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10/19: President Trump Legacy May Be as One of the Worst U.S. Presidents


10/19: President Trump Legacy May Be as One of the Worst U.S. Presidents

Americans have low expectations for the administration of President Donald Trump.

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Americans have low expectations for the administration of President Donald Trump.  In fact, few U.S. residents think President Trump’s tenure will be remembered as a positive one.  Nearly six in ten Americans, 58%, believe Mr. Trump will be remembered as either one of the worst presidents in the nation’s history, 42%, or a below average leader, 16%.  About one in five, 19%, think he will be considered an average president.  Just 18% say Trump will be thought of as either an above average president, 11%, or one of the best presidents in U.S. history, 7%.

“Deep into his first year as president, Donald Trump’s less than stellar approval rating has lowered expectations about how history will judge him,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “For history to treat him kinder, he will have to up his game.”

Not surprisingly, opinions fall along party lines.  88% of Democrats, including 70% who assert Trump will be remembered as one of the worst U.S. presidents, believe the president’s legacy will be tarnished.  Even among the president’s own party, there is an overwhelming assertion that President Trump will not end up on the right side of history.  Fewer than half of the GOP, 48%, say President Trump will be remembered as either one of the best, 22%, or as an above average, 26%, president.  An additional 31% of Republicans think Trump’s legacy will be an average one.  Among independents, 60% say President Trump will be recalled as either a below average leader, 18%, or one of the worst presidents to occupy the Oval Office, 42%.

Among those who supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election, 50% think his legacy will be at least above average.  Fewer Tea Party supporters, 46%, or those who identify as conservative or very conservative, 41%, think President Trump’s tenure will be remembered as above average or one of the best in U.S. history.

President Trump’s job approval rating remains upside down.  37% of Americans approve of his performance in office while 55% disapprove.  Trump’s approval rating is identical to the 37% score he received when it was last asked.  By more than two-to-one, the proportion of Americans who say they strongly disapprove of how the president is doing his job, 43%, outweighs the proportion of those who say they strongly approve, 19%.

The president retains the support of his Republican base.  Most Republicans, 82%, comparable to 81% last month, approve of the job the president is doing.  87% of Democrats and a majority of independents, 59%, disapprove.

Among those who identify as conservative or very conservative, President Trump’s approval rating is 76%, similar to the 73% he received last time.  He also retains the support of white residents without a college education.  48% of these residents, say they approve of how Mr. Trump is performing in his post while 41% disapprove.  Previously, 50% approved, and 41% disapproved.  Among his 2016 supporters, the president’s job approval rating stands at 86%, similar to 89% previously.

President Trump’s favorability also remains in negative territory.  36% of Americans, comparable to the 35% score he received in September, have a positive impression of the president.  58% currently have an unfavorable view of him.  Last month, Trump’s negative score was a similar 57%.

A majority of Americans doubt the propriety of President Trump’s dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  55% of Americans think the president has either done something illegal, 22%, or something unethical but not illegal, 33%.  Only 35% of Americans say the president has done nothing wrong.  10% are unsure.  There has been little change on this question since it was last reported in July.

In addition, six in ten Americans, 60%, question the dealings of President Trump’s campaign associates with Putin.  Included here are 32% who think Mr. Trump’s campaign operatives  did something illegal and 28% who believe they did something unethical but not illegal.  30% of residents say President Trump’s campaign staffers have done nothing wrong.  11% are unsure.  These findings are also consistent with those last released during the summer.

President Trump has not won over the American people by using Twitter to communicate.  Nearly seven in ten Americans, 69%, consider his tweeting to be reckless and distracting, and only 21% think it is effective and informative.  10% are unsure.  These proportions are little changed from when this question was last reported in August.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, say they trust their favorite news source more than they trust President Trump.  26%, though, report they trust the president more than their favorite news source.  When this question was last reported in March, 70% of Americans said they had more faith in their news outlet of choice while 23% had more confidence in Mr. Trump.

When it comes to using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to post campaign advertisements, nearly two in three Americans, 64%, think these campaign advertisements should be regulated.  This includes 17% who think they should be regulated by the companies where they were posted and 47% who believe they should be regulated like other types of media.  27% of U.S. residents do not think these ads should be regulated at all.  Regardless of party identification, at least a plurality thinks political advertisements posted on social media should be regulated like other types of media.

More than three in four Americans, 78%, want full disclosure about who paid for political commercials posted to social media platforms.  18% do not think social media platforms should disclose this information, and 4% are unsure.

Americans divide over the degree of confidence they have in the electoral process.  51% of residents have either a great deal, 17%, or a good amount, 34%, of trust that elections are fair.  However, 47% have not very much, 30%, or no confidence at all, 17%, that the process is carried out fairly.  There has been little change on this question since it was reported in July.

The mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month has brought the debate about gun control back into the national spotlight.  And, a majority of Americans, 52%, believe it is more important to control gun violence than to protect gun rights.  45% disagree and prioritize protecting gun rights over controlling gun violence.  When this question was last reported in April 2013, nearly identical proportions of Americans held these views.

Not surprisingly, more than six in ten gun owners, 63%, and a similar proportion who live in a house with a gun, 59%, say it is more important to protect gun rights.  Looking at party, close to eight in ten Democrats, 77%, emphasize controlling gun violence while 78% of Republicans emphasize protecting gun rights.  A majority of independents, 54%, believe it is more important to control gun violence.

