New polling confirms Trump's slide as healthcare, Russia investigation drag down his standing
That's untrue. The Post/ABC was off by about 2 percentage points from the actual election results. If it's currently wrong by the same amount, Trump would remain far more unpopular than any of his predecessors.
But the poll offers some potential good news for the president: He has largely kept support within his own party.
While Democrats and independents disapprove of Trump's performance by large margins, those who identify themselves as Republicans continue to approve, 82%-15%.
In that regard, Trump's position somewhat resembles that of former President Bill Clinton -- the only other modern president who suffered from the disapproval of a majority of voters at this stage of his presidency.
Clinton's low approval helped cost his party control of the House in the midterm election two years into his tenure. Trump's poor standing similarly threatens Republican control of the House in 2018.
But Clinton eventually was able to climb back up and win reelection, in part because of some spectacular errors by his Republican opponents.
Clinton had another factor in his favor that Trump may not, however -- the economy. He won the presidency just as the economy had started to recover from a short, but sharp, recession. Strong economic growth in his reelection year helped him win.
Trump, by contrast, took office with the economy seven years into a slow recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s. So far this year, economic growth has been lagging a bit. Whether the economy will continue to grow for the next four years is a wide-open question.
The president also could benefit from the Democrats' failure so far to convince the public that they stand for something other than opposition to Trump. In the Post/ABC poll, 37% said the Democrats stand for something, while 52% said they just oppose Trump.
Separately, a new NBC/Wall St. Journal survey which looked at counties Trump carried in 2016 found that 50% of adults in those areas now approve of Trump. That level is significantly below Trump's showing in those counties in the election, which averaged around 60%. The two numbers are not entirely comparable, but the figure suggests some weakening of Trump's backing in the places critical to his victory.
The Washington Post/ABC poll was conducted July 10-13 among 1,001 adults nationwide. The margin of sampling error is 3.5 points in either direction. The NBC/Wall St. Journal survey was conducted July 8-12 among 600 adults in the targeted counties. The margin of error for the full sample is 4.0 percentage points in either direction.