Trump's first-year report card: Voters say he's no genius

Cheryl Sanders
January 19, 2018

Disapproval rates for the USA have changed accordingly, beginning at 34 percent in Bush's last year and then dropping into the 20s throughout the Obama administration, and now spiking to 43 percent after year one under Trump. The new finding contrasts to the frequent rebuke by U.S. politicians of China's growing global influence. The world's approval of US leadership in 2017 dropped 18 percentage points from 2016, the last year of President Barack Obama's administration, and was four points lower than in 2008, the final year of President George W. Bush's administration, which had been the previous nadir.

Despite the record low approval of US leadership, respondents still they have a favorable view of Americans and still believe in American opportunity.

The US now ranks behind China in worldwide approval ratings in a survey conducted on 134 countries, obtaining the lowest marks ever since Gallup began canvassing opinions in 2007. Harry S. Truman held the approval of less than 40 percent of Americans for significant chunks of his first term and was also re-elected.

Out of 134 countries, US leadership approval ratings declined substantially - by 10 percentage points or more - in 65 countries that include many longtime USA allies and partners - and aspiring US partners. This disparagement has created a ripple effect with US citizens, with only 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media, according to recent Gallup poll numbers.

"However the world feels about US leadership, it hasn't affected how the world feels about the American dream", Clifton said. In 2016, half the country approved of American leadership.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush enjoyed comparably high approval ratings: 84 per cent for Mr Bush (following a huge surge in support after the September 11 terrorist attacks) and 55 per cent for Mr Clinton.

The poll he referenced, conducted by the typically right-leaning Rasmussen Reports, was in fact an outlier among other polls; Obama's overall approval rating was almost four points higher than Trump's. It declined substantially in 21 out of the 28 current members of the European Union. Between March and November 2017, residents in 134 countries or areas were asked to rate U.S., German and Russian leadership, and residents in 135 countries or areas were asked to rate the leadership of China.

It's also unlikely that Trump's approval ratings will go up at the moment, since he's still dealing with the controversy surrounding his remarks about "people from sh*thole countries". In Asia, approval dropped to 30%, tying the previous low that Gallup measured during the Bush administration.

In another AP-NORC poll conducted late in 2017, just 23 percent of Americans said he has kept the promises he made while running for president, while 30 percent said he's tried and failed and 45 percent said he has not done so at all.

It would seem that Trump's approval ratings quote is a spin based on a recent Breitbart piece that positively compares his 2016 vote share to his approval ratings. Nineteen percent of voters said his work will remain the same.

The poll results infer that president trump has a median approval rating of just 39% since he took office barely a year ago.

"In doing so, he walked away from key institutions and alliances in 2017 that he felt didn't serve United States interests, including abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and withdrawing from the global climate agreement". He walked out of talks on a new trade and investment deal with Europe and has threatened to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Germany is now seen as a global leader by many more people (41% of the sample), with China in second place on 31%.

Trump's numbers were last seen in the final years of the Bush administration when the figures were in the mid-30s.

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