The nation is two weeks into the Trump-Pence administration, and the early reviews are in: Millennials are none too pleased with President Trump.
Gallup polling shows that only 33 percent of American adults ages 18-to-29 approve of the new President’s job performance. He fares slightly better among all American adults, with an approval rating of 45 percent. (CNN reports that, as of February 2nd, Trump’s overall approval rating slid to 44 percent, with 43 percent of respondents reporting “intensely negative” feelings about the Commander in Chief).
Trump won 37 percent of the millennial vote. This means that he fared 4 percent better with us on Election Day than he is doing now.
So why the discrepancy between Election Day and now? One of the following must be correct:
1.The millennials who voted are a representative sample of all millennials, and 4 percent feel let down by Trump even though they voted for him. This is possible given Trump’s executive orders, particularly on immigration, which drove thousands of people (mainly young people) to protest at airports and in major cities. Millennials are more pro-immigrant than any other living generation.
2.The millennials who voted are not a representative sample of all millennials, and a higher percentage of pro-Trump millennials voted than their anti-Trump counterparts. This is possible given the well-documented apathy that past young Obama voters held towards Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s starting approval rating of 45 percent is the lowest recorded since Presidential approval polling began at the start of the Truman administration in 1945. But a tough honeymoon period (or no honeymoon period at all) does not spell doom for a presidency. Before Trump, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were tied for the lowest initial approval ratings at 51 percent. Next on the list was George W. Bush, who scored 57 percent approval, followed closely by Bill Clinton at 58 percent.
Gallup explains that while Trump’s approval numbers are only slightly lower than usual, his disapproval numbers are stunningly high:
“Whereas 45 percent disapprove of Trump, only 6 percent disapproved of the elder Bush and 13 percent disapproved of Reagan.”
The older an American is, the more likely he or she is to approve of Trump’s presidency thus far. Voters ages 65 and up were the only generation who gave him an approval rating of over 50 percent.
People who approve or disapprove of President Trump were not as split on generational lines as they were on ideological ones. 89 percent of self-proclaimed Republicans approve of Trump thus far, compared to 13 percent of those who identify as Democrats. The approval rating splits on gender lines as well. 50 percent of American men approve of Trump’s work, but only 39 percent of women say the same. Trump has an uphill battle to climb if he intends to unite the country behind his leadership.