Trump’s Low “First 100 Days” Approval Driven Largely by Democrats

President Trump is fast approaching the famed First 100 Days marker of his presidency.  April 29th will mark not only one hundred days since Trump took the oath of office, but also one hundred days’ worth of insights into how Americans generally view his presidency thus far.

The most recent Gallup tracker among American adults has Trump’s approval rating at 40% approve/54% disapprove – considerably below previous presidents’ approval ratings at roughly the same point in their presidencies.  The chart below contains Gallup’s post-First 100 Days job approval ratings for elected presidents (thus excluding Lyndon Johnson & Gerald Ford) going back to Dwight Eisenhower.  It illustrates the extent of Trump’s challenges in the court of public opinion:

 

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Another useful Gallup measure particular to new presidents is the first quarter average job approval rating, encompassing a broader view of a president’s job performance than simply one rating taken one hundred days in. Here, too, the data show the extent of Trump’s challenges among American adults, with his average approval rating since January 20 standing at 41%. The chart below details the average first quarter job approval rating for presidents going back to Eisenhower:

 

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Trump’s low [near-] First 100 Days approval rating and low average quarterly approval rating are driven by record low approval (using the quarterly average data) from Americans of the opposite party – in this case, Democrats.  Again, Gallup offers interesting historical data going back to Eisenhower.  These data are displayed in the chart below:

 

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In keeping with historical trends, Trump is a rock star among members of his own party.  Trump’s low approval rating among Democrats isn’t necessarily shocking: as the data illustrate, a majority of Americans of the party opposite the president have not approved of the president’s job performance for over 40 years, since Jimmy Carter’s first quarter as president.  Indeed the average approval rating of the president among the opposite party in the first quarter has hovered around 30% since 1993. Nonetheless, Trump’s 9% approval among Democrats is 35 points below average (44%) and is the main driver behind his average quarterly approval rating of 41%.

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