Donald Trump's Approval Rating Is Lower Than Barack Obama's Was Before Democrats Were Crushed in Midterm Elections

trump rally
President Donald Trump speaks during an election rally in Murphysboro, Illinois, on October 27. Trump’s approval rating dropped 4 points just one week before the highly contested midterm elections. Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's approval rating dropped 4 points in one week, indicating that only 40 percent of Americans view the president favorably heading into the highly contested midterm elections.

Gallup's weekly approval rating tracker put the president's approval rating this week at 40 percent, down from 44 percent the previous week. During that same time period, Trump's disapproval rating jumped to 54 percent from 50 percent.

The tracker, based on weekly telephone polls with 1,500 national adults, has never indicated an approval rating for the president above 45 percent in the nearly two years he has occupied the Oval Office.

According to Gallup's polling history, Trump's predecessor was slightly more popular at the same time period in his presidency. Former President Barack Obama had a 45 percent approval rating one week out from the 2010 midterms. Even with Obama's higher approval rating, Democrats lost a whopping 63 House seats to hand Republicans the majority in the chamber.

In this election cycle, Democrats are already expected to win back control of the House of Representatives by flipping over 23 Republican-held seats. But the GOP is strongly favored to maintain a majority in the Senate, where they currently hold a two-seat lead over their liberal counterparts. The substantial drop in the president's approval rating may not bode well for Republicans, as Trump has been the biggest campaigner for vulnerable GOP candidates over the past few months.

The Gallup survey was conducted during a turbulent week for the country, with mail bomb attacks and mass shootings leaving Americans on edge. Last week the FBI and Secret Service worked in tandem to track down and arrest a Florida man charged with sending potentially explosive packages to over a dozen high-profile Democrats and Trump critics, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. None of the devices detonated, and no one was injured in the incidents.

Trump first responded to the attacks with a call for civility, but then immediately began blaming the media for the country's atmosphere of "anger." He also implied that the terror campaign had taken the spotlight away from some of his administration's big announcements ahead of the midterm elections, like his campaign to lower drug prices.

Then, on Saturday, a mass shooting occurred during a prayer service at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead. Police are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

Trump called the shooting an "absolute shame" but then went on to criticize the synagogue for not having better security. He suggested to reporters before boarding Air Force One on Saturday that if the synagogue had an armed guard that maybe no one would have been killed by the gunman.

His remarks were met with backlash and both the Pittsburgh mayor and former rabbi of the Tree of Life suggested that Trump not visit the city until after the funerals for the victims. But the president and first lady Melania Trump are due to arrive in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.