WASHINGTON, U.S. - As Donald Trump completes six months into his presidency, he is now officially crowned the least popular U.S. leader in the past 70 years.
According to a new Gallup poll, that is conducted at the six-month mark of all presidents since Harry S Truman, Trump has just a 36 percent approval rating, down six points on a similar poll conducted at his first 100 days.
The least popular president before Trump, was the 1970s leader Gerald Ford, who scored 39 percent at the same mark.
In comparison, President John F Kennedy had a 75 percent approval rating within the first six months and post-war leader Truman enjoyed a 82 percent approval.
Trump meanwhile has not only become America’s least popular President in seven decades, but also managed to smash the previous record for disapproval within the first six months.
The Gallup poll, commissioned by U.S. broadcaster ABC News and newspaper Washington Post, revealed that of those polled, 58 percent disapproved of him, well up on the previous disapproval record of 51 percent held by Bill Clinton since 1993.
The poll revealed that usually, it has taken American presidents months, if not years, to reach a majority disapproval rating.
However, within just six months, Trump’s job approval rating is four points lower than his predecessor Barack Obama’s all time low, which came in his sixth year.
The poll shows that nearly half of all respondents, 48 percent “strongly” disapproved of Trump’s performance in the top job.
This was slightly higher than the strongest disapproval of Obama’s eight years, which came in his fifth year.
Trump’s presidency has been dogged by accusations of Russian interference in last year’s election and his continual attacks on the media and the judiciary, along with his failure to push through healthcare reform have proved to burden his administration right from the word go.
ABC said that Trump’s ties with Russia were rated among the chief reasons for the lack of approval.
However, the U.S. presence on the world stage under his leadership also rates highly.
Two-thirds of respondents in the poll reportedly said that they do not trust him to negotiate with world leaders, and nearly half said that U.S. world leadership had become weaker since Trump assumed presidency.
Issues related to his son’s meeting with the Russian lawyer, to seek dirt on Hillary Clinton, the possible obstruction of justice investigation, the sacking of FBI Director James Comey, apparently over the federal bureau’s investigation into the Trump camp’s pre-election links with Russia, have together accelerated the decline in his approval rating decline.
Within half a year of his rule, the prospect of his impeachment has already become potentially real.
Meanwhile, he was polled strongest on his management of the economy, with 43 percent approving of his economic management and 41 percent disapproving.
Further, the Post-ABC poll found that 60 percent of Americans think Russia tried to influence the election outcome, up slightly from 56 percent in April.
In addition, some 44 percent suspect Russian interference and think Trump benefited from their efforts.
About 4 in 10 believe members of Trump’s campaign intentionally aided Russian efforts to influence the election, though suspicions have changed little since the spring.
Among Democrats, 8 in 10 believe Russia attempted to influence the election and more than 6 in 10 think members of Trump’s team attempted to aid their efforts.
Among Republicans, one-third think Russia tried to influence the election outcome, and fewer than 1 in 10 think Trump’s associates sought to help them.
Asked about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting and the revelations that have followed, more than 6 in 10 Americans said the meeting was inappropriate, with just about a quarter saying it was appropriate.
Almost half of all Republicans dubbed the meeting appropriate.
While 52 percent think he is trying to interfere with investigations into Russia’s possible election interference, that is down slightly from 56 percent in June.
Further, half of Americans said Trump is doing a worse job than most past presidents, while just under one-quarter said he is doing better, and a similar share said he is faring about the same as previous presidents.
A 55 percent majority said Trump is not making significant progress toward his goals.
The poll by Post and ABC was conducted by landline and mobile phone between July 10 and 13 in both English and Spanish.
It featured responses from a random sample of 1,001 adults with a margin of error of 3.5 points.
Meanwhile, responding to the results of the poll, Trump tweeted on Sunday morning, “The ABC/Washington Post Poll, even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!”