Trump recieves historically low approval rating


Creative Commons image through Flickr by Gage Skidmore (

There is a lot of scepticism surrounding President Trump in regards to the multiple investigations he is involved in, as well as him forcing the government into the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

AJ Gunderson, Podcast Reporter

President Trump was responsible for the 35-day government shutdown this past January and it did not help his overall approval rating, according to the polls. Trump’s approval rating had already been trending in this direction and the government shutdown only magnified people’s disapproval. The people’s disapproval is completely understandable.

According to FiveThirtyEight polls, just 40 percent of Americans approve of Trump, which is the lowest approval rating in recent United States’ history. This disapproval is justified because of the unnecessary shutdown, which resulted in an $11 billion loss for the government.  The ongoing Russian investigation, which has already convicted eight of Trump’s associates, is also a contributor to his low approval rating.

The main purpose of political polls is to provide politicians or lawmakers with reflective information about the opinions and feelings of the American public. Polling, in turn, can give a projection on what the majority of the country supports and does not support. Polls also have what is called a “margin of error”, which is how accurate we can reasonably expect a poll result to be. On average the margin of error with every poll is about 3 percent.

“The best polls to take a look at are aggregate polls, which are a combination of multiple polls pulling data that’s combined together,” social studies teacher Ryan Miller said. 

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Why Trump’s approval rating is so low

There were approximately 800,000 government employees directly affected by the shutdown, and many more were indirectly affected. For the most part, Americans do not feel the initial effect of what legislation is being signed and what bills are being passed, however, when government employees are going without pay for as long as they did the direct effects are deeply felt and the poll results make sense. Prior to the shutdown, Trump declared, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security… I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”

“Despite whatever his [Trump] goals were, he was taking the majority of the blame for the shutdown, especially based around using the wall situation as attempted leverage to try to get the government back open with Congress,” Miller said.


Since May 2017, the United States Department of Justice has been conducting multiple investigations into Trump’s relations with Russia. These ongoing investigations have been a topic of controversy for the entirety of Trump’s presidency. So far, the investigations have resulted in dozens of indictments and at least eight guilty pleas, but the outcome of the investigation is yet to be determined. Making headlines on all forms of media, these constant reminders in the daily headlines keep the investigations at the forefront of people’s minds.

“What I think we’re beginning to see just little hints of is fatigue with the investigation and we’ll be watching that going forward,” senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Karlyn Bowman said.

The correlation between these significant events in Trump’s presidency and the public’s view of him raises the question of Trump’s trustworthiness and integrity. With the prolonged shutdown recently ending and another potential shutdown looming, Trump’s inability to compromise and reason with Congress has been put on display and gives a valid reason to people who disapprove of Trump’s performance.

“He’s [Trump] kind of getting hit on both sides about the wall, so the people who were disappointed that he was going to propose such an expensive thing and his core group that is disappointed that the wall is not getting built,” Miller said.

The opposing viewpoint

A common counter viewpoint to this issue is that the Russian investigation has cost taxpayers millions of dollars and is a waste of time and resources. While this is a valid counterargument and the Russian investigation has cost upwards of $25 million at this point, the U.S. government stands to collect more than this amount from the assets and properties of those who have already been found guilty.

There is plenty of time for Trump’s numbers to improve, but for now, they are not exactly the best. While the shutdown may be resolved and eventually forgotten, his numbers seem to be leveling out at a relatively low rating.