There is no doubt all presidents face setbacks and are judged by the public but President Trump is currently experiencing historically low approval ratings. In march, according to Gallup, the president fell to a staggering 36 percent approval rating.
This drop in approval occurred during the three-day period of March 24-26, directly following the Republican House leaders’ failed attempt to pass a new health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Prior to this event, Trump’s approval rating was 41 percent indicating that this unsuccessful venture spurred a 5 percent decline in approval for our president.
So far, this is the lowest point for Trump’s approval rating, with his previous low point at 37 percent during March 16-18.
Trump’s record high approval rating occurred directly after his inauguration where he hit 46 percent and throughout his presidency, he has maintained a 42 percent average approval rating.
It is clear that these significant drops in approval are often propelled by certain events that may leave the American people dissatisfied.
In Trump’s case, his greatest failure was the unsuccessful attempt to follow up on one of the focal points of his platform: repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Throughout his campaign, Trump vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare as soon as possible.
According to Think Progress, on November 1, 2016, Trump declared, “When we win on November 8th and elect a Republican congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. Have to do it. I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace, and it will be such an honor for me, for you, and for everybody in this country because Obamacare has to be replaced and we will do it and we will do it very, very quickly.”
Trump’s platform took a turn as his continuous promise to American voters failed to pass despite having a Republican in the White House and a Republican majority in Congress. Trump’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare left his supporters feeling let down and frustrated, resulting in a dramatic downturn in approval.
It should be noted, however, that all presidents who saw their ratings drop below 36 percent with the exception of Nixon- experienced an increase in their ratings soon after.
For example, President Clinton’s approval rating dropped to 37 percent in June of 1993 but recovered months later as his ratings reached 56 percent by September of that same year.
Presidential approval ratings are fluid, so Trump could potentially drop even lower or recover immensely in the near future. The legacy of his presidency is still being shaped through public policy and the failure to replace the Affordable Care Act is only two months out of the next four years.
That being said, Trump has made history in that no president has ever attained a majority disapproval job rating so quickly.
According to a Gallup poll, 51 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump’s performance just eight days into his administration. This mark was unprecedented as no president has ever reached or exceeded a 51 percent disapproval rating so early on in their presidency.
In regards to the previous president, Barack Obama did not reach a 50 percent disapproval rating until day 936 of his presidency, and George W. Bush did not reach this mark until day 1,205.
Trump’s reaction to such low numbers has included criticism towards the polls, referring to them as phony and rigged. Throughout his campaign, many polls underestimated his support around the nation and did not project him as the winner.
His supporters and perhaps some of his opponents may follow suit and proclaim that these polls are inaccurate and unreliable. The American public is still eager to see how Trump’s legacy will morph in the recent confirmation of Judge Gorsuch’s and the looming showdown on the national budget.