President Donald Trump has yet to make inroads with the American public beyond his party’s faithful. Trump’s approval rating remains upside down with only 37% of U.S. residents saying they approve of the job he is doing in office and 51% disapprove. In fact, twice the number of Americans, 40%, say they strongly disapprove of his performance as president than strongly approve, 20%. When this question was last asked in April, 39% of U.S. residents approved, 48% disapproved. In addition, a majority of Americans, 56%, do not see the president in a favorable light.
“The problem facing President Trump is two-fold,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Not only is his job performance rating low, but there are troublesome signs for him in the future. An increasing number of independents think the nation is headed in the wrong direction, believe his decisions have weakened the economy, and his actions have diminished the role of the U.S. on the world stage.”
More than six in ten Americans are pessimistic about the direction of the nation. 61%, up from 57%, say it is moving in the wrong direction while 31%, down slightly from 35%, say it is moving in the right one. Independents drive the change. 71% of independents, up from 59% in April, believe the nation is moving in the wrong direction, and 23% describe it as on the right track, down from 30% in April.
On the economic front, more Americans now think Trump’s decisions have weakened, 42%, rather than strengthened, 39%, the U.S. economy. Trump has lost ground since March when 44% of Americans believed he was having a positive economic impact, and 39% did not. The change is most pronounced among independents. Currently, 31% of independents have confidence in Trump’s ability to bolster the economy, and 49% have doubts. This is in contrast to a similar poll in March when 44% of independents had a positive outlook on Trump’s economic decisions, and 38% did not.
A plurality of Americans, 40%, report that they feel worse off since Trump has assumed the presidency. 34% say they are better off, and 20% think they are neither better nor worse off. Not surprisingly, a partisan difference exists. 67% of Democrats say they are worse off while 73% of Republicans report they are better off. A plurality of independents, 44%, think they are worse off since Trump took office.
Nearly six in ten Americans, 58% up from 49% in April, think Trump’s decisions as president have weakened the United States’ position on the world stage. 34%, down from 40%, believe it has been strengthened. More than three in four Republicans, 76%, comparable to 79% in the spring, assert that Trump has bolstered America’s global position. 87% of Democrats, up from 81%, consider the position of the United States globally to have been diminished. Among independents, 64%, an increase from 52%, also say the United States’ position has been weakened since Trump assumed office.
President Trump is not the only politician with low approval ratings. Only 28% of voters approve of the job of the congressional GOP, little changed from 27% in March, 30% approve of the job the Democrats in Congress are doing, but this is down from 35% in the previous poll.
In addition, the Republicans are struggling on health care. 65% of Americans disapprove of how the Republicans are handling the issue of health care, including 87% of Democrats and 72% of independents. Although a plurality of Republicans, 42%, approve, 36% disapprove, and 21% are unsure.
Many Americans want changes to the Affordable Care Act. 46% want to see it do more, and 7% want to see it do less. 25% want to repeal Obamacare completely including 53% of Republicans. 17% of Americans want to let the ACA stand as it is.
But, a majority of Americans, 55%, disapprove of the health care plan proposed by the Senate GOP, including 78% of Democrats, 68% of independents, and 21% of Republicans. Nearly one in four Americans have not heard enough about the plan to form an opinion. Included here are 39% of Republicans who say they don’t know enough about it to weigh in on the proposal. Only 35% of Republicans approve.
So, if Congress is unable to make headway on health care, where will Americans place the blame? A plurality of Americans, 37%, will point a finger at the Republicans in Congress. 23% will fault the congressional Democrats, and 15% will blame President Trump.
“With numbers like these, it’s not surprising the Republican leadership in Congress is having a difficult time building consensus,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
A majority of Americans, 53%, oppose President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate agreement, including most Democrats, 80%, and 62% of independents. 30% of Americans support the president’s withdrawal from the accord including 66% of Republicans.
A slim majority of Americans, 51%, want the United States Supreme Court to rule against President Trump’s executive order banning the entry of non-American citizens to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries. Opposition is fueled by Democrats, 83%, and a majority of independents, 52%, who think the Supreme Court should strike down the ban. 43% of Americans believe the court should rule in favor of the ban, including 79% of Republicans.
Americans divide about whether or not the president is fulfilling campaign promises. 48% either strongly agree, 17%, or agree, 31%, that Trump is keeping his campaign pledges. 45% either disagree, 23%, or strongly disagree, 22%, that he is keeping his word. Among registered voters, there has been a shift on this question. Similarly, 49% of registered voters nationally believe the president is keeping his promises, down from 57% in March.
More than six in ten Americans perceive President Trump’s financial dealings to be shady. 33% think Trump has done something illegal in his financial dealings, including 55% of Democrats. 28% think he has done something unethical but not illegal. 31% say the president has done nothing wrong, including 66% of Republicans.
When it comes to the president’s use of Twitter, 69% of Americans, similar to 70% in March, consider Trump’s use of Twitter to be reckless and distracting. 21%, comparable to 19% last time, believe it to be effective and informative.
How does President Trump compare with his predecessor, President Barack Obama? 58% of Americans think President Obama is a more effective leader than President Trump. 34% believe Trump outperforms former President Obama.
If the 2018 election for Congress were held today, nearly half of registered voters nationally, 48%, say they would support the Democrat in their district, and 38% would back the Republican. These proportions are comparable to those reported in April.