Shutdown fallout: Two polls show disapproval of Trump at highest level of his presidency

Ain’t no problem here that a new slogan — and prayer — can’t solve:

Said Rush Limbaugh last week, “I actually, folks, really believe that if he hangs on and continues down this road, at some point there’s gonna be a shift in public opinion and the vast majority of the American people are gonna end up with him on this — if he hangs in there.” Well, he’s hanging in there. When does the shift begin?


Maybe after the State of the Union. Although if his recent speech from the Oval didn’t change public opinion, why would that change it?

New from Morning Consult:

According to the latest Morning Consult/Politico poll, conducted Jan. 18-22, 57 percent of registered voters disapprove of Trump’s job performance — more than any other survey in Trump’s two years in office — while 40 percent approve…

Eighty-one percent of Republicans strongly or somewhat approve of Trump’s job performance in the national, online survey of 1,996 registered voters, while the same share of Democrats who strongly disapprove of him. Sixty percent of independent voters disapprove of Trump — the highest share among those voters since Trump became president.

Eighty-one percent approval among his own party isn’t great considering all the hype about Trump commanding a remarkable degree of loyalty on the right. It’s true that he commands remarkable loyalty among his base, but his base isn’t quite the entirety of the GOP. The shutdown is exposing where the fault line is among Republicans.

Second verse, same as the first, this time from CBS:

Mr. Trump’s overall approval rating has dipped three points from November to 36 percent today. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now disapprove of the job he is doing – a high for his presidency, although just one point above his previous high. The president’s ratings have not varied much over the course of his term so far.


These aren’t the worst disapproval numbers he’s had in *any* poll. Back in late 2017, he cracked 60 a few times before gradually bouncing back to the 43/54 stasis of the past year or so. But at -15, his net approval rating today at RCP is the worst he’s seen since last March. And you need to go back to the aftermath of him firing Comey in May 2017 to find a period where the trendline in approval has been this remorselessly negative over a period of months, as you can see from the graph at the last link. He’s had sudden dips now and then where he loses some ground but they’re usually short-lived, around a month or so. Not this time. He’s been slipping since the week before the election, just a bit here and there until December but more precipitously since the shutdown began.

The unkindest cut of all:

Independents say Pelosi’s doing a better job (42/33) and more Republicans are apt to say that Pelosi’s doing better than Trump (14 percent) than Democrats are to say the opposite (six percent). CBS should have drilled down on that question to find out why. Are the righties who think Pelosi’s outmaneuvering POTUS saying so because they want the shutdown to end ASAP or are they saying so because they’re nationalists and are mad at Trump for having offered temporary amnesty for DREAMers to try to end it?

Probably the former, for the simple reason that Republicans are surprisingly closely divided when asked if they think the wall is worth a shutdown. Ask Democrats that and they split 7/92 in saying no. But this time the Republican numbers aren’t a mirror image — GOPers split just 56/43 in saying yes. Trump still has a majority of his own party willing to affirm that this fight is worth having but that majority is much thinner than Pelosi’s is. Rush is right that opinion may shift as this continues to drag on but if 43 percent of Republicans already think it’s a bad idea, it probably won’t shift in the direction he’s hoping.


One more poll for you, this one released just a few hours ago:

Overall, 34 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance in a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That’s down from 42 percent a month earlier and nears the lowest mark of his two-year presidency. The president’s approval among Republicans remains close to 80 percent, but his standing with independents is among its lowest points of his time in office…

Trump may be popular overall with Republicans, but a sizable share holds him responsible for the current situation. Almost 3 in 10 Republicans think Trump bears a great deal of responsibility, while 73 percent of his party says he’s at least partly responsible.

Among independents his approval is down to … 28/71. WaPo has a report out tonight claiming that Mick Mulvaney is asking federal agencies to let him know which programs will face the most jeopardy if the shutdown lasts into March or April. I can’t imagine what would happen to Trump’s popular support, even among solid-but-not-that-solid Republicans, if it went on for two more months. It’d be bad enough, I assume, that Senate Republicans wouldn’t let it happen. At some point Trump’s downturn starts to drag them down too.

Here’s Trump’s economic advisor telling CNN that yes, zero percent growth in GDP for the first quarter is possible if this keeps going.


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