Trump approval at (almost) six-months

Donald Trump’s approval trend has remained well below previous newly elected presidents through mid-July. Trump has consistently remained within about 2 points of 40 percent approval since the beginning of his second month in office, with a current trend estimate of 38,9%.

Bill Clinton also suffered low approval ratings for part of his early months, though not as consistently low as Trump’s have been. In July Clinton’s approval-disapproval readings were 45-48 7/9-11/93 and 42-49 7/19-21/93. His 6 month low was 37-49 6/5-6/93. This was also his all time low for his entire presidency.

Gerald Ford, though not an elected president and hence not included in the chart above, also fell off in approval near the end of his first six-months with readings of 38-43 1/31-2/3/75 and 39-45 2/28-3/3/75. His six month low was 37-39 1/10-13/75, also his all time low.

The chart below shows when each president reached his all time low approval reading. Clinton and Ford both hit 37% in the first six months, but never returned to those lows. Trump hit 35-59 in one Gallup poll so far, 3/26-28/17, but has not broken that low since.

While no other president has been as consistently low as Trump in the first half year, seven post-war presidents have equaled or exceeded his low mark at some point in their terms. Given his start, there is ample historical evidence that approval can fall into the 20s at some point.

The data used here are from Gallup polls, which have maintained a consistent wording of the approval question and have the longest historical time series. Polls by other pollsters may differ from these records based on the Gallup data. The Trump and Obama data are based on Gallup’s daily (3-day rolling sample) polling of presidential approval.

Data for all post-war presidents around July or 6 months into term.

Ike 69-15 7/4-9/53
Ike 73-13 7/25-30/53

JFK 72-14 6/23-28/61
JFK 75-12 7/27-8/1/61

LBJ 74-12 6/4-9/64
LBJ 74-14 6/11-16/64

RMN 58-22 7/10-15/69
RMN 63-21 7/24-29/69

GRF 38-43 1/31-2/3/75
GRF 39-45 2/28-3/3/75
** GRF 6 month low 37-39 1/10-13/75

JEC 62-22 7/8-11/77
JEC 67-17 7/22-25/77

RR 60-29 7/17-20/81
RR 56-30 7/24-27/81

GHWB 67-18 7/6-9/89
GHWB 69-19 8/10-13/89

WJC 45-48 7/9-11/93
WJC 42-49 7/19-21/93
** WJC 6 month low 37-49 6/5-6/93

GWB 57-35 7/10-11/01
GWB 56-33 7/19-22/01

BHO 60-33 7/15-17/09
BHO 55-41 7/17-19/09

Gallup Daily
DJT 40-55 7/9-11/17
DJT 38-56 7/13-15/17

Gallup Weekly
DJT 38-57 7/3-9/09
DJT 39-56 7/10-16/09