By Ken Bredemeier
A new Gallup poll showed Monday that 38% of Americans approve of President Donald Trump’s White House performance, a figure largely unchanged in the last month but off sharply from early May.
Trump, facing a tough reelection contest in November against former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, tied his personal best approval rating of 49% two months ago.
But his standing dropped sharply in late May and early June amid coast-to-coast demonstrations, some of them turning violent, against police abuse of minorities in the wake of the death of African American George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Trump expressed his support for peaceful protests, while saying Americans wanted law and order, and voiced continued backing for police.
Four months ahead of the national vote, Trump’s approval rating now stands three percentage points above his personal low of 35% recorded on four separate occasions in 2017. A collection of national polls by the Real Clear Politics website shows Biden leading Trump by an average of nearly nine percentage points.
The latest Gallup poll shows an unprecedented political divide in America.
The pollster said its June 8-30 survey showed Republican support of Trump increasing from 85% to 91%, with Democratic approval dropping from 5% to 2%. His support from self-described independent voters eroded from 39% to 33%.
Gallup said the 89-point difference between the approval of Trump by Republican and Democratic voters was the largest it had ever recorded in decades of polling.
Trump’s decline in approval was apparent across a range of voter subgroups, Gallup said. It said his standing is now less than a majority level among groups “that are typically more favorable to him, including non-Hispanic white Americans, men, older Americans, Southerners and those without a college degree.”
The pollster said Trump retains a 57% approval rating among white Americans without a college degree, but the figure is off from 66% earlier in the year.
Trump’s overall June standing in a reelection year is similar to that of the only two presidents who lost reelection bids in the last four decades — Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992.