President Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped to a new low, according to a Marist poll released Wednesday. But despite his low approval rating, he would win a hypothetical primary challenge from two potential rivals.
Just 35 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance, the lowest rating in the Marist poll since he took office in January. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they disapprove of his job performance, the survey's highest negative rating Trump has earned as president.
According to the poll, Trump’s job approval rating has dipped among Republicans by 12 percentage points since June from 91 percent in June to 79 percent now.
Sixty percent of respondents — including 1 in 5 Republicans — said they view Trump unfavorably. Only 34 percent said they have a favorable view of him.
Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said in a statement, “While Republicans are still largely in Trump’s corner, the cautionary tale for the president lies in the softening of support at his base.”
“Since his numbers among Democrats and independents are weak, a crack among his most ardent supporters is something Trump can ill afford,” Miringoff said.
The poll contained more concerning numbers for the president: 60 percent said they do not believe the president is honest and trustworthy, 75 percent called the president temperamental, and 64 percent said they are embarrassed by Trump’s behavior.
The vast majority of respondents — 72 percent — said the president’s prolific use of Twitter “is reckless and distracting,” while just 20 percent called Trump’s favorite method of communication “effective and informative.”
The poll found that Democrats lead Republicans, 47 percent to 40 percent heading into the 2018 midterm election. But despite these numbers, Trump would win a 2020 primary challenge from two hypothetical opponents.
Sixty-four percent of Republicans and Republican leaning independents said they would support Trump if he were challenged in a primary by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who would earn the support of 23 percent of respondents.
If Vice President Mike Pence were to challenge Trump for their party’s nomination, 56 percent would back Trump, while 33 percent would support Pence. The key here are independents who lean toward the Republican Party.
Among only Republican-leaning independents, Pence trails Trump by only 2 percentage points in a hypothetical 2020 primary.