CNN  — 

First things first: The theme song of the week is the ESPN’s SportsCentury.

Poll of the week: A new national CNN/SSRS poll finds that President Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at 40%. His disapproval rating is 54%.

His approval rating is down from late June when it was 43%. His disapproval rating is slightly up from 52% in late June.

What’s the point: Over the last month and a half, a lot has happened in our national dialogue. Trump went after four congresswomen of color. Then he turned his sights on Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is black. More recently, there were the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. And fears are growing over a potential economic slowdown.

All together, it seems like recent news cycles are causing a downturn in the President’s fortunes. His approval rating does seem to be sliding, which is troublesome news heading into 2020.

Presidents’ approval ratings have been highly correlated with their re-election margin. In the midterm elections, Trump’s approval rating lined up nearly perfectly with his party’s vote share in the House elections.

And while the shift in our CNN poll is not statistically significant given the margin of error of +/- 4 points, it’s not the only poll to show that Trump’s approval rating is down.

Take a look at these other probability-based polls that meet CNN’s standards and were completed over the last two weeks.

  • AP-NORC puts the President’s approval rating at 36%, down from 38%.
  • Fox News gave Trump a 43% approval rating, a decrease from 46%.
  • Gallup shows Trump’s approval rating at 41%, down from 42% in late July and 44% in early July.
  • Monmouth University pegs Trump’s approval rating at 40%, down from 41%.
  • NBC News/Wall Street Journal found Trump had an approval rating of 43% among all adults, a decrease of 2 points from 45% in July among registered voters and 1 point from 44% in their last poll that surveyed all adults in June.

None of these poll results individually are all that convincing that Trump’s approval rating has declined. Together, however, they make a fairly strong case.

Adding in the CNN poll, Trump has an average decline of 2 points in his approval rating. That may not seem like a lot, but keep in mind these polls put together have a sample size of more than 6,000 people. The chances that all of these polls have Trump’s approval down, even by a mere 2 points, is tiny.

Normally, a 2-point drop in a president’s approval rating would not be a big deal. For this president, however, a 2-point movement is a bigger deal than usual.

Trump’s approval rating has been unusually stable. Any sort of movement is noteworthy with him. According to Gallup, no president has had as narrow a range (35%-46%) of approval ratings than Trump. Trump’s still within that range, though now more toward the middle than the upper part of that range as he had been earlier in the year.

Trump needs to be able to break out of the narrow range in order to make himself a favorite for reelection. No president has won an additional term with an approval rating as low as Trump’s is currently.

The further Trump’s approval rating strays from his disapproval rating, the harder he makes it for himself to win in 2020.