CNN Poll: Trump approval slides, matches lowest point of presidency
The slide follows a January bump in approval for the President, a finding that appeared connected to a bullish stock market and strong reviews for the economy. His new rating matches a December poll, which marked his lowest approval rating in CNN polling since taking office in January 2017.
The President also earns his lowest rating yet among Republicans, though he is still viewed positively among his own partisans. Overall, 80% of self-identified Republicans say they approve of the President, one point below his previous low mark of 81%, hit in late September of last year. Just 13% of Republicans say they disapprove of the President’s performance. Approval for the President stands at just 5% among Democrats and 35% among independents.
The findings follow several weeks of sharply negative news about the President’s White House staff, including the revelation that several key staffers lacked permanent security clearance, the implementation of a new policy to handle interim security clearances, and news that multiple White House staffers had resigned following accusations of domestic abuse.
While the poll was in the field, much of the President’s public agenda focused on gun laws, an area where the poll finds Trump earns mostly negative reviews. Just a third of Americans approve of his handling of gun policy, 54% disapprove and another 12% say they have yet to make up their minds. Those who live in gun-owning households give him higher ratings than others: 52% in gun households approve of his work on gun policy; it’s 17% among all others.
Trump’s approval ratings continue to lag behind those of previous presidents measured at the same point in their time in office. His current rating stands 12 points behind the previous low mark of 47% set by both Ronald Reagan at this point in 1982 and by Jimmy Carter in early 1978. Barack Obama was the only other modern president to hold an approval rating below 50% at this point in his presidency (49% approved).
Beyond partisan divides, the President’s ratings continue to be marked by sharp divisions by gender, race and age. Among women, just 29% approve of the way Trump is performing, compared with 42% approval among men. Only about one in five Americans under age 35 approve of the President (22%), compared with 43% approval among those age 50 or older. And while 42% of whites approve of the way Trump is handling his job, just 23% of non-whites agree.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS February 20-23 among a random national sample of 1,016 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.