64% of Americans — including a plurality of gun owners, 47%, and a majority, 51%, of those who live in a household with a gun — think laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter.  An additional 27% think they should be kept as they are now.  Only 7% believe they should be eased.  Again, there has been little change on this question since 2013.

Among Democrats, most, 88%, want tougher laws pertaining to the sale of firearms.  A plurality of Republicans, 48%, want the laws to remain unchanged.  Of note, more than four in ten Republicans, 42%, think gun laws should be stricter.  Two-thirds of independents, 66%, want tighter gun laws.

Pessimism looms about the direction of the United States.  64% of residents nationally believe the nation is moving in the wrong direction while just 30% think it is moving in the right one.  The proportion of Americans who consider the United States to be off track is nearly identical to that measured in September, 65%.

Complete October 19, 2017 Marist Poll Release of the United States

Complete October 19, 2017 Marist Poll of the United States (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample

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  1. Don JR.

    December 20, 2017 at 4:51 AM

    YOU ARE FAKE NEWS! Lol Sore Snowflake liberals….Jeesh.

  2. zbacku

    December 20, 2017 at 1:46 AM

    Sorry, PBS………… But, Obama will have the moniker of Worst President for all of the rest of History…………… Period. Remember your ‘Fake News’ Post??? This is a prime example of Fake News.

  3. axioma

    December 19, 2017 at 11:59 PM

    There has only been ONE other president who was treated with such disdain; and who was not accepted by the Democrats, and who “resisted” his presidency, his popularity, and his proclamation that slaves must be freed, and they were willing to secede from the Union and form their own country, and they went to war to create a separate country, and that man was Abraham Lincoln!

    If the Harvey Weinstein/Matt Lauer/Charlie Rose/Keven Spacy/”me too” phenomena, which has lead us to discover that CONGRESS has a SECRET SLUSH FUND to pay off women who have been abused by elected representatives and senators, continues on to its logical conclusion, it appears that President Donald J. Trump will have spawned a revolution that FREES WOMEN and ALL SUBORDINATE EMPLYEES from the excesses and unreasonable sexual demands of their bosses; male or female! This is no small thing; it has gone on for centuries!

  4. axioma

    December 19, 2017 at 11:43 PM

    It is shameful that the “Marist poll” has NO interest in revealing the staged, planned, hate-filled, vitriolic, “resistance” movement against this man, who was elected by a 57% to 43% margin of victory, and why the media, the Left, and the entertainment nut-jobs are treating him with such hateful disdain.

  5. Nolejoe

    December 19, 2017 at 9:40 PM

    Obama’s was the worst ever. He divided the country and added 9 trillion to the debt and ruined our military not to mention screwing up the entire middle east and letting illegals run wild.

  6. RCM

    December 19, 2017 at 7:41 PM

    Another fake poll……

  7. John Whitworth

    December 19, 2017 at 6:07 PM

    Donald Trump..if he keeps his promises ..will go down as one of the Greatest Presdients ever.

  8. Edword

    December 19, 2017 at 5:36 PM


  9. Simon Templar

    December 19, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    A terrible president? I guess it all depends on who you ask. Illegal border crossings way down, stock market having record highs, the promised border wall in the works, unemployment down to record lows, ISIS caliphate destroyed, oil production up and coal mines reopening while massive investments to the country pour in. Bluntly he’s doing an incredible job since all of the above is due to Trump’s actions despite total Democrat obstruction and a constantly hostile press.

  10. Nomosnoflake

    December 19, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    Like most of the polling going into the election, they were wrong and biased. Hillary got her ass kicked ans I.T would be by an even higher margin if I.T was again today. Wait and see – democrats are obstructionists ans anti American.

  11. LibelFreeZone

    December 19, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    The ONLY thing I don’t like about President Trump is his hair. Why in the WORLD he thinks that putting all that glop on his hair and wearing it in a style he’s worn since the 1960s is a smart thing to do is beyond me. C’mon, President Trump, I adore you but seriously? You think the sides of your hair glistening in the sun from too much gel is beneficial?

  12. B H Cleveland

    October 24, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Can anyone imagine another citizen of this country, elected to its highest office, who will have a legacy or any kind of recollection by our people, other than being the most despicable, biased, narcissistic moron than Donald J Trump?

    And altho the first lady keeps a very low profile through all of her husband’s tweets, insults and debasing remarks, her image is likely to go down the tubes with his. A most unfair indictment..

  13. Philip B Korkus

    October 24, 2017 at 2:49 PM

    Trump is a sparse little man who feeds off copious amounts of hate and self-delusion. So he finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in his diet. And, like his goose stepping heros, he continually must search for something to explain his hunger. He continually rationalizes why the world passes him by without saluting him. The something he looks for and eventually finds…is in a sewer! In his own twisted and distorted lexicon, he calls it ‘truth’. He calls it nationalism! After his death, Trump will apply his trade on another dark and murky corner. A very strange intersection, indeed, as his followers watch him spew his hate in the shadow of perpetual darkness. A very dark corner the rest of the world calls hell.

  14. Ben Kramer

    October 24, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Not one of the worst but the absolute worst. Rex was right, the man is a moron.

  15. Steven

    October 24, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    Yeah, sure they would. And we suppose they’d rate Obama one of the highest? LMAO!

  16. Joseph Libby

    October 24, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    The president, is making himself look more and more like a buffoon,he never gives a straight answer, and I’m sorry to say I voted for him. Big mistake.

  17. Kevin

    October 24, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    I’m really surprised that anyone thinks Trump isn’t the worst President in history!

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