Even before news broke of indictments against his former campaign chairman and an admission of guilt by a former campaign adviser, President Trump was having a rough day.
On Sunday evening, a poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal indicated that Trump’s approval rating had hit a new low, sinking to 38 percent. More worrisome for the president? Since September, the drop was biggest among independents, whites and whites without a college degree — key components of the coalition that won Trump the White House. NBC and the Journal also reported that the 38 percent rating was lower than any other president had seen at a similar point in their first terms in the modern era.
On Monday, new data from Gallup reiterated that same message. In Gallup’s daily tracking poll, which looks at three days of national polling, Trump’s approval rating hit a new low of 33 percent and his disapproval a new high of 62 percent. The net approval — those who approve minus those who disapprove — hit a new low at minus-29.
At 33 percent, Trump’s low is now lower than any approval measured for Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. There have been two days on which Gallup found more people approving of Trump than disapproving — both during his first week in office.
The daily Gallup numbers tend to be noisy, as the graph above suggests, moving up and down from day to day. As a result, we instead prefer to look at Gallup’s weekly averages — in which Trump sank back down to his low of 35 percent.
When his approval hit 35 percent last time, it then climbed for three weeks in a row for the first time in his presidency. Why? In part because that period matched up with Trump’s response to hurricanes in Texas and Florida, efforts for which Trump has gotten some of the highest approval ratings of his presidency. Since then, though, Trump has faced criticism for his handling of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico.
The most recent daily average includes surveys conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the latter two days of which followed initial revelations that indictments were imminent. Whether the indictments themselves will push Trump lower — or help move him higher — remains to be seen.