President Donald Trump's approval ratings have hit an all time low; but why do the American people distrust their president so much?

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Answered by: Georgia, An Expert in the Current Affairs Category
President Donald Trump's approval ratings have plummeted to an all-time low today according to new research.

Opinion polls have never spelt good news for the 45th President of the United States, who entered office with the lowest post-election approval ratings ever, despite his shock victory on 8 November 2016.



Today, a new survey conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research suggests that less than 32% of Americans approve of the way the billionaire tycoon is running the White House, while an astonishing 67% say they disapprove. Meanwhile, less than a fifth of respondents said they felt the president understood their needs and concerns, while less than a quarter believed he was honest. These findings mean that Donald Trump's approval ratings have slipped a full 10 points since March.

But why do Americans have such a low opinion of their commander-in-chief? Analysts suspect it may have much to do with his response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 storm whipped to the US territory with winds of up to 175 miles per hour, causing damage that has been described as "apocalyptic". Thousands of Puerto Rican homes have been flooded, communication lines have been crippled and the Guajataca Dam has suffered "a critical infrastructure failure", putting residents downstream in peril.



The White House's reaction to the hardship facing Puerto Ricans has been sluggish to say the least. Amidst the squabble over athletes "taking the knee" for the national anthem during football games, American citizens in the Caribbean seemed woefully neglected by the Federal Government. When the lack-lustre response was criticised by the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz – a woman who has been photographed with water up to her chest assisting stranded hurricane victims – President Trump unleashed an astonishing tirade. Invoking the stereotype of Latinos as "entitled", "lazy" and "wanting everything done for them", the president irked even some of his most avid supporters on Capitol Hill.

The shock and disbelief across the political spectrum following the president's remarks was confirmed by data gathered by AP-NORC. When quizzed on the issue, only 32% approved of the way the disaster in Puerto Rico has been handled, compared to the 48% that supported his response to hurricane damage in Florida and Texas. In a further relevant statistic, over 60% of respondents said they disapprove of how the president is handling race relations and foreign policy. Moreover, Mr Trump is losing support within his own voter base – approval ratings amongst Republicans have dipped 13 points since March, representing a greater fall than the drop in his overall ratings.

With only 24% of Americans confident that the country is going in the right direction, President Donald Trump has his work cut out for him over the coming months. With the fallout from the Russian election interference inquiry looming, the president may have to invoke some out-of-character tact and diplomacy if he wants to see ratings recover.

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