According to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, President Trump has already lost almost a third of his most diehard base of supporters in a matter of months.
Silver’s approval ratings tracker, which keeps track of presidential approval ratings using the criteria of strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, and strongly disapprove, show a worrying trend for Trump — the number of people who “strongly approve” of Trump is dwindling fast.
Early on in Trump’s presidency, more Americans approved of his administration than those who didn’t, as Trump recorded a 47.8 percent approval rating on January 26 (and a 42.5 percent disapproval rating), less than a week after his inauguration. The first day disapproval numbers outpaced approval numbers was on February 3, just 15 days into Trump’s presidency (47.1 percent disapprove, 44.2 percent approving).
The gap has been widening ever since, with growing numbers of Americans not approving of the president’s performance, along with continuously decreasing numbers of Americans who approve of the job Trump is doing in the White House. As of May 24, 2017, the 125th day of the Trump presidency, only 39 percent of Americans approve of President Trump, with 55 percent of the country disapproving.
However, the number Silver is paying most attention to is the number of Americans who say they not only approve, but “strongly approve” of President Trump. This number is particularly important, as it signifies a temperature check of how much support Trump has amongst his core base of supporters. According to the approval ratings tracker, the “strongly approve” metric has dropped by nearly ten points between February and today. Silver also pointed out that the “strongly approve” group is eroding the quickest:
There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now. (The decline in Trump’s strong approval ratings is larger than the overall decline in his approval ratings, in fact.) Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support. And voters who strongly disapprove of Trump outnumber those who strongly approve of him by about a 2-to-1 ratio, which could presage an “enthusiasm gap” that works against Trump at the midterms.
If Trump’s approval numbers continue their progression of sliding further downward, Republicans in Congress seeking re-election in 2018 may start to distance themselves from him in their home districts, if defending Trump proves to be politically costly. While the next round of polls may show a slight uptick in approval ratings, given Trump’s recent international trip and visits with foreign leaders, the ongoing Russia investigation could prove harmful to those numbers in the long run.
Tom Cahill is a senior editor for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.