Trump's approval rate scorecard: One year in presidency
By Jasmine Cen
US President Donald Trump not only has to face a government shutdown on the first anniversary of his inauguration but also hits the lowest approval rating of any modern US presidents in the first year in office.
According to most recent polls, President Trump’s approval rating in January stands around 39 percent in comparison to his predecessor President Obama’s 50 percent. Former US President George W. Bush has 81.2, and Bill Clinton has 56.5 percent.
While using his normal tactic of calling out the media who is not in favor of him “fake news,” Trump claimed that his approval rating is actually the same as Obama's.
Trump's Twitter screenshot
Trump's Twitter screenshot
At the time Trump was sworn into office, he had an approval rating of 45 percent and a disapproval rating of 45 percent.
Harry Enten, senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight.com, shared his view on Trump's approval rating in an interview by the Washington Post.
"The thing to remember about Obama is that the economy was doing okay (not great), and he wasn’t going on Twitter or television and making a bombastic statement every day. It was the perfect formula for his approval rating to stay steady," said Enten.
The disapproval ratings have stayed above 55 percent since last July, while the approval ratings have been below 40 percent.
"While anyone in office at the moment would probably struggle with the same forces to some extent, Trump’s ratings have only fallen since he was sworn in, and the 40 percent ceiling he’s been hovering beneath since spring would seem to be to a large extent of his own making," said Ariel Edwards-Levy, director of polling at HuffPost, during a Washington Post interview.
A lot was happening in Trumpland last July, when former White House spokesman Sean Spicer resigned and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was pushed out from his position near the end of the same month.
In addition, Trump abruptly announced a transgender military ban on Twitter with no policy backup, leaving the military baffled.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had two successful ballistic missile tests, while Trump witnessed three separate GOP health care bills failed in Senate even after he threatened to jeopardize government projects in Alaska in July.
The highest approval rating Trump had in his first year of his presidency was in March last year at 49 percent with the disapproval rating of hitting the first-time highest since inauguration at 56 percent.
Trump signed a Muslim ban 2.0 last March banning citizens from six Muslim countries to enter the US. Iraq was removed from the list. The ban was later blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii before it went into implementation.
In the same month, James Comey, Trump's former FBI director, confirmed that the FBI had been investigating the possible Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election and linked to Trump's campaign since July 2016.
President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was ousted in February, told FBI he was willing to be interviewed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn entered a guilty plea last December for lying to the FBI about his conversation with the Russian ambassador.
According to another poll by the Economist/YouGov, 21 percent of the participants actively approved Trump's performance in his first year, while 40 percent of them strongly disapproved.
Enten shared his worries, saying a disapproval rating ranking in the 30's does not show a good sign for the Trump administration to pass major legislation in the Congress.
"Presidents who have higher approval ratings generally have an easier time getting Congress to go with them on big ticket items. That said, with the growing polarization within Congress, even a less popular president can get big stuff passed without being all that popular if his party holds the majority," he added.
Expectation for Trump's second year
While sharing their expectations for Trump's second year, Americans say they expect less from the president.
About 30 percent of them are still confident and expect more from Trump and his administration, though 40 percent expect less.
"There was plenty of polarization during the [George W.] Bush years, and his approval rating rose like a rocket and dropped like rock falling from a high building. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m skeptical that Trump cannot see the same thing occur," said Enten.