Poll: President Trump Losing Support of His Base Since Shutdown

(CN) – Amid the longest government shutdown in history, President Donald Trump is finally beginning to lose support from his most ardent supporters, according to a new poll released Thursday.

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows the president’s approval rating slipping 3 percent from last month, from 42 percent to 39 percent, while his disapproval has crept up 4 points to 53 percent.

A notable change from previous polls, however, is the lack of support from President Trump’s base, including Republicans, white evangelicals and white voters without a college degree.

President Donald Trump speaks from the Oval Office of the White House as he gives a prime-time address about border security on Jan. 8, 2018, in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool Photo via AP)

Republican approval of Trump fell from 90 percent to 83 percent, while the white evangelical approval rating decreased from 77 percent to 66 percent.

The sharpest decline, however, came from white women without college degrees. Their approval rating dropped 11 percentage points, from 54 percent in December to 43 percent.

The president’s base has always especially loyal to him, something Trump himself commented on during his campaign.

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump told a group of supporters during his 2016 presidential run.

The government shutdown could be an indication of larger problems for the president, according to Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Of those polled, 59 percent said they blame President Trump or congressional Republicans for the shutdown.

“For the first time, we saw a fairly consistent pattern of having his base showing evidence of a cracking,” Miringoff said. “Don’t know if that’s temporary — tied to the government shutdown — or a broader problem the president is having.”

As Democratic candidates begin announcing their candidacies for the 2020 presidential election, the poll shows that President Trump may have difficulties in seeking reelection.

Only 30 percent of all Americans said they would definitely vote for Trump in 2020, compared to more than half, 57 percent, who said they would definitely vote against the president.

Among Trump supporters, 76 percent said they would definitely vote to reelect him. Among Republicans, that number falls to 69 percent and only 58 percent of white evangelicals.

“The president has had his base and not much else,” Miringoff said, “and when you look ahead to the election … he enters with a significant disadvantage. His re-election prospects would definitely be in jeopardy at this point.”

Although Trump won the Electoral College in 2016, he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

The poll surveyed 1,023 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

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