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How people feel about Trump's America, in charts

Last year, President Donald Trump's victory defied conventional wisdom and brought to a close a campaign that pitted the two most unpopular presidential candidates in the history of modern polling against one another.

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Eli Watkins, Joyce Tseng
Sam Petulla (CNN)
(CNN) — Last year, President Donald Trump's victory defied conventional wisdom and brought to a close a campaign that pitted the two most unpopular presidential candidates in the history of modern polling against one another.

A year out from the election, Trump remains unpopular, as do the Democrats, the Republicans and Congress.

Here is a look at where things stand.

Approval relative to past presidents

Trump has reached lows in his approval rating unseen by any president at this point in their presidency.

Approval by demographic

As politics becomes increasingly stratified by party, presidents see sharper splits in their approval from people on different sides of the aisle. Former President Barack Obama, for example, ended his presidency with sky-high marks from Democrats and abysmal ones from Republicans.

Trump sees the same dynamic, as expected. And like the Republican Party overall, Trump's support leans old, male and white.

Much has been made specifically about his support from the white working class. The latest CNN poll showed Trump continues to perform slightly better among white people without college degrees than whites with them.

Leadership traits

Trump consistently earns high marks for strength. An October poll from Quinnipiac University is just one of the latest to enforce the trend.

However, Trump has also consistently fared poorly on a number of other leadership qualities. The same poll enforced these trends as well, showing the public largely regards him as untrustworthy and not sharing their values.

Additionally, an October poll from Marist University showed most people did not expect Trump to be the stellar president he promised. A plurality said he would go down as one of the worst in history.


After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead a special counsel investigation into all things Russia and any matters he should see fit to pursue in the course of that probe.

Near the end of October, Mueller's team indicted two former Trump campaign hands and revealed a guilty plea from a former Trump adviser.

The investigation continues, and an August poll showed many anticipated Trump would seek to put his thumb on the scale, and CNN's latest polling showed most disapproved of how he's handling the probe.


The widely documented trend of increasing polarization -- people moving further apart from one another by ideology and party -- has continued in the wake of the election, as the latest study by the Pew Research Center finds.

Pew asks people a series of simple questions about basic issues and sorts them by their answers. As the years go by, Pew is finding less commonality.

Direction of the country

In the lead-up to the election, the public was split on the country's direction, leaning toward saying it is going well. A year out, that split remains, but now it leans toward saying things are bad.


Speaking at George Washington University in October, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said of her boss: "His numbers are a lot better than Congress."

She's right. Congress remains very unpopular. Individual members of Congress tend to have higher approval in their individual districts among the constituents who know them.

The political parties, likewise, have high unfavorable ratings.


Control of Congress, the Senate and many governors' seats are up for grabs in the Midterm elections next year. The Senate map puts more Democrats on defense than Republicans, but after their massive losses last year, Democrats have argued they could take back Congress in a wave election.

As this map shows, most voters will see statewide campaigns next year.


Trump certified he was running for a second term just as his first began, and he's been campaigning for re-election since then, including raising money. Meanwhile, the party operations are building their warchests up to varying success.

Here's their reported funding this cycle.

On top of these totals are campaign arms like the Democratic Congressional Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which have both amassed and allocated millions.

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