Trump's approval ratings have worsened on health care and immigration
More see positives in economy, how things are going in the US
56% say Trump has done a poor job hiring top White House advisers
As the 100-day mark of Donald Trump’s presidency approaches, a new CNN/ORC poll finds the President reaches this milestone holding on to the lowest approval rating of any newly-elected president at this stage, amid sharp partisan divides and a failure to capitalize on post-election strengths.
Overall, 44% say they approve of Trump’s handling of the presidency, 54% disapprove. That’s about the same as in each of the two previous CNN/ORC polls taken after his inauguration. That 44% marker puts Trump last among approval ratings for newly-elected presidents at the 100-day point since modern polling began, a trendline that runs back to Dwight Eisenhower. Trump is last by a significant margin, trailing Bill Clinton’s previous low by 11 points.
The poll finds declining ratings for Trump’s handling of two issues that have been top priorities since he took office – health care and immigration. About 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of each of those issues, and both have tilted more negative since early March. His numbers have held steady, however, on his handling of foreign affairs, national security and the role of commander-in-chief, after taking several high-profile actions on those fronts during the last month. Assessing his overall use of the military, most (52%) say he’s used it responsibly since taking office.
Two measures of the country’s progress have shown signs of improvement since Trump took the helm. Most, 54%, now say things in the country are going well, up from 46% in February. That matches last year’s high of 54%, reached in October. Likewise, almost 6 in 10 now say economic conditions in the country are good, an uptick compared with mid-January, and the highest mark on that question since May 2007. Behind the overall increases in these numbers, however, there have been sharp partisan shifts, with the share of Democrats offering a positive assessment dropping since Barack Obama left office while the share of Republicans on the positive side has risen rapidly.
Still, majorities offer negative impressions of Trump’s presidency so far across a range of questions about his handling of the job.
Most say he hasn’t paid enough attention to the nation’s most important problems (55%) and that he isn’t working hard enough to be effective (51%). They say he’s done a poor job of assembling a team of top advisers in the White House (56%) and keeping his campaign promises (52%). Further, 61% say world leaders don’t have much respect for him and 52% that his approach has unnecessarily put the country at risk.
But looking ahead, about a third of all adults say they aren’t sure their current judgment of Trump will hold (including 20% who currently disapprove and 11% who approve). That suggests there’s room for Trump to gain ground, but very little in this poll indicates that he’s attracted new supporters since taking office on January 20.
Trump’s favorability rating is stagnant and negative – 45% have a favorable view, 53% unfavorable. At the same time, Trump’s numbers across key personal attributes have dipped since a post-election boost that appears to be the closest thing Trump had to a honeymoon. Fewer see Trump as honest now (37%) than said so in November (41%). He’s fallen 6 points on being an effective manager of the government (from 50% to 44%), 5 points on uniting the country (from 43% to 37%) and 4 points on empathy (from 46% to 42%). And a previous even divide on whether Trump can bring the kind of change the country needs now tilts narrowly negative (51% say he can’t, 48% that he can).
Fewer now say they hold deep confidence in Trump to handle the economy (35%, down from 40% in November) or appoint the best people to office (27%, down from 32%). But confidence has held roughly steady on handling foreign affairs (27% now and in November) and providing real leadership for the country (31% now vs. 33% in November).
The political and demographic divisions that drove the 2016 presidential campaign have hardened into chasms in perceptions of Trump: Among Republicans, 85% approve, while just 8% of Democrats agree. Most men, 51%, approve, while only 38% of women do. Whites generally approve (52%) and non-whites mostly disapprove (68%), but among whites there’s a deep gap by education, with 59% of those who do not have college degrees saying they approve vs. 38% of whites who hold at least a Bachelor’s degree. In rural areas, 58% approve, but just 33% of urbanites approve.
Trump’s overall strength among Republicans masks some declining ratings among his own partisans. While most Republicans do continue to hold positive views of Trump regardless of the question, much of his decline on several of these items stems from a drop among Republicans.
In November, 82% of Republicans said they had a lot of confidence in Trump to handle the economy, that’s fallen 10 points.
Likewise, GOP confidence in Trump’s ability to appoint the best people to office has dropped 13 points, while confidence in his ability to provide leadership is down 9. The percentage of Republicans who think Trump will unite the country has fallen from 81% to 68%, that he can effectively manage government from 93% to 85%, and that he cares about people like you from 91% to 81%.
The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone April 22-25 among a random national sample of 1,009 adults. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.