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Politics

Snapshot: 4 in 10 Still Strongly Disapprove of Trump

by Megan Brenan
Snapshot: 4 in 10 Still Strongly Disapprove of Trump

Story Highlights

  • 40% strongly disapprove of Trump's job performance; 27% strongly approve
  • Strength of approval has been stable since just after his inauguration

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Despite a challenging week in which his former lawyer pleaded guilty to federal charges and his former campaign chairman was convicted of eight crimes, Donald Trump's job approval rating and the intensity of Americans' opinions of him are stable. His latest approval rating is 41% and disapproval is 54%. Twenty-seven percent of Americans "strongly" approve of Trump's job performance and 40% strongly disapprove, on par with the three previous readings Gallup has recorded since February 2017, shortly after he took office.

Strength of Trump Approval Stable
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or only moderately?
February 2017 May 2018 July 2018 August 2018
% % % %
Approve strongly 27 26 26 27
Approve moderately 15 16 15 14
Disapprove moderately 12 13 11 14
Disapprove strongly 41 41 43 40
GALLUP

Background: Gallup has measured the intensity of presidential job approval on occasion dating back to 1965, and the latest reading is from an Aug. 20-26 survey. Majorities of both those who approve and those who disapprove of Trump do so strongly. However, a higher proportion of disapprovers (74%) than approvers (66%) feel strongly about their opinions of the president.

In the 84 times Gallup has measured strength of job approval, only two presidents have registered higher strong disapproval than Trump's 40%: Richard Nixon (48% strongly disapproved of Nixon in February 1974, as he was mired in the Watergate crisis) and George W. Bush (44% in February 2006, as opposition to the Iraq War in the U.S. escalated). Both of those readings came during the president's sixth year in office, as did Barack Obama's highest reading of 39% strong disapproval. (Bush also registered 43% strong disapproval in December 2005, at the end of his fifth year.)

Just as the intensity of approval of Trump's job performance has been flat throughout his presidency thus far, there has been little meaningful change in the opinions of key subgroups.

  • Sixty-eight percent of Republicans strongly approve of Trump's job performance, while an even larger 77% of Democrats strongly disapprove. The same pattern is seen in the opinions of Americans who consider themselves very conservative and very liberal.

  • While roughly four in 10 Americans across age groups strongly disapprove of Trump, majorities of those under age 50 disapprove overall, but those 50 and older are about equally likely to approve as disapprove.

  • Two-thirds of African-Americans and 42% of Hispanics strongly disapprove, but non-Hispanic whites are roughly evenly split between the two extremes.

  • Majorities of college graduates (54%) strongly disapprove, but those without college degrees are about equally likely to choose one of the two extremes.

  • While pluralities of men (36%) and women (43%) strongly disapprove of Trump, men are slightly more likely than women to strongly approve, 30% to 25%.

Strength of Job Approval/Disapproval of Donald Trump, by Subgroup
Approve strongly Approve moderately Disapprove moderately Disapprove strongly
% % % %
All adults 27 14 14 40
Party ID
Republican 68 17 8 6
Independent 17 17 20 38
Democrat 4 6 11 77
Ideology
Very conservative 63 16 9 11
Conservative 49 21 10 16
Moderate 17 15 19 44
Liberal 5 5 11 76
Very liberal 4 8 11 72
Age
18-29 8 18 30 40
30-49 27 13 13 40
50-64 36 14 8 38
65+ 35 12 7 43
Race/Ethnicity
Non-Hispanic white 36 16 10 34
Non-Hispanic black 5 9 17 66
Hispanic 9 10 28 42
Education
College graduate 22 10 11 54
Not college graduate 30 16 15 33
Gender
Male 30 16 12 36
Female 25 12 16 43
GALLUP, Aug. 20-26, 2018
Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 20-26, 2018, on the Gallup U.S. Poll, with a random sample of 1,509 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Poll works.

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