Polls find Trump losing steam on promises, working with Congress

Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 18, 2017

Donald Trump began his presidency with a handful of strengths in the eyes of the public despite lower-than-usual approval ratings, but two new polls suggest that those positive reviews are souring as the 100-day mark of Trump's term approaches.


A Gallup poll released Monday found just 45% of Americans say Trump "keeps his promises," down from 62% who said so in early February. That same poll found a dip in the percentage saying Trump "can bring about changes this country needs," from 53% in February to 46% now.

Further, a Pew Research Center poll also released Monday finds fewer now feel confident that Trump will work effectively with Congress -- from 60% expressing at least some confidence in that about a month after his election down to 46% now.

Those shifts reflect a dimming of some of the few bright spots for the new administration in polling on Trump's early presidency. Faith in Trump's ability to bring change and deliver on promises to reinvigorate the job market, change the health care system and revise the nation's trade policies were among the few rallying points for Trump during his transition to the presidency.

Exit polls showed Trump thumping Clinton among voters in the market for change, those who were angry with the way the federal government was working, and who felt the country was heading off on the wrong track.

A CNN/ORC Poll completed shortly after the election found 66% thought Trump would be able to change the country, with majorities saying he was likely to achieve top campaign promises such as creating good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas, repeal and replace Obamacare and renegotiate NAFTA.

But after nearly three months in office, during which Trump has dialed back or reversed several high-profile campaign promises amid a bruising battle with Republicans in Congress over an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, those numbers are falling.

Trump's approval ratings started off lower than those of any other rookie president, and have remained largely below previous presidents' marks the entire time he's held office. His numbers on honesty and trustworthiness hover around their campaign lows. Considering his temperament -- a critical weak point during the campaign -- Pew finds that his time as President has seen an increase in the share who call him "too impulsive."

Much of the negativity around Trump's presidency stems from sharper-than-usual partisan divides. Pew reports that the partisan gap on Trump's approval ratings -- a 75-point chasm between the approval rating he earns among Democrats (7%) and among Republicans (82%) -- is larger than that of any other president at this stage in their presidency by nearly 20 points.

But on these measures, the declines are coming across partisan lines. The share who think Trump keeps his promises in the Gallup survey dipped 21 points among Democrats and 11 points among Republicans. In the Pew study, confidence in Trump's ability to work with Congress is down 16 points among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and nine points among Republicans and Republican-leaners.

Although Trump's approval rating in recent days has held steady around 40%, shifts on these attributes among Republicans could portend a disappointed base and a shrinking core of supporters.