Trump ends historically unpopular presidency with 34% approval

Mr Trump's high point in the Gallup survey came early last year, following his acquittal by the Senate in his first impeachment trial. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump's approval rating has dropped to 34 per cent in a Gallup poll released on Monday (Jan 18), the low point of a presidency that already had the weakest average approval rating of any of his predecessors since the survey began in the 1940s.

The new Gallup numbers, based on a poll that began just before the assault on the Capitol on Jan 6, show Mr Trump's approval rating falling 12 percentage points since before the Nov 3 election.

The drop mirrors other polls that show a significant loss of support in the final two weeks of his presidency, which included not only the riot he egged on but the unprecedented second impeachment.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Mr Trump with a 39.8 per cent approval rating, down 4 percentage points since the Capitol attack.

Gallup's numbers give the most historical perspective, measuring Mr Trump against his last 12 predecessors, going back to Harry S. Truman.

Mr Trump's final approval rating of 34 per cent is the same received by presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter in their final Gallup polls. Truman was the lowest at 32 per cent.

President Barack Obama left office with a 59 per cent approval rating.

Mr Trump's average approval rating across his term, 41.1 per cent, is the lowest measured by Gallup, 4 percentage points lower than Truman's.

Mr Trump's approval numbers are also characterised by highly polarised views of his presidency.

The Gallup poll released on Monday shows that he gets positive ratings from 4 per cent of Democrats, 30 per cent of independents and 82 per cent of Republicans - a gap of 78 percentage points. Over the course of his presidency, the average gap has been 81 percentage points, larger than any president in history.

Mr Trump never received the "honeymoon" other presidents get after their inauguration, and his approval rating remained in a narrow 15-point band during his entire presidency.

His high point in the Gallup survey came early last year, following his acquittal by the Senate in his first impeachment trial, and during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

But his standing took a hit last summer, following the nationwide protests sparked by the police killing of black American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews of 1,023 adults conducted from Jan 4 to 15, 2021, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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