Not only is Trump very unpopular, but his unpopularity is also unlikely to reverse anytime soon. After all, his approval ratings have continually been underwater since the second month of his presidency, and have fluctuated remarkably little since then.
But Trump’s persistent unpopularity is not nearly as big a bar to reelection as many assume. It’s striking, for example, that Trump’s approval ratings are, at this point, very similar to those of two recent presidents who went on to win reelection by resounding margins. While 42 percent approve of Trump’s job performance, just 43 percent approved of both Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan at the same stage in their first terms.
What’s more, Trump actually appears to be more popular today than he was on the day he beat Hillary Clinton. We can get a sense of how his standing with the public has evolved since the 2016 campaign by looking at his personal favorability ratings. An average of 41 percent of Americans now say they have a good impression of him, while an average of 55 percent say they have a bad impression, for a negative balance of 14 percent. In the last polls taken before the 2016 election, an average of 38 percent of Americans saw Trump favorably, and an average of 59 percent unfavorably, for a negative balance of 21 percent.