President Donald Trump’s approval rating has sunk to its lowest point since he took office, with only 35 percent of Americans saying they viewed the job he’s done favorably, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The new Marist poll found that 55 percent disapprove of Trump after seven months on the job.
Trump saw a sizable dip in his polling numbers among “strong Republicans,” from 91 percent in June to 79 percent, which analysts said shows a crack in the base on which the president leans heavily.
“While Republicans are still largely in Trump’s corner, the cautionary tale for the president lies in the softening of support at his base,” said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Since his numbers among Democrats and independents are weak, a crack among his most ardent supporters is something Trump can ill afford.”
Pollsters conducted the survey between Aug. 8 and Aug. 12, the day violence broke out before a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Three people were killed and scores went home — or to the hospital — battered, bruised, and cut.
Lawmakers from both parties have roundly criticized Trump for a perceived weak response to the presence of neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups in the Charlottesville maelstrom.
The Marist poll surveyed 1,009 adults by landline and mobile telephones. The margin of error for the overall poll was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Among the 361 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents surveyed, the margin of error was plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.
Last week also saw an escalation of tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traded verbal threats of nuclear and missile attacks.
The episode did not seem to help Trump’s polling numbers.
Sixty-two percent, or nearly two in three people polled, said Trump’s decisions in world affairs have weakened the role of the U.S. on the world stage, up from 58 percent in June. Thirty-three percent said they believed the president has strengthened the United States’ international standing, including 67 percent of Republicans. But that number is down 9 points, from 76 percent, since June.
“[Republicans] are sending a clear message to the president about his role internationally,” Miringoff said. “More than six in 10 Americans, including a notable proportion of the president’s own party, think Trump is falling short on the global stage.”
Pyongyang indicated Tuesday that North Korea would stand down from its threats to lob missiles into the waters near the U.S. territory of Guam, and the world breathed a short sigh of relief. The president responded to the threats on Guam by tweeting last week that the U.S. was “locked and loaded,” and ready to respond in kind to any provocation.
Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to applaud Kim’s “very wise and well reasoned decision.”
Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
“The alternative,” the president added, “would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!”