Donald Trump wants to be seen as a popular president, which leads him to seek out polling data, cherry-pick the outlier results that tell him what he wants to hear, and tout the satisfying data with great vigor.
In reality, however, Trump continues to struggle in ways we’ve never seen in a new American president.
At 36 percent, Mr. Trump’s approval rating is now his lowest in CBS News Polls since becoming president. Fifty-seven percent now disapprove.
The drop in the President’s approval rating is partially due to ebbing support among Republicans. Seventy-two percent approve of the job Mr. Trump is doing, a decline of eleven points since April.
It’s that second part that stands out as notable. The fact that the CBS News poll shows the president’s overall approval rating in the mid-30s isn’t especially noteworthy – that’s roughly in line with most other major polls of late – but the more Trump’s support slips with voters from his own party, the more significant the political impact.
CBS News’ report added that other recent presidents have seen their support drop to similar levels with their party’s voters, which is true. What’s also true, however, is that Trump’s recent predecessors didn’t have a 72% approval rating among their ostensible partisan allies five months into their first term.
To be sure, this is obviously just one poll, but it’s not the only one that’s shown Trump’s support among Republicans looking shaky, and if other surveys start pointing in this direction, the White House will have a problem for which there is no solution.
Remember, rank-and-file GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill have a very strong incentive to toe the party line and follow Trump’s lead: the most rabid contingents of the Republican base support the president, and GOP officials who break ranks risk a backlash – or a primary challenge.
But the more Trump’s standing among Republican voters slips, the less Republican lawmakers feel electoral pressure to be a “team player.”