As Donald Trump nears his 100th day in the White House he’s suffering under the lowest of approval ratings of any president since 1945. No Democrat or Republican president since the Second World War has dipped as low so early in their first term as Trump, who currently enjoys an approval rating of just 42%.
Barack Obama in comparison enjoyed a 69% approval rating as he came up to his 100 day mark, which oddly enough is the exact average approval rating enjoyed by all past presidents at this point in their first term, really setting Donald Trump apart as a president, and not in the way he would have liked.
Things are unlikely to be looking up for the business tycoon any time soon either, he is faced with a number of significant problems both at home and abroad.
During the survey it was also found that six in ten American’s did not believe that Trump was either honest or trustworthy and that he had no sense of what problems ordinary American’s were facing. It’s also interesting to note that 56% of people did not believe the president had achieved anything of note in his first 100 days, which is a period normally seen as a presidents honeymoon period where many of their key policies are moved towards fruition.
It’s important to note though that while President Trump’s low rating is significant it does not necessarily mean they will continue to be so low throughout his first term, or that he will be defeated when he runs for a second term. A recent poll conducted by ABC News / Washington Post found that 96% of Trump supporters sampled would vote for him again for a second term despite the problems they currently have with him.
These figures were compiled shortly after Trump failed to push through a replacement piece of legislature for Obamacare, this was a key campaign pledge of his and the failure to get his own bill passed through a House controlled by the Republicans was a major embarrassment. Not only that but this was also close to when Trump admitted the US would have to pay close to $20bn (£16bn) for his signature wall along the Mexican border, no doubt putting a lot of doubt in his own supporters minds about his ability to make good on his campaign promises.
Trump is also facing increasing pressure from his own supporters to release his tax returns, something he has constantly denied he would ever do. And while his voting base with white, non-college educated men, remains as strong as it was in November his popularity amongst all other demographics is diminishing.
Relief can however be found for Trump in a few areas, particularly employment, his continued assault on US companies to stay in the country is supported by most demographics and has led a number of companies to publically open new investment projects in various US states.
His decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base was also approved of by more than 50% of those surveyed, his pro-active stance on the US military is a stark contrast with his predecessor but appears to be striking the right cord with the American populace. His vocal stance on North Korea is likewise earning him approval.
He is also able to benefit from a strong decline in trust for the Democrat party. Some 67% of those questioned now feel that the Democrats are out of touch with the concerns of most American’s, that’s a big fall of 19% in just three years. However he is only able to benefit from that fall in trust if he is able to improve his own trustworthiness.
Some of Trumps most unpopular decisions though come from he and his family’s nepotism. Just one third of Trump’s own supporters agree with his decision to appoint his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to senior roles within his administration.
The same low percentage of voters approve of the changes the president has made to federal spending, changes which saw numerous departments slashed in terms of budget and employees. This included the contentious decision to cut funding for the United Nations Population Fund, an organisation which supports women and children across the globe.
Trump may have a solid core fan base but if he wants to avoid another embarrassment like his failure to repeal Obamacare then he needs to start gathering support across the country to give him the clout to bring Congress and the Senate in line. If he doesn’t do so he’ll likely be remembered more for his golfing holidays than anything else.