By Mel Dikert
It has been about nine months since President Donald Trump was sworn into office. According to a poll done by the Washington Post, 59 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s performance in the office with 50 percent of those who say they “disapprove strongly”, leaving an approval rating of only 37 percent. The Washington Post said that this approval rating had not changed much over the past four months and it is “demonstrably lower than any previous chief executive at this point in his presidency over seven decades of polling.”
Trump’s current approval margin is at negative 22. At this point in the term, there has not been a U.S. President since President Harry Truman in the 1940s who has received a net-negative approval. Bill Clinton has the next worst approval margin recorded during that time with a net-positive of 11.
Caleb Dean (‘21) commented, “Honestly, I’m surprised that Clinton and Truman had such low rates. The facts about Trump don’t surprise me though. Look at what he’s actually accomplished versus what he claims and you’ll see a lot of inconsistency.”
More people were optimistic about Trump in the beginning–or at least more optimistic about him than the other candidates. At the 100-day mark of his presidency, 44 percent of Americans believed Trump was “keeping most of his major campaign promises” while 41 percent said he was not, reports the Washington Post. Now, however, the rate of disagreement has increased to 55 percent.
According to the poll, approval ratings have also severely declined in relation to four of Trump’s major campaign promises: the state of the economy, race relations, the health-care system and terrorism. While there have been large improvements in the state of America’s economy, people give Trump little to no credit for those improvements. Last January, 61 percent of Americans thought that Trump would handle the economy well, which is a stark contrast to the 44 percent who believe that now. Similarly, positive reviews of Trump’s dealing with the terrorism threats have declined from 56 percent to 43 percent since January.
Race and healthcare ratings are even lower. The Washington Post reported, “Fewer than 3 in 10 say he has done a good job dealing with race relations, which is 12 points below the 40 percent who said in January they thought he would handle race issues effectively.” Not only that, but 50 percent of Americans think Trump is biased against black people along with the 55 percent who believe he is biased against women. As for improving the health care system, approval ratings have dropped by 18 percent since January, according to CNN.
“Trump’s declining approval ratings should come as no surprise to anyone. He has a history of saying questionable things, making promises and conveniently forgetting that he said anything at all,” says Bri Vazquez Smith (‘19). She continued, “The only thing that he has effectively done was create a more divided nation and forced us to move backward on things like tolerance and acceptance of races and ethnicities, immigration, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and healthcare, and has helped perpetuate a hatred that is hiding behind the first amendment, but is blatant hate speech that should not be tolerated.”
Overall, President Trump appears to have failed to impress a vast majority of the people in America by not keeping his promises and his general conduct in the office.