Trump’s approval rating hits historic low, poll says

As he approaches the first anniversary of his election victory over Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have hit historic lows.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 59 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of the presidency — the worst of any president at nine months in office since modern polling began. Of those who disapprove, 50 percent say they do so strongly. Only 37 percent of those polled approve of Trump’s performance in office.

Trump is the first president since Harry Truman to see a net-negative approval at this point in his term, according to The Washington Post. Former President Bill Clinton had the next worst, with a net positive of 11 points.

A record percentage of respondents (65 percent) do not think that Trump is “honest and trustworthy,” up from 58 percent in April 2017, while a third say he does have these characteristics. Two-thirds say they do not think Trump “has the kind of personality and temperament it takes to serve effectively as president.”

Expectations for Trump’s presidency have also dropped significantly since before he took office in January. Prior to his inauguration, 61 percent thought he’d do an excellent or good job on the economy, while only 44 percent feel he is doing that well now. Fifty-six percent expected he’d do good work dealing with terrorism, while only 43 percent say he is doing so now. Expectations on his handling of race relations have dropped 12 percent; on improving the health care system, they’ve dropped by 18 percent.

A majority of those polled think Trump has accomplished “little or nothing” during his first nine months in office. Less than four in 10 respondents believe he has kept most of his major campaign promises. Fifty-three percent say America’s leadership in the world has gotten weaker under Trump, while 26 percent say it has gotten stronger, and 20 percent say it has remained the same.

As Trump begins his five-country trip through Asia, where much of the conversation is expected to center on countering North Korea’s nuclear threat, only about a third (32 percent) say they trust him to handle the issue responsibly; 51 percent have no trust in him at all on North Korea and another 16 percent say they trust him “just some.”

As special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team intensifies, a majority (58 percent) approve of Mueller’s handling of the investigation; 28 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, 68 percent say they approve of the charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

A majority (51 percent) do not believe the President is cooperating with the Mueller investigation; 37 percent say he is. Trump has said he does not intend to fire Mueller.

Regarding the charges against Manafort, former campaign staffer Rick Gates, and former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, 53 percent think they represent broader wrongdoing in the Trump campaign; 28 percent say they show wrongdoing only from those three individuals and 19 percent have no opinion. Manafort and Gates both pleaded not guilty to their charges, while Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI.

A little less than half of respondents (49 percent) think Trump “committed a crime in connection with possible Russian attempts to influence the election,” but only 19 percent of that group think there is “solid evidence” of such a crime; 30 percent say their belief is based on suspicion only. According to the poll, 44 percent think it is unlikely that the President committed a crime.