The Trump approval rating after one month of his presidency is both remarkable and totally unsurprising. The most recent approval poll shows that Donald Trump’s approval rating is lower than any modern president at this point in his presidency. In short, the last month has been an absolute disaster for the Trump administration.
Gallup Poll on Trump
Approval rating numbers for presidents one month after their inauguration usually show an ongoing honeymoon in which the public is granting them a grace period to find their footing. But right now, the most recent Gallup poll shows that Donald Trump is running 21 points behind the average approval rating of presidents after their first month in office.
As measured by Gallup, the approval numbers of the previous nine presidents after their first month in office run as follows: Eisenhower 67, Kennedy 72, Nixon 60, Carter 71, Reagan 55, George H.W. Bush 63, Clinton 51, George W. Bush 62, and Obama 64. Trump’s approval rating currently sits at an astonishingly low 40.
This Trump approval rating of 40 percent is only 16 points higher than Richard Nixon’s was when he resigned during the Watergate scandal. And given the downward curve of the Trump approval rating over the last few weeks, it wouldn’t be surprising if by the end of Trump’s second month, he was at or below this Nixon number.
What’s Behind Trump Approval Rating Drop?
It feels very much like Donald Trump’s first four weeks as president of the United States have seen more chaos, controversy, and protest than the entire eight years of Obama’s presidency. Given all of this, it’s surprising Gallup doesn’t show Trump approval ratings even lower than they are.
Through a series of unbelievable gaffes, outrageous assertions, and unconstitutional decisions/orders, Donald Trump and his staff have managed to antagonize much of the United States and most of the world, with the possible exception of Russia.
The first thing the new administration did that negatively affected the Trump approval rating was the infamous “inauguration size” controversy. Despite irrefutable photographic evidence to the contrary, Trump not only insisted that his inauguration crowd wasn’t as small as the news media was suggesting, he claimed it was the largest one ever.
Polls at the time showed most people didn’t believe Trump, and even his own supporters wanted him to just drop it. But instead of doing so, Trump trotted out Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, to launch an attack against the news media for their coverage. The result was another hit to the Trump approval rating.
The Trump approval rating also took a hit with his haphazard, ill-thought-out immigration ban seemingly designed to prevent Muslims from seven specific countries from entering the United States. Across the nation, protest erupted at airports and in the streets against this new policy.
Getting this ban slapped down by two different federal courts didn’t help Trump in the polls, but the president made it even worse by attacking the court system for this decision and disparagingly referring to “so-called judges,” some of whom were actually appointed by Republicans.
The now-infamous Trump foreign leader phone calls also contributed to his declining approval rating. In one call to the president of Mexico, Donald Trump essentially implied – without flatly stating it – that he was prepared to send troops into Mexico, despite the fact it is one of our country’s closest allies and one of our largest trading partners.
After threatening to invade Mexico, Trump made a phone call to the prime minister of Australia. He did this despite the fact that in virtually every war we fought over the last 50 years, Australia has stood right by our side. They are essential to our current defense posture in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Trump berated the prime minister of Australia over an agreement it had with the Obama administration to accept a little over 1,000 refugees that Australia is currently housing. To top it off, the current occupant of the Oval Office actually hung up on the Australian prime minister. The Trump approval rating really nosedived after that one.
Trump capped off a month of chaos in the White House with NSA director Michael Flynn’s scandal in which it was revealed that he communicated with Russian leaders prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump. Flynn allegedly suggested they hold off on responding to Obama sanctions because such sanctions would be removed by Trump.
As reported by CNN, this action by Flynn would seem to be a blatant violation of the Logan Act forbidding such activities. It also brings back into the spotlight the multitudinous connections that Trump and his staff, including Secretary of State Tillerson and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, seem to have with the Russian government. These facts, not to mention Trump’s constant praise of Vladimir Putin, have contributed to the Trump approval rating drop.
The remarkable thing about the above controversies and their impact on the Trump approval rating is that this list doesn’t even include all of Donald Trump’s disastrous mistakes over the last month. This is why so many people are once again talking about the possibility of either impeachment or implementation of the 25th amendment clause allowing for the removal of a president.
[Featured Image by Jack Taylor/Getty Images]