President Donald Trump last night delivered his first proper State of the Union address. Last year’s speech to Congress came just weeks after Trump’s inauguration, so it didn’t reflect his time in office and wasn’t termed as a State of the Union speech. After that speech to Congress, President Trump was widely praised for his conciliatory tone, and for his promise to work in bi-partisan fashion to make life better for ordinary Americans. At that time, Trump’s approval rating stood at 46 percent.
Just one year into his presidency President Trump went to his State of the Union address with his approval ratings showing historic lows.
According to Telesur, Trump went into the State of the Union with an average approval rating for 2017 of just 38 percent, the lowest approval rating for a one-year president since the second world war. Trump’s numbers fall well short of the 57 percent approval rating enjoyed by President Obama after his first year in the White House.
Polling giant Gallup reports that Trump’s approval rating swings wildly when measured on a state-by-state basis. Trump enjoys an approval rating of 61 percent in West Virginia, whilst just 26 percent of people in Vermont believe that the president is doing a good job.
President Trump’s approval rating in states that he carried in the 2016 election shows a worrying trend for the GOP as we head to the midterm elections. Trump’s approval rating was below 50 percent for 18 of the states he won in 2016. As reported by New York magazine, when a president’s approval rating is poor his party does poorly in the midterm elections. President Trump’s approval ratings are below 50 percent in 38 of 50 states, including polling less than 40 percent in Texas, the reddest of Red States.
As mentioned in the Telesur article referenced above, when a president goes into the midterm elections with an approval rating of less than 50 percent, his party loses an average of 36 seats. Of course, history cannot be an accurate predictor of the future, but if Trump’s approval rating is an accurate predictor of voting patterns in the 2018 midterm elections, then President Trump could be heading for a landslide defeat.
Even based on historical averages President Trump’s approval rating suggests that he will lose both Congress and the Senate in the midterms. If the GOP polls as badly as Trump’s numbers suggest, then the president’s administration could find itself facing a considerable Democrat majority in both Houses. That would turn President Trump into the lamest of lame duck presidents, a president who would have no chance of passing legislation that contains even the slightest hint of controversy.