Trump, Ryan Both Hit Record Low Approval

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest national poll finds Donald Trump’s approval rating falling to its lowest level yet in our polling. Only 40% of voters approve of the job he’s doing, to 53% who disapprove.

Health Care:

The upshot of last week’s health care debate is that the Affordable Care Act is now the most popular it’s ever been in our polling, with 52% of voters approving of it to only 37% who disapprove. By contrast there is only 23% support for the American Health Care Act, with 56% of voters in opposition to it. Asked which of the two plans voters prefer, the Affordable Care Act wins out by 21 points at 49-28. At this point just 32% of voters think the best path forward on health care is to repeal the ACA, with 62% saying they’d rather keep it and fix whatever needs to be fixed in it.

Donald Trump blamed the failure of the AHCA last week on Congressional Democrats, but voters aren’t buying that. Just 31% think Democrats are responsible for the bill’s failure, to 52% who pin the blame on Congressional Republicans. Trump may be losing out to Democrats on this issue, but he’s coming out ahead on the health care blame game within his own party. Overall voters blame Paul Ryan more than Trump for the failure of the AHCA, 42/33. But specifically among GOP voters, 54% blame Ryan to only 13% who pin the blame on Trump.

This issue has made Paul Ryan into the most unpopular politician in the country. At the start of the Trump administration he had a 33% approval rating, with 43% of voters disapproving of him. Now his approval has plunged to 21%, with his disapproval spiking all the way up to 61%. Ryan’s particularly seen his image crater with Trump voters- what was a 53/23 approval rating with them in mid-January is now negative at 35/41.

Congress as a whole isn’t doing too well in the wake of the health care discussion, with its approval rating as a body standing at 11%, with 68% of voters disapproving of it. Mitch McConnell has a 19% approval rating, with 54% of voters disapproving of him but for the first time ever that at least gives him a better net approval rating than Ryan has. Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot 48-43 at this early point in the cycle.


Our new poll gives a clear picture of just how damaging continued revelations about Russia could be to Donald Trump’s political standing. As it stands a plurality of voters- 44%- think Trump’s campaign team worked in association with Russia to help Trump win the election for President. 42% don’t think it did, and another 14% are unsure. We find that if evidence comes out that proves conclusively that members of Trump’s campaign team worked in association with Russia to help him win the election, 53% of voters think he should resign to only 39% who believe he should continue to serve as President. Already 44% of voters support impeaching Trump to 45% who are opposed to impeachment, and these numbers suggest that more Russia revelations could very well lead to majority support for impeachment.

Voters are taking the issue pretty seriously. 62% support an independent investigation into Russia’s involvement with the election, to only 28% who are opposed. That’s an outgrowth of 60% of voters believing that Russia wanted Trump to win the election last year, to 22% who think it wanted Hillary Clinton win. (Although among Trump voters, 41% say Russia wanted Clinton to win to only 26% who say it wanted Trump to win.) Just 39% of voters consider the Russia story to be ‘fake news,’ to 48% who say it’s not. And as we’ve consistently found in our polling both Russia as a whole (13/64 favorability) and Vladimir Putin specifically (9/72 favorability) are very unpopular.


We took an early look ahead to 2020 and how Trump would match up right now against some hypothetical Democratic opponents for reelection. He trails Joe Biden 54/40, Bernie Sanders 52/41, Elizabeth Warren 48/43, Al Franken 46/41, and Cory Booker 45/42 in head to head match ups. Biden (56/33 favorability) and Sanders (53/36) are among the most popular political figures in the country. Voters are more divided on Warren (42/39) and Franken (34/34). Booker is not as well known nationally as the rest of this group yet, coming in at 27/24.

Other Notes:

-Voters continue to have a lot of the same transparency concerns about Trump that they’ve had ever since he took office. 61% think he should release his tax returns, to just 33% who don’t think it’s necessary for him to. On a related note 58% of voters would support a law requiring that a candidate for President release 5 years of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot, to 33% opposed to that. Additionally, 64% of voters think Trump should fully divest himself from his business interests, to only 30% who don’t think he should.

-Trump continues to come out on the wrong side when it comes to who voters trust more between him and the media outlets he’s attacked most recently. By a 54/39 spread voters say NBC has more credibility than Trump, 53/38 they say ABC has more credibility than Trump, and 53/39 they say CNN has more credibility than Trump.

-Voters continue to be uninterested in paying for the wall with Mexico. Only 37% support it if American taxpayers have to front the cost for it, to 55% who are opposed to the wall in that case.

-Only 30% of voters think Barack Obama tapped Trump’s phone during the election last year, to 59% who don’t think Trump did that. Among Trump voters though, 62% think Obama did tap Trump’s phone to 18% who don’t believe he did. When it comes to their conflicting sides of the story, voters say they trust Obama more than Trump 53/42. That’s an outgrowth of general trust issues Trump is facing with voters though- only 39% consider him to be honest compared to 55% who say he’s dishonest. And in fact 50% of voters come right out and say they think Trump is a liar, compared to 44% who disagree with that characterization.

-Trump recently said that not a lot of people know Abraham Lincoln was a Republican but as it turns out, a lot of people do know. 62% of voters correctly say that Lincoln was a Republican to only 12% who think he was a Democrat, 5% who think he was another party, 4% who think he was a Whig, and 16% who aren’t sure. As it turns out Clinton voters (63%) are ever so slightly more likely to say that Lincoln was a Republican than Trump voters (62%) are.

-Finally we find that Americans are pretty closely split when it comes to who they want to win the national championship in basketball this weekend- 21% go for North Carolina, 17% for Oregon, 14% for Gonzaga, and 11% for South Carolina. 37% say they don’t have a preference.

Full results here

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