Donald J. Trump won the presidential election as the least popular candidate in the polling era. He assumed the presidency with the lowest approval rating of any incoming president.
And his ratings have continued to fall. The question isn’t whether it’s bad for Mr. Trump and the Republicans, but how bad.
Usually, presidents ride high at the start of their terms. After one month, presidents average around a 60 percent approval rating. Even re-elected presidents with considerable baggage, like Barack Obama or George W. Bush, still had approval ratings around or over 50 percent.
The worst data for Mr. Trump comes from live interview telephone surveys like Pew Research and Gallup, which pin his approval rating among adults around 40 percent.
The most recent Gallup survey, the first conducted entirely after the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, has Mr. Trump’s approval rating down to 38 percent, with 56 percent disapproving (a differential of minus 18).
Mr. Trump’s ratings aren’t just bad for an incoming president. They’re bad for a president at any point in a term.
But really, what’s striking is that we’re even having this conversation at all at this time. In general, a president’s approval rating is at its peak in the first month. Mr. Trump could easily slip further. If his ratings average falls into the mid-to-low 30s, the Republicans could be in serious trouble.
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