A recently released Marist College poll suggests that President Donald Trump’s disapproval rating is just as bad as that of Richard Nixon right before he resigned the presidency in 1974.
According to the poll, which covers data gathered in July, only 20 percent of Americans rated Trump’s performance as excellent, with 20 percent rating it as good, 13 percent as fair, 45 percent as poor, and 2 percent saying they were unsure of their answer. With the results broken down based on the respondents’ party affiliation, 49 percent of Republicans said Trump is doing an excellent job, as compared to only 2 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of independents. Likewise, CNN noted that it wasn’t surprising that 80 percent of Democrats largely rated Trump’s performance as poor, which is much higher than the 6 percent of Republicans who held this opinion.
The Marist poll also showed that Trump is at similar levels of unpopularity to Richard Nixon, as 45 percent of respondents in a Harris poll rated his performance as poor at the time he resigned as president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal 44 years ago.
Democrats, however, were shown to be more vehemently against Trump as they were against Nixon, as 70 percent of the participants in the 1974 poll who voted for Democrat presidential candidate George McGovern, or 37 percent of the respondents in the sample, felt Nixon was doing a poor job leading the United States. A slightly lower percentage of Democrats (35 percent) made up the sample in the Marist poll, CNN added.
According to CNN, the Marist poll’s results are interesting because Donald Trump’s approval rating has been “low but fairly steady” since he was sworn in as president. While his disapproval rating has also been consistently high in previous polls, Marist’s survey suggests that people might have cottoned on to Trump’s lack of popularity in comparison to other presidents at similar points in their term.
“What still makes Trump unique though is the amount of intensity his detractors have for him,” CNN’s Harry Enten wrote.
“You might say many strongly dislike him. The excellent, pretty good, only fair, and poor scale allows us to get at that because it’s been asked for every president since President John Kennedy.”
Talking about this perceived strong dislike, Enten stressed that Democrats are more passionate in their dislike toward Donald Trump than they were against Nixon. Aside from the higher percentage of Democrats rating Trump’s performance as poor, it was also mentioned that 56 percent of respondents in the Harris poll, including 83 percent of McGovern voters, wanted Nixon to be impeached. This was despite the older poll suggesting a lower percentage of people with a strong dislike for Nixon than those who feel the same way about Trump in the newer poll.
While the strong dislike for Donald Trump has driven his approval rating down in most polls, CNN wrote that the love for Trump has been just as intense among his supporters, as only 7 percent of those who answered the Harris poll felt Richard Nixon was doing an excellent job as president, as compared to the 20 percent of Marist respondents who gave Trump the same rating last month. This, according to CNN, has been instrumental in Trump retaining support from Republican lawmakers in general, and in preventing his approval rating from falling too far below the 40 percent threshold.