As his immigration policy of separating families at the border set off nationwide protests this weekend, Donald Trump took another hit in his approval rating. His average rating, as compiled by the data site FiveThirtyEight, dipped below 42 percent for the first time since June 15, while his negative number in the average of all polls rose to 52.3 percent, his highest disapproval since June 12.
According to analysis by the online political magazine Slate, Trump's continued and long-standing low approval numbers now appear likely to damage Republicans at the voting booth in the 2018 midterm elections in November, with Trump described as an "albatross" around the neck of the his party.
In one poll, the Gallup weekly approval rating, Trump's approval tumbled by four points, down to 41 percent from last week's 45. Gallup attributed the sharp decline to "the controversy over the administration's immigration policy."
Even Trump's approval among Republicans dropped somewhat, though self-identified party members continue to support him overwhelmingly. But last week's high of 90 percent has fallen off by three points to 87 percent, as Newsweek reported. Approval of Trump among Democrats took a big drop — from 10 percent last week to just 5 percent this week, indicating that the residual glow of his "summit" meeting with North Koran dictator Kim Jong Un has worn off, according to Gallup.
Last week, the Inquisitr reported that Trump's approval rating was lower than any previous president at the same point in his term, since approval rating polling began in 1945, with the exception of President Jimmy Carter, whose approval rating was battered by his handling of an economic crisis marked by double-digit inflation. But this week, Trump's approval rating has again dipped below Carter's at the same point in his term, 526 days in.
According to polls analyzed by Slate, even Trump's current approval numbers are not as good as they appear. A Suffolk University/USA Today poll showed that when asked whether they plan to vote for a Republican or Democrat in the upcoming midterms, 45 percent of voters choose a Democrat and 39 percent a Republican, a six point difference. But when the question becomes, "Do you want to elect a Congress that mostly cooperates with President Trump, or one that mostly stands up to President Trump?" the difference rises to 21 points, with 55 percent saying they want a congress that stands up to Trump. Only 34 percent said they would vote for a congress that cooperates with Trump.
Another poll, conducted by YouGov/The Economist, showed a similar result, with only 32 percent saying they would vote for candidates who were similar to Trump. That number is nine points lower than Trump's 41 percent approval rating in the same poll, which also found 46 percent saying they wanted candidates who were different from Trump.
The numbers reveal, according to Slate columnist William Saletan, that "Trump's base is weaker than it looks," and Trump's support is likely considerably lower than his approval rating would indicate.