Donald Trump has lowest approval ratings of any President in US history

But 78 per cent say he is handling the job "exactly as they would expect"

Rachel Roberts
Saturday 04 February 2017 18:54
comments
Donald trump has the lowest approval ratings of any President in US history
Donald trump has the lowest approval ratings of any President in US history

He has only been in office for two weeks, but with each controversial policy announcement coming hard upon the heels of another, Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating of any new President, according to the latest poll.

Over half of US respondents at 53 per cent disapprove of the way their new President is handling the job, according to the CNN/ORC International poll released on Friday.

Just 44 per cent of respondents gave Mr Trump their approval, making him the only President since polls began to hold a negative approval rating at such an early stage in his White House tenure.

However, there is little surprise expressed among Americans to the way in which Mr Trump has begun his presidency, with 78 per cent saying he is handling things exactly as they would have expected.

George W Bush, who like Mr Trump was elected without winning the popular vote, held a more positive rating with 57 per cent offering their approval in the February of his first term.

Ronald Reagan’s first approval rating was 51 per cent according to a Gallup poll in 1981- 7 points above Mr Trump’s rating in the CNN poll – but his disapproval rating was markedly lower at just 13 per cent compared to 53 per cent.

Mr Trump’s first fortnight in the job has hardly been a quiet period of settling in, with huge worldwide protests opposing his travel ban.

The controversial ban denies entrance to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations for 90 days while suspending the US refugee programme for 120 days and indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering.

A majority of those polled by CNN at 53 per cent oppose the ban – but the other 47 per cent are in favour of the executive order.

The travel ban was very much split along party lines, with 88 per cent of Democrats opposed to it but 88 per cent of Republicans in favour.

60 per cent of those polled say they disagree with one of Mr Trump’s most controversial election pledges to build a wall on the US-Mexico border – which he has vowed to push ahead with in the next few months.

The approval ratings of Presidents historically tend to go down – although there are exceptions, including Franklin D Roosevelt, whose ratings rose during his time in office.

Barack Obama enjoyed the highest incoming approval ratings of any President in history at 76 per cent in the February after inauguration.

John F Kennedy’s stood at 72 per cent, while Bill Clinton’s and Richard Nixon’s both stood at 59 per cent.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone over the last week among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Some commentators, including Eric Boehlert, have accused the media of giving Mr Trump an easy time by focusing too much on his frequent tweets and not paying enough attention to his unprecedented poor ratings.

Mr Boehlert, a senior fellow at US research centre, Media Matters, claims: “There’s a glaring Trump transition story hiding in plain sight: He’s historically unpopular. The press ought to start telling that tale on a daily basis.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments