One year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States he has one of the lowest year-end approval ratings in history, yet his supporters still wouldn’t have it any other way, according to a new poll.
Trump’s approval rating after his first year in office is about 39 percent, according to a new poll out of Emerson College Polling Society (and his first-year approval record was the worst of the most recent seven presidents, according to Gallup). Fifty-two percent of voters disapprove of his job performance, per the Emerson poll.
That approval rating is down from 48 percent (and a 47 percent disapproval) recorded by an Emerson poll in Feb. 2017.
But though his overall approval rating has slipped, Trump’s core base hasn’t swayed in their support.
When asked, if given the opportunity, would they change how they voted in 2016, only 12 percent of Trump voters said that they would cast their presidential election ballot differently.
“It looks like his base is still intact, yet approval is low,” said Spencer Kimball, advisor of the Emerson College Polling Society. “The way I explained it was like a person not doing a good job, but people are saying, ‘give them another chance.’ They’re disappointed, but [the person] is not fireable.”
Though Trump’s approval rating seems low, Kimball noted that George W. Bush left office in 2009 with an approval rating of 22 percent.
“So [Trump’s] got a little room to drop,” Kimball said. “His policies, they really haven't set in, so it’s hard for him to make the case that any of his policies are generally positive for people, until they see more of the results.”
That could change, Kimball noted, with the tax reform bill set to shake things up in the coming months — though more than 41 percent of voters are not supportive of the tax plan, according to the Emerson poll.
The poll also asked voters if they thought Trump was a “mentally stable person,” or “a mentally unstable person.” The results were pretty split, with 43 percent saying Trump was mentally stable and 45 percent saying he was mentally unstable.
There’s no benchmark to compare this too, unfortunately — as in, Kimball doesn’t have numbers on the population that thought President Barack Obama was mentally stable. But the results still seemed high to him, and the fact that this question was included in this poll at all is telling.
“These are definitely different issues that are coming to light in this administration,” he said. “We knew that it was going to be a different type of administration, based on his campaign and his disruptive policies. Now, we’re seeing it in the topics being discussed by the population, so we have to think about how to ask questions to really gauge public opinion.”
We’ll just have to wait and see what year two of Trump’s presidency holds.