President Donald Trump's approval rating has taken a hit and fallen below 50% in the one poll that has held his numbers above the halfway mark since the beginning of his presidency nearly two months ago.
On Monday 14 March the Rasmussen Reports poll saw Trump's approval rating drop to 47%. This, and his disapproval rating of 53%, marked a six point increase in negative feelings about the job he's doing as president.
The poll's last results – published at the beginning of March – showed Trump with an even 50-50 split in his approval/disapproval rating.
That was down from the 57% approval rating Rasmussen measured on 25 January just following the inauguration.
The latest polls from Rasmussen also showed a widening gap between between those who strongly disapprove and those who strongly approve of Trump's performance. Nearly evenly split in early March around 36%, the numbers for those who strongly disapprove have risen to 42% while those who strongly approve dropped to 31%.
The Trump administration is dealing with several large, politically charged debates such as the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. On Monday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that the Republican's replacement plan for the healthcare law would leave 52 million Americans without health insurance by 2026. During Congressional town halls in recent weeks many Republican House representatives and Senators were pelted with questions and opposition to their proposals to change American healthcare.
Rasmussen Reports has been criticised as a "conservative-leaning polling group" by Time magazine, and it has been described as speaking to a "conservative constituency" and accused of using skewed polling methods. The latest polling numbers are significant because it marks the first time Rassmussen polls have tracked Trump's approval rating dipping below the 50% mark when other polls such as Gallup, Ipsos, and YouGov have tracked it below that point for weeks.
In late February Trump's approval rating struck a historic low for a president's first month in office when an NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll showed him with a 44% approval rating . On 20 March Trump will have been president for exactly two months.