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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

How low can he go?

by digby

We know that there's no depth to which Trump won't sink to insult someone if he thinks he needs to. Look at what he said to his political rivals in the campaign.

I'm talking about his approval rating:

Just 34% of the public approve of the job President Trump is doing, as his support among Republicans and independents tumbles, according to the April IBD/TIPP poll. Fifty six percent disapprove of the job he's doing. Approval ratings for a president haven't been this low since President Bush's last months in office.

Last month, 40% of independents approved of the job Trump is doing; just 29% approve today. Among Republicans, Trump's job approval is 74%, which represents a 14-point decline from last month.

The latest IBD/TIPP poll was taken from March 24-30, and includes responses from 904 people across the country, giving it a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points. The national sample of adults had 34% Democrats, 30% Republicans and 36% Independents.

Across the board, the poll has bad news for Trump.

He lost significant support among his strongest backers: white men (which dropped from 58% in March to 49% today), and rural America, which went from 56% to 41% today.

Just over a third (37%) rate Trump's handling of the economy as "good" or "excellent," which is down from 43% last month. Only a quarter of those polled give him top marks on his handling of health care.

And 35% now say that Trump is providing strong leadership for the country, compared with 49% who say it is weak.

Satisfaction with the direction of the country has also taken a sharp turn for the worse. It had climbed to 50% in February — the first time it had been that high in years — but is now back down to 39%.

"As his ambitious agenda encounters some obstacles in Congress, President Trump's approval ratings have declined," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica who directs the IBD/TIPP Poll. "For instance, the inability of Congress to pass the proposed health care bill has weighed down Americans' approval of Trump's overall performance as president.

"Also, some Americans had hoped that he and Congress would take up tax reform first, rather than wait for health care reform. The media's persistently negative coverage of President Trump, especially regarding the ongoing Russian investigation, has also taken a toll on his approval numbers."

Trump's budget proposal gets a big thumbs down as well. When asked whether they support his overall plan to shift $54 billion from domestic programs to the military, 61% said they opposed this, while only 34% backed that plan.

The health bill he pushed along with House Speaker Paul Ryan — which Ryan pulled from the floor without a vote last week — doesn't fare much better. Just 25% of those who've followed the story closely say the bill would improve the nation's health care system. A bare majority of Republicans (52%) say it would.

On the specific features of the bill, the public gives only tepid support for what were supposed to be its biggest selling points — getting rid of the individual and employer mandates (51% and 53%, respectively). And an overwhelming 91% want to keep ObamaCare's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

But only 35% support the bill's proposal to replace ObamaCare's income-based subsidies with tax credits based on age.

The public also appears more upbeat about ObamaCare itself. Half of those following the story say ObamaCare is sustainable if left alone, while only 48% say it isn't.

What's more, 43% say they'd be less likely to vote to re-elect those representatives in Congress who voted to repeal ObamaCare. That compares with 30% who say a repeal vote would increase their support.

Russian Interference But No Obama Surveillance

Trump is also taking his lumps on the issue of Russian meddling with the election.

Of those following the story closely, 50% now say that the outcome of the election was "influenced by Russia." When IBD asked this question in January, 50% said Russia didn't influence the outcome.

The shift is largely due to changing views of independents. In January, 54% said Russia didn't have any influence on the election. Now, 51% of independents think it did.

Trump also gets little support for his contention that President Obama surveilled Trump and his team before the inauguration. Just 38% say it's likely that Obama did that, while 59% say it's not likely.

Fewer than half (44%) believe Obama administration holdovers have been leaking classified information in order to undermine the current administration.
Update: The averages are all below 40% now