100 Days Of Bummer: Trump’s Record-Low Polls

The president who lost the popular vote has an approval rating that is far below his predecessors'

Getty Images
Apr 28, 2017 at 2:57 PM ET

President Trump may be very satisfied with his accomplishments after 100 days in office (he did get that Supreme Court seat filled!), but most of the people who put him there are not.

According to the Gallup poll, which has measured presidential approval ratings since Truman, Trump’s approval rating has been historically low for his entire time in office. His highest rating — 45 percent — is still 6 points lower than the second lowest rating achieved by a president during his first 100 days. Clinton, the first Bush, and Reagan all dipped to 51 percent. While Trump achieved his 45 percent high point in his first week in office, however, Bush and Reagan’s low points came in their inaugural polls (Clinton’s came in the middle of February). Which means that, while their approval ratings increased over time, Trump’s went in the opposite direction. But at least he appears to be on the rebound, having increased 3 points from his lowest approval rating of 38 percent.

Presidents Truman, Johnson, and Ford were not included here because they weren’t elected into office but assumed it. If they were, however, they’d also have bested Trump. Truman and Johnson’s approval ratings were nearly 40 points higher than Trump’s after 100 days, while Ford’s had plummeted to 48 percent in the closest poll to the 100 day mark.

But there is one Gallup approval poll where Trump ranks far higher than his predecessors. Unfortunately, it’s the disapproval rating. No president has come close to his numbers in the first 100 days in office, in which he hit a disapproval high of 57 percent. His most recent rating is 52 percent. The second-highest disapproval rating around the 100 day mark, by contrast, was Clinton with a relatively low 37.

Again, this doesn’t include Truman, Johnson, or Ford, but all three had much lower disapproval ratings than Trump. Even Ford, whose approval rating would be second-lowest of all the presidents, had just a 32 percent disapproval rating at the closest poll to his Day 100.

While this particular set of statistics doesn’t look great for Trump, it may not mean much for his long-term success (or failure): presidents with initial high approval ratings and low disapproval ratings have gone on to win their bids for re-election; they have also gone on to lose them. And one went on to resign from office. Plus, Trump’s passionate supporters are still happy with their choice: a recent poll found that just 2 percent of people who voted for Trump regretted their decision, and a whopping 96 percent of Trump voters would vote for him again. But Trump voters are also not the majority in America, as he lost the popular vote by the widest margin ever, and nearly half of eligible Americans didn’t vote at all.

Any article about Trump and polls has to mention that nearly all of them predicted he would lose the election. Yet here he is, 100 days into his presidency — whether the majority of Americans like it or not.