Most presidents are never more popular than when they first enter office. It’s not called a “honeymoon phase” for nothing. Entering office for the first time, expectations from voters are often high (usually too high), so a newly inaugurated president is usually given a little leeway to come in and setup their administration. After all, there’s a lot for a president who’s entering office for the first time to do.
So it’s not exactly out of the ordinary for a president’s approval rating to dip a bit after their first few months in office. That’s when the “new” wears off and things return to normal.
That said, Donald Trump’s time in office has been met with historically low approval ratings. That’s even worse than it seems considering he inherited a strong and growing economy. Just imagine how low his approval numbers would be right now if the economy took a fairly significant dip.
A new survey from Morning Consult shed some light on how incompetent Trump’s time in office as been when it found that his net approval rating (his disapproval rating subtracted from his approval rating) has dropped by double-digits in every single state.
While his largest drop came in fairly “blue” Illinois (-30.6), he saw 20+ point declines in “red” states such as Mississippi, Tennessee, Arizona, and Kentucky. Furthermore, Trump saw a sharp decline in three key swing states that handed him the election last year:
- Michigan: -22.6
- Wisconsin: -17.9
- Pennsylvania: -15.6
The state where he saw the least amount of decline was Louisiana at -11.4 points.
Granted we’re a long way from the 2020 election, but it’s definitely not a good thing when a new “president” is already seeing double-digit declines in their net approval rating this early into their administration. Especially with midterms right around the corner. Whether or not Trump and his supporters want to admit it, eventually his unpopularity is going to negatively impact down-ballot Republicans which could potentially cost his party the majority in either the House, the Senate, or even both.
No matter how Trump or his supporters want to view these numbers (which I’m almost certain they’ll dismiss as “fake news” like they do anything that paints him in a negative light or exposes his incompetence), that doesn’t change the fact that these are incredibly embarrassing for Trump and his administration.
He’s been able to get by so far with most of his party backing him because midterms were still far enough out that members of Congress didn’t have to worry about them too much. However, with primaries about to kick into full gear within the next couple of months, and most lawmakers going into “safe mode” as next November approaches, it’s going to get much more difficult for Trump to get anything done unless his numbers improve. Because the last thing any vulnerable Republican’s going to want to do in a House or Senate race that’s close is tie themselves to a floundering “president” that the vast majority of voters see as unfit for office.
And let’s also not forget that there’s still the “little” issue of the on-going investigations into whether or not his campaign colluded with Russian officials during last year’s election. With there obviously being much more information we don’t know than what we do, if what eventually does come out isn’t favorable to Trump, that’s going to make these numbers even worse and his “presidency” will become even more toxic.
Nevertheless, as it stands right now, based on this survey, it’s undeniable that Donald Trump is on pace to go down as one of the worst “presidents” in history.