Trump Hits Record Unpopularity — But Does It Matter?

Six months into the Trump presidency.

An ABC/WaPo poll this weekend put Trump’s approval rating at 36%, an all-time low for any president since they started polling.  It’s even lower than Nixon’s was when Nixon resigned.

At 538, Harry Enten put this chart out:

What astounds me is that there has been no crisis to cause it to go down.  Ford is low on that chart because he pardoned Nixon in his first six months.

But Trump came in as an unpopular president, after a run as an unpopular candidate.  His net approval rating was slightly positive (+4) when he first took office, and he averaged a net approval rating of -2 over the first month of his term. That means his net approval rating has fallen 14 points since his first month in office, or a bit less than three points per month.  Steadily.

Given his failure to get any major legislation done, his annoying tweets (which gets almost universal condemnation in the polls), and the Trump-Russia scandal, it’s a wonder his polls are not lower. But what is going on here, I think, is that Trump has two “bottoms”.  The 35-39% approval rating is made up of (1) actual Trump supporters and (2) people who are anti-anti-Trump (i.e., people who hate liberals and the media and will support anybody who they see as hating liberals and the media).  I suspect group 2 is bigger than group 1, but I don’t know what it would take to get them to peel off.  Certainly, that is the group that Trump is playing too, and they remain his big defenders — even AFTER the “fake news” about Trump-Russia collusion became much closer to real news.

In the end, Trump’s historical unpopularity means nothing as long as House and Senate Republicans back him. And they will, as long as he can be the useful idiot to them.

What do you think?