The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Gallup: No president has been less popular six months into his tenure than Donald Trump

Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he speaks at campaign stop on March 2, 2016, in Portland, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Thursday marked President Trump’s sixth month in office. According to Gallup, no elected president has emerged from that period as unpopular as Trump in the history of polling.

Over the course of his first six months, Trump averaged an approval rating of 38.8 percent, according to Gallup, more than five percentage points lower than the second-least popular president, Bill Clinton. Every other president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, who entered office after an election, has had an average approval of at least 50 percent.

That graph includes a breakdown of approval ratings by party. You’ll notice that views of Trump from the opposing party — that is, the Democrats — is much lower over the first six months than for any past president. In fact, Gallup notes, the gap between views of the president by party was wider for Trump’s first six months than for any other elected president for whom polling data exists.

What that depicts is, in part, that Trump didn’t get the honeymoon period from his political opponents that past presidents have had. In fact, the same party/opposition party approval rating numbers held pretty steady during the transition from Barack Obama to Trump.

Those two yellow lines just kept running in the same general lane before and after Jan. 20. The most noticeable change is with independents. Views of the president among independents plunged when Trump came into office, dipping below the lows Obama saw.

Put another way: Comparing Obama’s first six months with Trump’s is a bit misleading because Obama had that honeymoon. Over his first six months, views from Republicans dropped by more than 20 points, while views among independents fell slightly and views among Democrats remained about the same. For Trump, all three groups saw a small decline.

Of course, Obama had much more room to fall than did Trump.

If there’s any consolation for Trump in these numbers, it’s this: At this point in their presidencies, Jimmy Carter had the third-highest marks and Clinton the second-lowest. That’s not where they ended up.

Loading...