Sat Aug 26, 2017 09:24AM
US President Donald Trump speaks to the American Legion national convention on August 23, 2017 in Reno, Nevada. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump speaks to the American Legion national convention on August 23, 2017 in Reno, Nevada. (AFP photo)

US President Donald Trump is setting records for low presidential approval records with his dismally low approval ratings, including the lowest mark ever for a president in his first year in office.

Trump has already spent more time under 40 percent than any other first-year president, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

His current approval rating of 34 percent is worse than former President Barack Obama's ever was.

Trump is now viewed positively by just 37 percent of Americans, according to Gallup's most recent weekly estimate. It's even lower, only 34 percent, in Gallup's shorter, three-day average tracking.

"Most presidents begin with a honeymoon period and then go down from that, and Trump had no honeymoon," said Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport.

Low approval ratings impede a president's ability to push an agenda through Congress and make it more likely the president's party will lose seats in Congress in the midterm elections.

Trump's average approval rating of 40 percent since he entered office is even lower than the previous average low for a first-term president, 46 percent, set by Jimmy Carter, who endured several crises during his term.

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Since Gallup began tracking presidential approval in 1945, only four presidents spent significant time below 40 percent during their first four years.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents in a Gallup survey in July who disapproved of Trump cited his personal character, while less than a third cited issues, policies or job performance.

"It's a more general kind of issue with the man himself and a more general dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country," Gallup’s Newport said.

It's unclear whether Trump's controversial response to the deadly racist clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, will push his approval ratings further down.

In a Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday, 62 percent of registered US voters say Trump is fueling divisions and hate crimes have dramatically increased since his election.