In the wake of deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11 and President Donald Trump’s widely condemned reaction blaming both white supremacists and counterprotesters for the violence, several new surveys show that a majority of Americans disapprove of the way the president is leading the country.
New polls from Fox News, NBC News/SurveyMonkey, and Pew Research Center — all conducted after the president spoke out about Charlottesville — found that most Americans broadly disapprove of Trump’s conduct or are dissatisfied with his performance in the past few weeks. The responses to these polls offer some insight into Trump’s current poor overall approval numbers; the latest Gallup “Trump job approval” poll found Trump had a 34 percent approval rating and a 60 percent disapproval rating — as low as his approval rating has ever been.
The new Fox News poll, published Wednesday, showed that just 35 percent of respondents said they are happy with the country’s direction, a low it hadn’t recorded since 2013, when President Barack Obama’s poll numbers fell amid a government shutdown and a rocky rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act. Sixty-four percent of respondents in the Fox News poll said they were dissatisfied with America’s trajectory.
Much of that dissatisfaction has to do with President Trump, the Fox poll found; 56 percent of voters said Trump is “tearing the country apart,” and 55 percent said they disapprove of his job performance as president. Just 33 percent of overall respondents said they believe the president is bringing America together. (The poll, which only highlighted Republican attitudes on that issue, found 68 percent of Republicans in agreement on that.)
The same poll showed that sentiments of dissatisfaction are largely tied to Trump’s rhetoric after Charlottesville. Trump’s poll numbers on how he’s handling race relations are low; just 33 percent of respondents approve of Trump’s conduct on that issue, while 61 percent disapprove. More than half of the voters polled said they don’t think Trump respects minorities, and just a third of respondents approved of his response to Charlottesville.
The Fox News poll comes a few days after a Pew Research Center poll was released, showing that Americans — including a majority of Republicans — have either “mixed feelings” or don’t like “the way Donald Trump conducts himself as president.” The poll, which ran from August 15 to 21, found 58 percent of those surveyed said they did not like Trump’s conduct, 25 percent had mixed feelings, and just 16 percent said they approved.
Breaking the numbers down: 19 percent of Republicans said they don’t like his conduct, 46 reported “mixed” feelings about Trump’s behavior, and just 34 percent said they do like his conduct. Democrats were far more unified, with 89 percent saying they didn’t like Trump’s behavior, 8 percent reporting mixed feelings, and a tiny 2 percent approving.
The Pew poll participants were also asked about issues America faces and whether they agreed with Trump on any of these issues — though it did not break out individual issues.
Out of those surveyed, 45 percent agreed with the president on “no or almost no” issues, while another 21 percent said they agreed on just “a few.” Only 31 percent of Republicans said they agreed with Trump on all or nearly all issues, while 30 percent agreed on few or no issues. Meanwhile, 77 percent of Democrats and leaning Democrats say they do not agree with Trump on issues facing America.
A new NBCNews/SurveyMonkey poll, published Thursday found Trump’s approval rating hovering at 36 percent, with a 61 percent disapproval rating. The survey did not break down approval rating by political party.
The NBCNews/SurveyMonkey poll ran from August 24 to 29, and tackled more recent issues in the news. About 34 percent of respondents said they agreed with Trump’s decision to pardon Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and 30 percent said they agreed with Trump on potentially ending an Obama-era policy that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation (many of whom are now the adult parents of US born children themselves).
The overall picture these polls paint is that in August, as Trump repeatedly catered to his core supporters, it seems to have cost him broader support. The Fox News poll bears this out; since Fox started tracking the president’s approval after his inauguration, his approval rating among conservatives has dropped 7 points.