NEW YORK, July 16 (APP): Americans give President Donald Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, amid questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness and Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Just 36 percent of Americans polled in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Trump’s job performance, down 6 points from his 100-day mark, itself a low. The previous president closest to this level at or near six months was Gerald Ford, at 39 percent, in February 1975. But President Trump responded by saying that his approval rating is not bad at this time. “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!” Trump tweeted.
Sixty-three percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, say it was inappropriate for Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager to have met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Six in 10 also think Russia tried to influence the campaign, and among those who say so, 67 percent think Trump aides helped, similar to results in April. Yet the Russia controversy is just one on the list of Trump’s troubles. Just 38 percent say he’s making significant progress toward his goals; 55 percent think not. With no apparent help from the G-20 summit, two-thirds don’t trust him to negotiate with other world leaders — or with Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically — on America’s behalf. And about half say the country’s world leadership has grown weaker under Trump; just 27 percent say it’s gotten stronger. On his party’s signature campaign issue, health care, Americans by a 2-1 margin prefer Obamacare of the previous administration over the Republican plan to replace it, 50-24 percent. (Another quarter either want something else entirely, 17 percent, or are undecided, 9 percent.) “Strong” preference for the existing law surpasses strong preference for the GOP plan by 20 percentage points. Relevant to proposed Republican cuts in the growth of Medicaid, the public by a broad 63-27 percent says it’s more important to provide health care coverage for low-income Americans than to cut taxes.