Trump's approval rating plunges back to his worst with two new polls

Donald Trump’s approval rating has slumped again to match the lowest of his presidency, according to two new polls.

The surveys were conducted amid mounting activism for gun control and security clearance problems in the White House. Support for stricter gun laws has spiked to the highest level since 1993 and Americans aren’t happy with Trump’s position on the issue, CNN has found.

Despite Trump’s bullish take on his performance, the president’s approval rating fell five points over last month to 35 percent, according to a CNN survey, conducted by polling firm SSRS. That number matches the lowest rating of his presidency in December.

A separate poll by USA Today and Suffolk University’s Political Research Center found similar results, with the president’s approval rating also slipping to match the lowest point that survey has found at 38 percent, with 60 percent disapproving of the job he’s doing.

Gun control looks to be a particular problem for the president.

The CNN poll was conducted Feb. 20 to 23 amid outrage over guns in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that killed 17 people. Only a third of those polled approve of how Trump is handling gun control policy, with 54 percent disapproving, the CNN poll found. Just over 12 percent of those surveyed said they have yet to make up their mind on the issue.

CNN’s poll on the gun issue found that 70 percent of those surveyed now back stricter gun laws. That’s up significantly from 52 percent who took that position in an October survey shortly after the mass shooting in Las Vegas killed 58 people. Just 27 percent of those polled oppose more stringent laws, CNN found in its latest poll. 

An increasing proportion of Americans are worried that they or a family member will become a victim of gun violence. Almost six in 10 people (57 percent) are worried now — compared with 44 percent after the 2016 mass shooting in Orlando. Fears are higher among parents of children under the age of 18 (62 percent to 55 percent for non-parents), CNN found.

The USA Today poll found that 76 percent (to 12 percent) of those polled believe that people who have been treated for mental illness should be prohibited from owning guns. The accused gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had reportedly been treated for mental illness. Despite Trump’s expressed support to toughen up background checks for gun purchases, he and Congress a year ago rolled back stricter checks on people with mental illnesses who purchase guns.

Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, together through the years
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Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, together through the years
Ivanka Trump speaks along side her father US President Donald Trump following a tour of the H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania on January 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants of the ""Launch Event Women's Entrepreneur Finance Initiative", among them (L-R) Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, US President Donald Trump,, the daughter of the US President Ivanka Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend the "Women's Entrepreneurship Finance Event" at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Patrik STOLLARZ/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to his daughter Ivanka speak during a visit to Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump walk toward Air Force One as they depart Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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U.S. President Donald Trump (R), joined by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, his daughter Ivanka Trump and his granddaughter Arabella Kushner, gives a fist-pump when schoolchildren tell him their two goals are "college and heaven" during a visit to their classroom at Saint Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, Florida, U.S. March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Donald Trump greets his daughters Tiffany and Ivanka during inauguration ceremonies to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
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U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks with his daughter Ivanka on the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) speaks at the opening of his Turnberry golf course, in Turnberry, Scotland, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump motions to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, as she takes the podium at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Doral Golf Resort owner Donald Trump (L) poses with Britian's Justin Rose (C) and daughter Ivanka Trump after Rose won the WGC-Cadillac Championship PGA golf tournament at the Doral Golf Resort in Doral, Florida, March 11, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)
Donald Trump (C), flanked by his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., addresses the media in Chicago May 10, 2006. Trump was in Chicago to speak about his Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago that is being built on the old site of the Chicago Sun-Times building on the north side of the Chicago River. REUTERS/Stephen J. Carrera
Donald Trump (2nd L) poses with his children Donald Jr. (L), Ivanka and Eric (R) during a news conference to mark the opening of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto April 16, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: REAL ESTATE BUSINESS)
Ivanka Trump (R) kisses her father, real estate developer Donald Trump, after a luncheon speech at the National Press Club in Washington May 27, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS REAL ESTATE MEDIA)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 01: Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
American real estate magnate Donald Trump with his first wife, Ivana (nee Zelnickova) and daughter, Ivanka, 1991. (Photo by Tom Gates/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, and guests (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Real estate mogul Donald Trump wearing a Yankee baseball uniform w. children Eric and Ivanka at a Police Atletic League softball game held at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Robin Platzer/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Robin Leach (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Donald Graham, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump pose for a photo during a forum on 'Washington real estate -- including plans to renovate the landmark Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue and views on property values and trends in Washington.' at Washington Post on April 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the Turkish Society Annual Dinner Gala at The Plaza Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)
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BEL AIR, CA - AUGUST 23:Donald Trump, Hayden Panettiere. actress Tiffany Trump, Ivanka Trump pos e at the Nakheel Introduces Trump International Hotel and Tower Dubai party featuring a performance by Christina Aguilera on August 23, 2008 at The Tar Estate, Bel Air, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
(L-R) Real estate developer Donald Trump and his children Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Jr., attend a press conference at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on September 24, 2008. Trump's 1,360-foot (414.5-meter), 92-story tower is expected to be finished in six months and will stand as the second-tallest building in Chicago, after the Sears Tower. AFP PHOTO/Amanda Rivkin (Photo credit should read Amanda Rivkin/AFP/Getty Images)

The survey also found that 63 percent (to 29 percent) of those polled believe that semi-automatic guns like the AR-15 used by the Florida shooter should be banned. The president has said he would support raising the minimum age for buying such firearms from 18 to 21, but hasn’t supported a ban and is not likely to. 

The USA Today survey also found that 66 percent (to 33 percent) of those polled believe tightening gun-control laws and background checks would prevent more mass shootings.

Of those polled, only 19 percent believe there’s a ‘good to excellent’ chance Congress will take action on gun control in the foreseeable future.

The polls were also taken during more bad news for the administration, including new charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and following revelations of domestic abuse allegations against staffers in the White House amid continuing concerns about the lack of security clearance for personnel.

Among the least supportive groups for Trump in the CNN survey, the president’s approval stands at just five percent among Democrats, 22 percent among Americans ages 35 and younger, 23 percent among non-whites and 29 percent among women. Only 35 percent of independents approve of Trump’s performance in the White House.

Among Republicans, 80 percent approve of Trump’s performance, though that’s down a point from Trump’s lowest rating among self-described party members last September. Among people over 50,  43 percent approve of the job Trump is doing, and 42 percent of all men give him a favorable rating.

Trump’s approval rating is well behind former presidents at this point in their presidency: 12 percent behind the previous low set by Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and 14 percent behind Barack Obama.

The CNN poll has a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, but it’s larger for subgroup surveys. The USA Today poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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