The latest Washington Post/ABC poll has a smorgasbord of bad news for Donald Trump, starting with his overall approval rating dropping to 38% (56% disapprove), down six points from July, when it stood at 44%. But the real story is in Americans’ views of the economy and Trump’s handling of it—perceptions that have typically been the relative strength of Trump’s presidency.
Fully 60% of respondents say an economic recession is very or somewhat likely to hit next year, with a solid plurality of 43% saying Trump’s policies have increased that likelihood. Just 16% believe Trump’s economic policies have decreased the likelihood of a recession. That’s a staggering deficit on a matter that’s a supposed strength for Trump.
Many of those negative perceptions appear to be driven by Trump’s trade war with China. Just 35% of Americans approve of how Trump’s handling negotiations with China, while 56% disapprove. That means Trump is basically down to a cultists-only level of support on how he’s handling a fight he proactively picked with China and continues to escalate.
When it comes to the personal cost of Trump’s trade war, 60% of Americans fear it will raise the price of household goods for their family, with one-third saying they are “very concerned” about this. Even some of Trump’s key voting blocs are concerned about rising prices due to his tariffs, including 55% of whites who don’t have college degrees and 54% of those who reside in rural parts of the country. Trump’s trade fiasco is also sucking wind with potential swing voters: Six in 10 suburbanites and political independents alike voiced concern about price increases.
Overall, 56% of Americans say the economy is currently in excellent or good shape, but that’s down from 65% last fall. Trump is also 1 point underwater on his handling of the economy: 47% disapprove, while 46% approve.
Trump clearly didn’t like the numbers, declaring the Washington Post/ABC poll “the worst and most inaccurate poll of any taken prior to the 2016 Election.” Polling, he declared, is all just a big hoax designed to bring down Trump.
One of the greatest and most powerful weapons used by the Fake and Corrupt News Media is the phony Polling Information they put out. Many of these polls are fixed, or worked in such a way that a certain candidate will look good or bad. Internal polling looks great, the best ever!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019