Trump's approval rating is the flattest of elected presidents in modern surveys
Trump has the most polarized approval rating in data stretching back to the 1950s
Majorities say they disapprove of most major Trump policy and political priorities
One year after Donald Trump’s inauguration, public opinion polling has offered little positive news for the President so far.
It’s well-known by now that Trump is the least popular president at this point in his term since modern surveys began more than seven decades ago.
Plus, a majority of the American people disapprove of his handling of nearly every event and policy priority during his first year – from the Russia investigation to Charlottesville, from withdrawing from the Paris climate pact to rescinding the immigration program known as DACA, from his travel ban to tax reform to efforts to repeal Obamacare.
The booming economy, on which Trump has gotten a virtually even split over the his first year, remains the one major exception to that rule. (Take Trump’s name out of the poll question and nearly 7-in-10 Americans say the economy is in good shape.) Trump also got more positive reviews than negatives ones for nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and progress on the war against ISIS.
Still, the bottom hasn’t fallen out. Trump’s approval rating has remained consistently locked in around 37% – plus or minus depending on which way the wind is blowing – for the last nine months, according to weekly numbers from Gallup.
But Trump’s approval ratings aren’t just noteworthy because they are low. They are also the flattest, least fluid approval ratings for any elected president since modern surveys started.
In fact, Trump’s numbers are almost too steady. During his first year, Trump’s approval ratings have stayed within a narrow 10-point range – from 45% at his inauguration to a low of 35% multiple times over the last several months.
Former President Barack Obama’s had moved 18 points, George W. Bush’s had moved 39 points and Bill Clinton’s had moved 22 points to this point in their tenures. In fact, only Lyndon B. Johnson had less movement in approval polling during his first year in office.
It shows that opinions of Trump are baked in – also demonstrated by this August poll showing that 6-in-10 people who approve Trump said they can’t think of anything Trump can do to make them stop approving of his job performance.
What’s more, at the one-year mark, Trump has the most polarized approval gap between his own party and the opposing party in the same time span.
In the latest Gallup numbers, 82% of Republicans approve of Trump vs. only 9% of Democrats who approve of him, marking the widest gap between a President’s own party and the opposing party in data back to the 1950s.
The vast, 73-point split is mostly due to Trump’s nearly unanimous disapproval among Democrats.