President Trumpâs standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring, buffeted by perceptions of a decline in U.S. leadership abroad, a stalled presidential agenda at home and an unpopular Republican health-care bill, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Approaching six months in office, Trumpâs overall approval rating has dropped to 36Â percent from 42Â percent in April. His disapproval rating has risen five points to 58Â percent. Overall, 48Â percent say they âdisapprove stronglyâ of Trumpâs performance in office, a level never reached by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and reached only in the second term of George W. Bush in Post-ABC polling.
Almost half of all Americans (48Â percent) see the countryâs leadership in the world as weaker since Trump was inaugurated, compared with 27Â percent who say it is stronger. Despite the fact that Trump campaigned as someone skilled at making deals that would be good for the country, majorities also say they do not trust him in negotiations with foreign leaders and in particular Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Just over one-third of all Americans say they trust the president either âa great dealâ or âa good amountâ in any such foreign negotiations. Asked specifically about Trump-Putin negotiations, almost 2 in 3 say they do not trust the president much, including 48Â percent who say they do not trust the president âat all.â
Perceptions about the role of Russia in the 2016 election and possible collusion or cooperation with Trump campaign associates continue to be a drag on the president, though like many other questions, results show a clear partisan divide.
The Post-ABC poll finds 60Â percent of Americans think Russia tried to influence the election outcome, up slightly from 56Â percent in April. Some 44Â percent suspect Russian interference and think Trump benefited from their efforts. Roughly 4 in 10 believe members of Trumpâs campaign intentionally aided Russian efforts to influence the election, though suspicions have changed little since the spring.
Americansâ views on Russiaâs role in the election continue to divide along partisan lines. Among Democrats, 8 in 10 believe Russia attempted to influence the election and more than 6 in 10 think members of Trumpâs team attempted to aid their efforts. But among Republicans, one-third think Russia tried to influence the election outcome, and fewer than 1 in 10 think Trumpâs associates sought to help them.
Last week, information was revealed by the New York Times that Donald Trump Jr. and two other senior campaign officials met with a Russian lawyer and others after being offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton and told that the information was part of a Russian government effort to help Trump.
Asked about this revelation, more than 6 in 10 Americans say the meeting was inappropriate, with just about a quarter saying it was appropriate. But almost half of all Republicans call the meeting appropriate.
Suspicions of Trump have eased at least slightly on one front. While 52Â percent think he is trying to interfere with investigations into Russiaâs possible election interference, that is down slightly from 56Â percent in June.
The presidentâs strongest assets continue to be the healthy economy and a view among many Americans that the Democrats do not have a coherent message or program in opposition, other than opposition to the president.
Trumpâs approval rating on the economy, in contrast to his overall rating, is about one-to-one, with 43Â percent giving him positive marks and 41Â percent giving him negative ratings. Meanwhile, fewer than 4 in 10 say the Democratic Party currently stands for something, while a slight majority say it âjust stands against Trump.â
Beyond those areas, Trump continues to be deeply unpopular. His standing is a mirror opposite of Obama and Bush at this point in their first terms. Each held a 59Â percent job approval rating in Post-ABC polling. Trumpâs standing is closer to that of Bill Clintonâs, who hit a record low 43Â percent approval in late JuneÂ 1993, before rebounding later that year.
Half of Americans say Trump is doing a worse job than most past presidents, while just under one-quarter say he is doing better, and a similar share say he is faring about the same as previous presidents. A 55Â percent majority say Trump is not making significant progress toward his goals.
The survey points to many causes for Trumpâs troubles. As Republican senators attempt to pass major health-care legislation, the poll finds about twice as many Americans prefer the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, to GOP plans for replacing it â 50Â percent to 24Â percent. About a quarter volunteer either âneither,â say they want something else or offer no opinion.
Independents are an important factor in the Republican lawâs struggles. They favor Obamacare over the GOP replacement by a 29-point margin. Democrats are more strongly behind the current law, with 77Â percent preferring Obamacare to the proposed alternative. Meanwhile, only 59Â percent of Republicans back their partyâs proposal, though only 11Â percent say they prefer Obamacare. The remaining 30Â percent of Republicans say they prefer neither, something else or give no opinion.
On one key issue in the debate over the Republican plan, the public by 63Â to 27Â percent says it is more important for the government to provide health coverage to low-income people rather than cutting taxes. Republican proposals include major reductions in spending increases for Medicaid, while eliminating many taxes and fees imposed by the 2010 Affordable Care Act to expand the program.
Whatever Trumpâs struggles, the poll shows clear risks of Democratsâ opposition to Trump. Some 37Â percent say the party currently stands for something, while 52Â percent say it mainly stands against Trump. Even among Democrats, over one-quarter say their party primarily stands in opposition to Trump rather than for their own agenda.
The Post-ABC poll was conducted July 10-13 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults reached on cellular and landline phones. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3.5Â percentage points.
Emily Guskin contributed to this report.