PPP's new national poll finds that Donald Trump's popularity as President has declined precipitously just over the last two weeks. On our first poll of his Presidency voters were evenly divided on Trump, with 44% approving of him and 44% also disapproving. Now his approval rating is 43%, while his disapproval has gone all the way up to 53%. If voters could choose they'd rather have both Barack Obama (52/44) or Hillary Clinton (49/45) instead of Trump.
Just three weeks into his administration, voters are already evenly divided on the issue of impeaching Trump with 46% in favor and 46% opposed. Support for impeaching Trump has crept up from 35% 2 weeks ago, to 40% last week, to its 46% standing this week. While Clinton voters initially only supported Trump's impeachment 65/14, after seeing him in office over the last few weeks that's gone up already to 83/6.
Here are the reasons things are going bad for Trump:
-Voters think he's over reaching to make a country safe...that they already consider to be safe. 66% of Americans consider the United States to be a safe country, to only 23% who consider it unsafe. Perhaps as an outgrowth of that sentiment only 45% of voters support Trump's Executive Order on immigration, to 49% who are opposed to it. Among those who do support it you have to wonder how well thought out their position is- by a 51/23 margin Trump voters say that the Bowling Green Massacre shows why Trump's immigration policy is needed.
By a 48/43 spread, voters do think that the intent of the Executive Order is to be a Muslim ban. And just 22% support a Muslim ban, to 65% who are opposed. The order has also increasingly raised issues about Trump's competence in voters' eyes- only 27% think the Executive Order was well executed, to 66% who think it was poorly executed. The spread on that question was 39/55 when we asked last week.
Another aspect of voters already feeling safe is that they don't want to pay for the wall with Mexico. Just 32% support a 20% tax on items imported to the United States from Mexico, to 55% who are opposed to that concept. And in general only 37% of voters want the wall if US taxpayers have to front the cost for it, to 56% who are against that.
-Voters are concerned by the implications of Trump's fight with the Judiciary. 53% of voters say they trust Judges more to make the right decisions for the United States, to only 38% who trust Trump more. And only 25% of voters think Trump should be able to overturn decisions by Judges that he disagrees with, to 64% who don't think he should be able to do that. Trump voters have evidently had enough of the Constitution and those pesky checks and balances though- 51% of them think he should personally be able to overturn decisions he doesn't agree with, to only 33% who dissent.
-Voters don't like the people Trump has surrounded himself with. Betsy DeVos may have been confirmed this week, but she made a horrible impression on the public. Only 27% of voters see her positively to 49% with a negative opinion of her. Clinton voters are almost unanimous in their distaste for her (5/83 favorability), while she doesn't generate nearly an equivalent amount of enthusiasm from Trump voters (53/12 favorability.) Other people close to Trump have come off poorly as well- Steve Bannon has a 22/45 favorability rating, Kellyanne Conway's is 34/47, and Sean Spicer's is 32/41.
-Voters continue to have a lot of basic transparency concerns when it comes to Trump. 62% think he needs to fully divest himself from his business interests, to only 27% who don't think it's necessary for him to do that. And 58% want him to release his tax returns, to just 31% who don't think he needs to. In fact by a 53/32 spread, voters would support a law requiring that candidates for President release 5 years of their tax returns in order to appear on the ballot.
-Voters are concerned about Trump taking away Obamacare. 47% of voters now say they support the Affordable Care Act to only 39% who are opposed. It just keeps getting more popular. And only 32% think the best course of action to take on health care is repealing the ACA, while 65% would like Congress to keep it and just fix parts that need fixing.
-Voters are increasingly taking the media's side in his fights with them. The New York Times has repeatedly been a target of Trump's attacks, but voters say they think the Times had more credibility than them 52/37. Trump seems to be losing ground in that conflict- he was only down 51/42 a week ago. The Presidency has been so diminished over the last 3 weeks that voters even say Saturday Night Live has more credibility than Trump, 48/43.
On another note it was unclear last week whether Donald Trump really knew who Frederick Douglass was, and it turns out that puts him in pretty good alignment with his party base. Only 47% of Trump voters know that Frederick Douglass is dead, compared to 78% of Clinton voters who know that. Even though they evidently need it, Trump voters aren't very excited about Black History Month. Only 45% of them have a favorable opinion of it, to 35% with a negative one. By contrast it's 81/9 for Clinton voters. And in yet another measure of the terrible economic anxiety gripping Trump voters though, 46% of them think there should be a White History Month to 36% opposed to that concept. They may not get far with that though, since only 28% of voters overall are in favor of such a thing to 58% opposed.
Finally we continue to find that unhappiness with Trump- and with Congressional Republicans- could help Democrats to make big gains in 2018. Democrats lead 49/41 on the generic Congressional ballot. That's partially a product of Trump's unpopularity but also an outgrowth of Paul Ryan (35/47 approval), Mitch McConnell (23/52 approval), and Congress as a whole (16/68 approval) being unpopular in their own rights.
Full results here