President Donald Trump has never been less popular.
That’s one conclusion you can take away from the most recent Gallup poll, which shows the president’s approval rating at 36 per cent on March 27, the lowest it’s been since his inauguration.
Trump’s disapproval rating is also reaching the highest marks it’s hit since he took office — but at 56 per cent, it wasn’t as high as it was on March 18, when it reached 58 per cent.
By way of comparison, Barack Obama’s approval rating was 61 per cent at this point in his presidency. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were in the low-to-mid-50-per-cent range at this juncture.
But what’s driving Trump’s approval rating so low?
A number of things, said Robert Traynham, VP communications at Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Bipartisan Policy Center.
“I think it’s more these drip drip drips when it comes to Russia, and I also think the president needs to understand better message discipline,” he told Global News.
Trump has been dogged by ties between Russians and members of his administration.
Most recently, his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner had agreed to testify to a Senate committee that’s looking into whether Russia tried to interfere in the election.
News of his testimony came as it emerged that executives with Russian bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) talked with Kushner during a roadshow in 2016.
Trump’s approval rating could mean that executive orders are the only vehicle open to him to push his agenda.
Republicans in Congress are increasingly reticent about working with the president, as was evident last week when House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled a vote on a health-care bill when it became clear that the legislation did not have enough Republican support.
“There’s no incentive for members of Congress to work with a president who has low approval ratings,” Traynham said.
That could make it difficult to carry out his plans for tax reform.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer showed clear frustration when it came to Russia on Tuesday.
“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection,” he said.