, of course, is what impact numbers such as this will have on the Trump Presidency going forward, especially if they continue or get worse. The answer to that question, though, isn’t as easy as it might appear. For one thing, it’s unclear that the Trump White House really cares at the moment what the President’s job approval numbers are. They certainly aren’t acting like they do, and neither are Republicans on Capitol Hill who have it within their hands the ability to stop some of the more controversial aspects of President Trump’s agenda should they fail to do so. Additionally, it’s worth noting that while the President’s Job Approval is historically low, are roughly consistent with his share of the popular vote in the 2016 election. Finally, it’s worth noting that, while Trump’s Job Approval numbers are at historic lows, the numbers are highly partisan and need to be viewed through that lens. By that I mean that there are overwhelming numbers of Democrats who oppose Trump, there are equally overwhelming numbers of Republicans who oppose him. Here’s how those numbers break down based on the customized averages at Pollster:

  • Among Democrats, Trump’s average numbers are 84.3% disapprove and 12.3% approve;
  • Among Republicans, Trump’s average is nearly the opposite,  with 86.5% approving of the President’s job so far and 9.5% disapproving;
  • Among Independents, Trump’s average stands at 50.3% disapprove and 41.9% approve.

These numbers aren’t altogether different from those revealed by the exit polls taken on Election Day. This means that, while the people who opposed him in 2016, regardless of whether they voted for Hillary Clinton or one of the third-party candidates, continue to oppose him Trump has yet to lose significant support among his core base of supporters. Unless and until that happens, I wouldn’t expect to see any reaction at all from the Trump White House or any indication that they’re at all inclined to change from their present course.

Note: This post was updated to include the partisan breakdown noted in the final paragraph above.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Campaign 2016, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Argon says:

    Which is to say, exceeding all expectations.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    This is a bit misleading. Although his disapproval rating continues to climb, his approval rating hasn’t changed much. Trump made it clear from day one that he resented the people that voted against him. Far from doing the traditional reaching out (“I am the President of all the people, whether they voted for me or not) he has made a number of comments implying that he was looking to favor states and voting blocs that supported him, and f*ck all to those who went against him. It just goes to show that Republicans as a whole are so incredibly partisan that you could have someone as incredibly unqualified as Donald Trump in office and they will still be perfectly happy with him as long as he has that “(R)” after his name.

  3. al-Alameda says:

    This means that, while the people who opposed him in 2016, regardless of whether they voted for Hillary Clinton or one of the third-party candidates, continue to oppose him Trump has yet to lose significant support among his core base of supporters. Unless and until that happens, I wouldn’t expect to see any reaction at all from the Trump White House or any indication that they’re at all inclined to change from their present course.

    I think that, unless the bottom falls out, Republican legislators are going to put up with this and forge ahead to get their agenda passed and Gorsuch onto the Court before it gets too far into the mid-term election season.

    If something blows up – such as Trump and/or his associates knew that Russians planned to interfere with our election, hack DNC, leak damaging partisan information – then all bets are off. Bring it on.

  4. Aelio says:

    Was Trump’s charisma overblown by the kind of opposition that the supposedly less charismatic Hillary Clinton was facing?

    Trump’s wife is a no-show at the White House. I’m still undecided why is that. Yes, she’s an immigrant and can be considered a foreigner as far as sharing sensitive information at the White House goes. Her English suffers from foreign accent and she can have a hard time understanding others and so on.

    Trump’s daughter was supposed to be serving her dad a lot more, but her husband has likely taken the burden of it. She is now back in the spotlight with a supposedly office at the White House. Trump’s daughter may be the most charismatic of the bunch, but the Presidency is not a photo op that she can take on just every other week. The Presidency is 24/7 and she’d have to dedicate her life to it and she likely might. Trump’s daughter though may be more liberal than the other Trumps which may scare the likes of Steve Bannon and the GOP in general. She is supposed to take the banner of Planned Parenthood when discussing women issues.

    Then there are the likes of Rex Tillerson who may be proud to be shy in public. Which may be a good way to survive getting on the bad side of Trump. Rex may not annoy either the media nor Trump that much, but then where’s that charisma when the Trump administration needs it?

    The Trump administration may be lacking in charisma and that may be more than just the tip of the iceberg. Trump may have gotten away with it when it was just him and he could employ women who were much more charismatic than him. And when the TV was carefully editing the content to make him look good on screen.

    Then there’s the issue of Trump’s supported policies which are clearly less populistic than imagined at first. Town Halls be damned. Wall Street wants them. Main Street is more shy about them.

  5. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    It’s important to note…the Gallup numbers, or the RCP averages, don’t yet reflect yesterday’s worst day yet for this administration.
    I think it’s pretty clear at this point that President Costanza isn’t strong enough to push through the Republican’s “American Health Cruelty Act”. Of course his polling may, in some part, reflect how shitty that legislation really is.

  6. Gustopher says:

    but, how are his approval numbers in Russia?

  7. FYI,

    I have updated the post to include information regarding the partisan breakdown (Democratic, Republican, and Independent) of Trump’s numbers to date. The differences between Republicans and Democrats are particularly interesting, although I suppose predictable.

  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    More interesting is how Independents are breaking.

