Trump's approval ratings are historic—historically bad, right as debate rages about his fitness
When Rasmussen polling put Donald Trump’s approval rating at 50 percent in December, Trump made sure to plug the number in a tweet and then grouse that it would be far higher (75%!) if he weren’t suffering “Presidential Harassment” at the hands of Robert Mueller.
Actually, Trump hasn’t broken 50 percent in any single approval poll but Rasmussen, which is a very notable record as far as Gallup is concerned. The outfit began presidential polling in 1938 and Trump has hit a number of polling milestones that render his record absolutely abysmal by any objective measure.
Trump became the first U.S. president to fail to break 50 percent at any time in his first six months in office
Trump followed up by becoming the first U.S. president to fail to break 50 percent at any time in his first two years in office (the runner-up was Bill Clinton, whose ceiling was 59 percent during his initial bruising years in office)
Trump’s average approval rating for his first two years was also Gallup’s lowest at 39 percent (Clinton again took second at 48 percent, with every other president at 50 percent or above)
When it comes to approval ratings, Trump has been killing it, setting records left and right. The nicest thing Gallup could say about Trump’s approvals after two years was that they had been “more stable” than any other president. And by more stable, they effectively meant Trump never cracked 45 percent because he’s such a drag.
Trump also won’t be cracking 45 percent any time soon, since Gallup’s latest report put Trump’s approval during the shutdown at 37 percent, just two points away from his floor thus far of 35 percent. Gallup’s dip reflects the polling aggregate of other outfits where Trump’s approvals have been similarly taking a hit, falling to around 40 percent as of the end of last week.
While Trump’s crappy approval numbers aren’t exactly news, the fact that they continue to fall right as talk of his Russian ties and potential impeachment rev up is worthy of consideration. The last thing any smart politician would want when entering into an impeachment debate is to be carrying the support of slightly more than one-third of the country. That’s where this thing looks to be headed.