February 23, 2017
2/23: Trump Approval Rating at 41%… Nearly Six in Ten Call Trump’s Conduct “Embarrassing”
With a little more than one month on the job, many American voters are not impressed with Donald Trump’s performance as president. Trump’s job approval rating is upside down with 41% of voters saying they approve of the job he is doing and 49% reporting they disapprove. Democrats, 81%, African American voters, 74%, and Latino members of the electorate, 63%, are particularly displeased with how Trump is doing as president. To make matters worse for the president, close to six in ten Americans, 58%, say his conduct makes them feel embarrassed while only 33% report the president’s actions make them feel proud.
His support is mostly a carryover from the base appeal he had during the campaign. 88% of those who supported Trump during the presidential election, most Republicans, 85%, voters who describe themselves as conservative or very conservative, 72%, Tea Party supporters, 72%, and white evangelical Christians, 64%, approve of Trump’s job performance. Among these groups, at least a majority, also report they are proud of Trump’s conduct as president.
Regarding the specifics of the job, majorities of voters disapprove of how Trump is handling foreign policy, 56%, and how he is dealing with terrorism, 53%. Somewhat more positive is how voters perceive President Trump’s handling of the economy. Here, voters divide. 45% say they approve, and 43% report they disapprove. Voters who supported Trump during the presidential election, 90%, Republicans, 82%, conservatives, 75%, white evangelical Christians, 73%, Tea Party supporters, 71%, and white voters without a college degree, 64%, are most likely to think well of how Trump is dealing with the economy.
“With President Trump’s first month in office behind him, his shaky standing with voters, overall, reflects the appointments and actions which have largely been directed at his base,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Elected without majority voter support, he has not reached out beyond those who backed him in November.”
When it comes to Trump’s image, only 38% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the president, down from his December rating of 43% during the transition. A majority of Americans, 54%, have an unfavorable opinion of Trump.
More than seven in ten registered voters, 71%, including 54% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 96% of Republicans say they agree or strongly agree that the president is fulfilling his campaign promises. But, nearly six in ten voters, 57%, including nearly one in four Republicans, think President Trump is trying to do too much too soon.
To compound matters for the president, a majority of voters, 55%, do not consider him to be honest and trustworthy, and a similar 54% do not think the president is a good leader for the nation. A majority of Americans also report that President Trump is doing more to divide the country, 57%, than to unite it, 36%.
Americans are not confident that President Trump has been on the up and up when it comes to his personal finances. When thinking about the potential conflict between being president and his personal finances, a majority of Americans, 53%, think Trump has either done something illegal, 27%, or at least, something unethical, 26%. 41% say he has done nothing wrong.
How do Americans perceive President Trump’s overall effect on the future of the country? A plurality of Americans, 43%, describe the change that the president is having on the nation as “change for the worse,” and 16% describe it as “no real change at all.” 38% of Americans describe the Trump Administration as “change for the better.”
Turning to Capitol Hill, there has been an uptick in the proportion of voters who approve of the job performance of the Republicans in Congress. While a majority of voters disapprove, 57%, of how the GOP is performing, 32% of voters, up from 20% in July, approve of how they are doing their job. This is the highest job approval rating the congressional GOP has received since March 2015. At that time, 33% thought well of how the Republicans were doing their job. On the Democratic side, 34% of voters, little changed from 37% last summer, approve of how the Democrats in Congress are performing. 55% currently disapprove.
When looking at the favorable rating of Vice President Mike Pence, Americans divide. 43% have a favorable opinion of the vice president while 40% have an unfavorable one. A notable 17% have either never heard of Pence or are unsure how to rate him.
Overall, there is growing optimism about the direction of the nation, but a sharp political divide underscores views about the country’s path. 38% of Americans, up from 31% in December, think the nation is moving in the right direction. 55%, down from 62%, say it is going in the wrong one, and 7% are unsure. The proportion of Americans who are hopeful about the nation’s course is at its highest since April 2013 when 38% had this view. Of note, the largest change is among Republicans. 82% of Republicans, up from 34% in December, think America is on course. Among independents, 34% up from 24%, agree. In contrast, there has been an increase in the proportion of Democrats who perceive the country to be off track, 81% up from 62%.