President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has held steady around 40% after the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, according to a new Gallup poll.
And that could be a bad sign for Trump’s reelection prospects, if history is any indication.
Trump’s rating stayed at 42% in a Gallup poll conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 13, which is the same approval he had in an earlier poll in August. In July, his approval rating was the lowest in all of 2020, at 38%, after falling from his personal high of 49% in May. The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points.
Americans’ views of the president are strongly based on party identification. Ninety-two percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s job in office, compared to 36% of independents and 4% of Democrats, according to Gallup. In August, 90% of Republicans approved of his job as president, along with 39% of independents and 5% of Democrats.
Trump received comparisons to one-term presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter when his rating dipped below 40% in July in a Gallup poll.
Historically, incumbent presidents who went on to be reelected reached at least 50% approval at this point. At 42% in September of his election year, Trump’s approval is behind that of Barack Obama, who had a 49% approval during the same time period in 2012 as he faced off against Mitt Romney.
George W. Bush was at 52%, Bill Clinton had 60% approval and Ronald Reagan was at 57%.
Meanwhile, H.W. Bush had 39% approval and Carter had 37% before losing, tracking more closely to Trump’s current numbers.
Trump has continued to see low approval ratings in how he’s handling the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty-seven percent of Americans surveyed from July 8 to 9 in an ABC News/Ipsos poll disapproved of Trump’s handling of the virus, McClatchy News reported.
The RNC and DNC had particularly low viewership this year, meaning Trump likely didn’t get a bump after the conventions. Forty-six percent reported watching the DNC and 40% watched the RNC, according to Gallup, which found 64% of Americans said they tuned in for the RNC in 2016.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll — conducted in September with a 4.7 percent margin of error —showed 65% of those surveyed still disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of Americans don’t trust what Trump says about the virus and 67% said he acted too slowly.