National Survey Finds Approval Ratings for Trump at Less than 50 Percent

March 20, 2017

President Trump speaking on the telephone A new nonpartisan survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) reveals dissatisfaction on several points with the new Trump presidential administration as well as a broadly held belief that the nation is divided more than ever before.

The survey was conducted nationally among 1,073 adults between March 3 and 11, 2017, a few weeks into the new Trump presidency. A parallel survey was conducted in Florida among 507 respondents in the same time period.

National results show that 44.1 percent either strongly approve or somewhat approve of the job Donald J. Trump is doing as president. By contrast, 51.2 percent either somewhat or strongly disapprove—with the strongly disapproving group accounting for 40.4 percent.    

“President Trump’s approval rating is historically low for someone at the beginning of their term,” said Frank Orlando, political scientist and director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute. “While part of this appears to be caused by the administration’s shaky start in several key areas, it is also caused by a hyper-polarized environment.  Republicans approve of President Trump at an 86.5 percent clip, while Democrats only give him 15.2 percent approval.  These percentages are unlikely to change very much over time, barring a major event.”

The poll also shows 82.1 percent of respondents agree the nation is more divided than ever before. That sentiment is felt across political leanings. Among respondents who say they are conservative, 83 percent say the country is more divided, while 79.6 percent who identified themselves as moderate, and 89.2 percent who say they are liberal, agree.

And yet, 49.4 percent say that despite a sense of division in their communities, they are optimistic about reducing political discord.

Regarding another important political topic in the news, the survey found that 50.4 percent either strongly or somewhat support the nomination by President Trump of federal Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S Supreme Court. Confirmation hearings for the Gorsuch appointment are underway in the U.S. Senate.

Other parts of the survey revealed the public’s views of other key appointments in the Trump administration. Respondents also answered approval questions about specific parts of the president’s job performance, ranging from support for the military to revamping the Affordable Care Act and dealing with other nations. Full details are on the polling microsite http://polls.saintleo.edu under the section heading Poll Reports. 

Photo credit: These images are from official White House photographs.