  9. Tony W says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: I still maintain there are no independents – just lying Republicans.

  10. @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Agreed, although as I say those numbers are roughly the same as they are in the 2016 Exit Polls.

  11. EddieInCA says:

    Fake News!

    I’m telling you. It’s all Fake News! Gallup, a failing organization that no one pays attention to, is misleading all of you.

    We have a movement that the world has never seen before.

    People are saying that our approval numbers are the best in history. No one, ever, has had approval ratings like this. They tell me this all the time. The people do. So that’s who I’m going to listen to. The people. You people.

  12. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I read that Republicans now represent 26% of the population. I wonder how many of the people who used to be Republican have left the party because of Trump. I know I did.

  13. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Tony W: Not so. I know some actual Independents who dislike Republicans more than Democrats.

  14. DrDaveT says:

    So, 86.5% of Republicans would be foaming at the mouth if a Democratic president had done and said exactly the same things, but are firmly behind Trump doing and saying them.

    ‘Nuff said.

  15. Tyrell says:

    New travel ban: Homeland Security International has adopted an electronics travel ban that prohibits carry on of any electronic devices of travelers from these hotbeds of terrorism: Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Morrocco, and a few others. I don’t think these activist judges will mess with this since these orders come from the HSA people not Trump.

  16. CSK says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    I don’t think you’re alone in having left.

  17. Paul Hooson says:

    I really do not understand how he was not defeated by a landslide in the general election, as even compared to Clinton, he was a clearly poor candidate. With all of that being said, it finally appears that a few of his weaker supporters are finally realizing that he is indeed a very poor president.

  18. Jen says:

    @Tyrell: It’s not a travel ban, it’s a restriction on what devices can be in the main cabin. These have been deployed before.

    And, it’s specific airlines from specific airports. The UK released similar restrictions, which covers British Airways among others.

    There is also no answer yet from anyone in authority who can explain why we have, up until now, been told to make sure any laptops with lithium batteries are *not* in our checked luggage–and now are being told that’s where to store them.

  19. Tyrell says:

    @Jen: Thanks for that information. I will look into this more, especially the lithium battery issues.

  20. gVOR08 says:


    I don’t think these activist judges will mess with this since these orders come from the HSA people not Trump.

    It’s good that you recognize that HSA has way, way more credibility, and integrity, than Trump.

  21. rachel says:

    @Tony W: I’d say you’re over-generalizing there. I my case, I never joined a party because I distrusted and disliked them both equally. Now I hate what the Republicans come to stand for while Democrats only exasperate me from time to time.

  22. Terrye Cravens says:

    @CSK: I am sure I am not alone in having left the GOP. And today I saw the news that Carrier is laying off a bunch of people and two more coal plants are closing in Ohio. Who knows? Maybe reality will dawn on some of these Trumpsters.

  23. J-Dub says:

    Trump’s wife is a no-show at the White House. I’m still undecided why is that

    Considering he was married to her at the time he said “Grab’em by the p***y”, I don’t think it’s that big a mystery.

  24. KM says:

    @Aelio @ J-Dub

    Trump’s wife is a no-show

    Hey, she married him for his money but she definitely didn’t sign up to be part of this sh^tshow. She might be a golddigger in the classic sense of the word but that doesn’t mean she’s dumb. NYC suits her just fine, thanks. At least she knows the paparazzi there.

  25. CSK says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Here’s the thing, Terrye. The Trumpkins will either never hear about the Carrier lay-off or the coal mine closings because they’ve cut themselves off from virtually all legitimate news outlets, confining themselves to Breitbart, Infowars, The Conservative Treehouse, or Gateway Pundit, or if they do hear, they’ll dismiss these stories as “fake news.”

    They’ve insulated themselves from reality as well as Trump has.

  26. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I think it’s pretty damn scary that, according to the RCP average, 43% of the people in this country still approve of the job this clown is doing.
    You had to be a moron to vote for this ass-hat.
    You have to be imbecilic to still support him.

  27. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The WSJ, a Murdoch owned paper, absolutely rips Trump apart.

    “If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? …We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.”

    “Mr. Trump is his own worst political enemy…He survived his many false claims as a candidate because his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton. But now he’s president, and he needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will excuse anything.”

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Fallows says something similar in The Atlantic today. But it goes beyond Trump. Is there anyone in the government that I would believe? Rex Tillerson? Aside from his complete lack of any experience whatsoever, we discover today that he had never met Trump before they had one conversation about “the World” at the end of which Trump offered him the job. Ryan? McConnell? Virtuallly my whole adult life the Republicans have put Party and business interests ahead of America. The last time I thought to myself, “well, I trust what this Republican is saying, we better take this seriously” it was when Colin Powell put his credibility on the line about the so-called evidence for WMD in Iraq. And we all know how that turned out.

    No, our country is dangerously ununified. And this is 100% the fault of the three decade long effort on the Republican side to smash down the “fact-based” fools. “Republican” equals “Liar” and Trump is the logical result of that, not an anomaly.

  29. Surreal American says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but the Wall Street Journal is located in the NYC area, right? Wouldn’t they have someone on staff who checks in on well-known people who live there?

  30. JoAnn Pitts says: