It’s no secret that President Donald Trump has low approval ratings. But just how low are they? According to the most recent polling, no other modern president has been rated so poorly at their six-month mark than Trump has.
Just 36 percent of Americans approve of the job that President Trump is doing so far, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll that came out over the weekend. His disapproval rating is similarly worrisome: 58 percent of Americans are unhappy with his job performance since he assumed office in January.
Trump was quick to respond to this dismal news on his favorite means of communication, his Twitter account, saying that his rating wasn’t actually that bad, and adding that the ABC poll was the most inaccurate during the presidential election last fall.
The ABC/Washington Post Poll, even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017
Trump rounded up his 36 percent approval rating to “almost 40 percent,” which is outside the margin of error for the poll. Still, to assume that 40 percent is “not bad at this time” disregards where former presidents were sitting at during this point in their first six months in office.
Since 1945, only one other president had such low approval numbers in their first six months in office — President Gerald Ford, who had a 35 percent approval rating after he pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon. But Ford’s disapproval was significantly lower than Trump’s, at 41 percent according to FiveThirtyEight.com.
Several other presidents were well-above 50 percent approval in their first six months, including Barack Obama (56 percent), George W. Bush (52 percent), Ronald Reagan (58 percent) and Jimmy Carter (62 percent). Bill Clinton had a 46 percent approval rating as well as a 46 percent disapproval rating.
Assessing the second point in Trump’s tweet shows he’s even more wrong about his assumptions. The ABC News poll wasn’t that far off of what actually happened. Though it predicted a Hillary Clinton victory, it was assessing a popular vote outcome, not the Electoral College. And from that perspective, it was only off by a very minimal standard: it predicted at 47 percent victory for Clinton, and a 43 percent loss for Trump. Clinton ended up winning the popular vote by 48 percent, while Trump received 46 percent.