Donald Trump has taken a sharp drop in the polls, reaching an all-time low for a newly-elected president.
After a controversial first two weeks in office that included a widely criticized travel ban, Trump saw his disapproval rating reach a historic 53 percent while his approval rating sat at just 44 percent, a CNN/ORC poll found this week.
The disapproval rating was the highest of any president in the history of the poll, and Donald Trump also became the only president to have a net-negative approval rating this early into a presidency. As Politico reported, Trump’s low poll numbers were rivaled only by a beloved Republican president and topped by his more recent political rival.
“President Ronald Reagan, a former Hollywood actor and California governor who previously held the record low approval rating at this point, tops the incumbent reality TV star-turned-president by 7 percentage points. Reagan had a 51 percent approval rating in January 1981.
“President Barack Obama, Trump’s immediate predecessor, had the highest approval rating. He sat an overwhelming 76 percent in February 2009.”
Donald Trump’s trouble at the polls comes largely through his unpopular travel ban. Trump signed an executive order last week that banned travelers from a number of Muslim-majority nations, a hastily signed order that reportedly came without input from a number of top agencies. The ban led to a weekend of chaos as travelers were stopped and detained at airports and protests drew hundreds of thousands of people nationwide.
countdown until trump bans polls and the sweet memory of obama pic.twitter.com/AU6V0eAoks
— Ziwe (@ziwe) February 3, 2017
The measure was widely unpopular, the CNN/ORC poll found. A total of 55 percent of respondents said they viewed the travel ban as an attempt to ban Muslims from entering the country. The Trump administration pushed back against those who characterized it as a Muslim travel ban, though Trump himself used that exact language during the 2016 presidential campaign and the executive order closely reflected the way Trump described it.
“About 4 in 10 (41%) agree with the Trump administration’s contention that the ban makes the U.S. safer from terrorism, while more (46%) say it makes the U.S. less safe from terrorism and another 12% say it doesn’t make a difference. Further, just about half (49%) think the order harms American values by keeping out people who are seeking asylum, while 43% say it does more to protect American values by keeping out people who don’t support those values.”
Trump found other controversy, including a widely-panned pick to head the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos. She was criticized for a lack of knowledge around key education concepts and for allegedly plagiarizing her answers submitted to the Senate, including one instance in which it appeared she stole a quote from former President Barack Obama.
The drop in the polls for Donald Trump came after many outlets found a bump immediately after his inauguration, rising to close to 50-50 between approval and disapproval.
Donald Trump Approval Rating Latest Polls: President's Favorability Increases After Inauguration Speech – Internat… https://t.co/lfVy0moKr7
— NY Tribune Politics (@nytrbpolitics) January 25, 2017
The start of a new president’s term is generally seen as the honeymoon period, when voters are willing to give a new leader a chance to implement their agenda. This is when most presidents hit a peak, with many gradually falling back as they have to take on more controversial and divisive issues.
But after a bruising campaign that was followed by a series of controversies even before the Republican winner took office, Donald Trump has seen no such help in the polls. And given the unpopular measures he has passed so far, the polls may sink even lower in the coming weeks.
[Featured Image by Aude Guerrucci – Pool/Getty Images]