WASHINGTON — Donald Trump started as the most unpopular new president in the history of modern polling. After seven months, things have only gotten worse.
Plunging into undesirably uncharted territory, Trump is setting records with his dismally low approval ratings, including the lowest mark ever for a president in his first year. In fact, with four months left in the year, Trump has already spent more time under 40 percent than any other first-year president.
At 34 percent, his current approval rating is worse than President Barack Obama’s ever was.
Trump’s early descent in the polls defies some longstanding patterns about how Americans view their president. Such plunges are often tied to external forces that the president only partially controls, such as a sluggish economy or an all-consuming international crisis. In Trump’s case, the economy is humming and the foreign crises have been kept to a minimum.
Americans also tend to be optimistic about their new leaders, typically cutting them some slack during their early days in office. Not with Trump.
“Most presidents begin with a honeymoon period and then go down from that, and Trump had no honeymoon,” said Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport.
It’s a jarring juxtaposition for the reality TV star-turned-president who spent months on the campaign trail obsessing about his poll numbers and reading them to massive rally crowds while vowing that he’d win so much as president that Americans would get…
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