President Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating among voters of the opposition party since modern polling began more than six decades ago. Just 8 percent of Democrats approve of the job Trump is doing, according to extensive polling conducted by the Pew Research Center in February, April and June.
The previous lowest figure during a president’s first year was the 22 percent, experienced by Bill Clinton. Barack Obama, who encountered severe opposition from Republicans, had a 23 percent approval rating among the opposition party in his first year in office, according to Pew data. Even when Obama left the White House in January, he had the support of 14 percent of Republicans, though at one point his number did dip as low as 6 percent.
In part, Trump’s numbers represent the growing partisan divide in the United States. Obama had a 62 percent gap in his approval rating among Republicans and Democrats, compared with just 32 percent as recently as the presidency of George H.W. Bush.
But under Trump that divide has gone to far greater extremes. Republicans responding to the Pew poll gave him an 88 percent approval rating, meaning there was an 80-point gap between the two parties.
Trump’s approval rating among members of his own party is consistent with that enjoyed by previous Republican presidents. George W. Bush enjoyed 89 percent support among Republicans in his first year.
There is little sign that Trump’s base is expanding, however. In the most recent polling by Gallup, Trump’s approval rating among Democrats stands at 7 percent. Meanwhile, his number among crucial independents has shrunk to 31 percent from the 42 percent he had when he entered office.
His base may be shrinking too. The president’s support among Republicans stands at 80 percent as of last week’s Gallup polling. That number has at least gone up from its low of 78 percent in the aftermath of his comments about the deadly violence surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Overall, Trump’s approval rating is at a historic low for a president in a first year in the White House. Trump’s most recent figure was 39 percent, almost 10 points lower than the previous worst support enjoyed by a president in October of a first year—Clinton’s 48 percent in 1993. At this point, Obama’s support stood at 53 percent.