It is no secret that President Donald Trump is a man who is obsessed with polls, ratings, and winning. The president famously criticized Arnold Schwarzenegger for his low ratings after he took over hosting the president’s former reality show, he falsely insisted that his inauguration was the most widely attended ever, and was still handing out maps of his electoral win to reporters months after the election. It may take some creative alternative facts, however, to paint President Trump’s latest poll numbers in a positive light.
Three months ago, Gallup’s tracking poll of President Trump’s approval rating showed that 45 percent of Americans approved of his job performance. Instead of gaining momentum, President Trump’s approval rating has been on a consistent downward trajectory. As of June 3, the president’s approval rating had fallen to 36 percent, which is just one percentage point above its lowest point of 35 percent on March 28. Similar polls conducted by Quinnipiac University and Monmouth show the president with 37 percent and 39 percent approval ratings respectively.
President Trump’s poll numbers are the lowest among his recent predecessors with the exception of Bill Clinton. At this point in their terms, President Obama had a 61 percent approval rating and George W. Bush was at 55 percent. President Clinton’s approval rating had plummeted to 37 percent after his controversial firing of seven employees of the White House travel office.
If President Trump’s approval ratings do not rebound in the next few months, they could negatively impact Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats would only need to gain 24 seats in order to take control of the House. Historically, the president’s party loses an average of 14 seats when the president’s approval rating is above 50 percent. The average loss jumps to 36 seats when the president’s approval rating falls below 50 percent.
If the Democrats take control of the House, the president will undoubtedly face an uphill battle advancing his agenda. It could also mean more aggressive oversight of the president and various administration officials who are already the subjects of multiple inquiries.