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Public Gives Trump Low Marks for First 100 Days: NBC News/WSJ Poll

Sixty-four percent of Americans say President Donald Trump is off to a poor or fair start in his first 100 days while 35 percent say the beginning of his presidency has been good or great, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Trump’s approval rating stands at 40 percent, the poll showed, in what is the lowest for any president at this point in office.
Image: Trump surprised many with his strong condemnation of the suspect gas attack in Syria, and is weighing a response
Trump surprised many with his strong comments on Syria.YURI GRIPAS / Reuters

Nearly two-thirds of Americans give President Donald Trump poor or middling marks for his first 100 days in office, including a plurality who say he’s off to a “poor start,” according to results from a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

NBC News

Forty-five percent of respondents in the survey believe Trump is off to a poor start, with an additional 19 percent who say it’s been “only a fair start.” That’s compared with a combined 35 percent who think the president’s first three months in office have been either “good” or “great.”

Trump’s 100th day in office takes place on April 29.

By contrast, in the exact same question from April 2009 NBC/WSJ poll, 54 percent of Americans said that Barack Obama’s first 100 days had gotten off to either a good or great start, while 25 percent said they were fair, and 21 percent called them poor.

Trump’s overall job-approval rating stands at 40 percent — down four points from February. It’s the lowest job-approval rating for a new president at this 100-day stage in the history of the NBC/WSJ poll.

NBC News

At this same point in time of their presidencies, Obama’s overall rating stood at 61 percent in the poll, George W. Bush’s was at 56 percent and Bill Clinton’s was at 52 percent.

By party, 82 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s job, versus just 7 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of independents who give the president a thumbs-up.

NBC News

Forty percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while 44 percent approve of his economic handling.

Asked if Trump’s first 100 days have been more effective or less effective than his predecessors’ starts, 44 percent said Trump’s beginning has been less effective, and 32 percent said it had been more effective; 22 percent said it’s been about as effective.

And 46 percent say that Trump’s leadership and plans for the country make them feel more hopeful, versus 52 percent who say they make them feel more doubtful.

That’s a significant departure from April 2009, when 64 percent of Americans said that Obama’s leadership and plans had made them feel more hopeful, while 30 percent were more doubtful.

Erosion in Trump’s numbers

The new NBC/WSJ poll also shows an erosion in some of Trump’s top perceived qualities, with 50 percent of respondents giving Trump high marks for being firm and decisive in his decision-making – down from the 57 percent who gave him high marks here in February.

Another 39 percent of Americans give him high marks for changing business as usual in Washington – down from 45 percent two months ago.

Thirty-nine percent give him high marks for being effective and getting things done – down from 46 percent who said this back in February.

And only 25 percent give him high marks for being honest and trustworthy – down from 34 percent.

Meanwhile, his standing is mostly unchanged when it comes to his perceived weaknesses: Just 27 percent give him high marks for being knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency, and only 21 percent give him high marks for having the right temperament.

Sixty-Two percent support Trump’s military action in Syria

The best news for President Trump in the poll is on the issue of Syria.

Sixty-two percent of Americans say they support the Trump administration’s recent military action in response to the Syrian government’s chemical-weapon attack against its own people.

By party, 88 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents back that recent military action.

And 50 percent of all Americans say they approve of Trump’s handling of Syria – 10 points higher than his overall approval rating.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted April 17-20 of 900 adults, including more than 400 who were interviewed by cell phone. The poll’s overall margin of error is plus-minus 3.3 percentage points.