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New Poll Numbers Reveal Depth of Problems for Trump

New Poll Numbers Reveal Depth of Problems for Trump

Less than five weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump has an approval rating of 38 percent and a disapproval rating of 55 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out yesterday. The survey of 1,323 voters, conducted between February 16 and 21, found that Trump's approval rating is slightly higher than where it stood in Quinnipiac’s January 26 poll, but 4 points lower than just two weeks ago. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, rose from 44 percent after his inauguration to 51 percent on February 7 and 55 percent Wednesday.


"President Donald Trump's popularity is sinking like a rock," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "He gets slammed on honesty, empathy, level headedness and the ability to unite. And two of his strong points, leadership and intelligence, are sinking to new lows. This is a terrible survey one month in."

A majority of respondents said Trump is dishonest (55 percent), doesn't exhibit good leadership (55 percent), and doesn't care about "average" Americans (53 percent). Others said he isn't level-headed (63 percent), doesn't share their values (60 percent), and has done more to divide the nation than unite it (58 percent). Despite this, a majority said they believe he is an intelligent and strong person (58 and 64 percent respectively).

While half of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the news media has covered Trump, 61 percent say they disapprove of the way Trump responds.

"The media, so demonized by the Trump Administration, is actually a good deal more popular than President Trump," Malloy said, pointing to 52 percent of respondents who said they trust the media to tell the truth about the president. By contrast, only 37 percent say they trust the president to "tell you the truth about important issues." 90 percent of American voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" that the news media "hold public officials accountable."

Trump, who pledged to "drain the swamp" of Washington elites, has disappointed 45 percent of respondents who say he is bringing about the wrong change. While 40 percent say he is on the right track, 14 percent say Trump hasn't brought about much change at all. Underscoring this: 38 percent of American voters think they can trust Trump to do what is right "almost all of the time" or "most of the time," compared to 61 percent who think they can trust Trump to do what is right "some of the time" or "hardly ever."

More than half of those surveyed (56 percent) say they disapprove of Trump's foreign policy, and although Trump has advocated for a more hardline approach to terrorism, only 49 percent say they approve of the way he's handled the issue. He faces high disapproval on immigration (58 percent) despite making building a wall along the country's southern border a cornerstone of his campaign, and on the way he's handled allegations that Russian operatives meddled in last year's presidential election (57 percent). 53 percent of respondents oppose suspending travel to and from seven Muslim-majority nations outlined in his currently blocked executive order travel ban, and 60 percent oppose barring refugees from entering the country.

"In polling, you often analyze a question by measuring the difference between the share of respondents that gives the positive answer and the share that gives the negative one, writes Josh Barro, a senior editor for Business Insider. "By this measure, Trump was at plus-18 on the "good leader" question in November, and now he's at minus-13, a decline of 31 points in three months. His term lasts another 47 months."

For his part, Trump says he inherited a "mess."

“In all fairness,” he told reporters earlier Wednesday, “I’ve only been here for four weeks, so I can’t take too much of the blame for what’s happened.”