Donald Trump ends historically unpopular presidency with 34% approval

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 34% in a Gallup poll released Monday, the low point of a presidency that already had the weakest average approval rating of any of his predecessors since the survey began in the 1940s. The new Gallup numbers, based on a poll that began just before the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, show Trump’s approval rating falling 12 percentage points since before the Nov. 3 election.

The drop mirrors other polls that show a significant loss of support in the final two weeks of his presidency, which included not only the riot he egged on but the unprecedented second impeachment. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Trump with a 39.8% approval rating, down 4 percentage points since the Capitol attack.

Gallup’s numbers give the most historical perspective, measuring Trump against his last 12 predecessors, going back to Harry S Truman. Trump’s final approval rating of 34% is the same received by Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter in their final Gallup polls. Truman was the lowest at 32%.

President Barack Obama left office with a 59% approval rating.

Trump’s average approval rating across his term, 41.1%, is the lowest measured by Gallup, 4 percentage points lower than Truman.

Trump’s approval numbers are also characterized by highly polarized views of his presidency. The Gallup poll released Monday shows that he gets positive ratings from 4% of Democrats, 30% of independents and 82% of Republicans — a gap of 78 percentage points. Over the course of his presidency, the average gap has been 81 percentage points, larger than any president in history.

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Trump never received the “honeymoon” other presidents get after their inauguration, and his approval rating remained in a narrow 15-point band during his entire presidency. His high point in the Gallup survey came early last year, following his acquittal by the Senate in his first impeachment trial, and during the early days of the cornonavirus pandemic.

But his standing took a hit last summer, following the nationwide protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews of 1,023 adults conducted Jan. 4-15, 2021, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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