Majority of Americans think Trump is ‘unstable’, Fox News poll finds

A majority of voters think Donald Trump is unstable, divisive and lacks steadiness, according to a new Fox News poll.

Seven months into a tumultuous presidency, most of the roughly 1,000 Americans surveyed disapproved Mr Trump’s job performance thus far. His standing in the eyes of voters has eroded swiftly: the sole iteration of this poll in which most people approved of Mr Trump was in February. By March 51 per cent of voters disapproved versus 43 per cent who approved, a gap that only grown since.

A section of the poll offering different descriptions of Mr Trump fleshes out the dissatisfaction. Three-fifths of respondents described Mr Trump as at least somewhat unstable, with nearly half (44 per cent) saying he was extremely or very unstable. A majority said he was “not at all” a steady leader, and a majority said he was a bully, lacked compassion and was not a “moral leader”or presidential.

Despite those broad reservations, members of Mr Trump’s party generally gave him good marks. Strong majorities of Republicans called him a steady leader, stable and honest. And nearly all who voted for Mr Trump – 96 percent – were satisfied with their choice. And majorities of voters overall thought he was competent and a strong leader.

Long accustomed to lashing out at his opponents, Mr Trump is generally seen as a divisive figure, according to the poll. A majority said he was “tearing the country apart”, with only a third saying he was “bringing the country together”, though Republicans decisively believe he is bringing the country together. A majority of respondents said the president does not respect racial minorities.

Criticisms of fomenting division rained down as Mr Trump was faulted for his response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that ended in bloodshed when a car plowed into a crowd of protesters. The president twice failed to specifically condemn white supremacists, instead suggesting that left-wing protesters shared the blame.

Respondents disagreed. A majority (52 per cent) said white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Virginia, while about a third blamed either counter protesters or both/neither. A clear majority disapproved of how Mr Trump handled the situation, and they believed he is more amenable to white supremacists than he is to journalists: people overwhelmingly believe Mr Trump dislikes the journalists, a frequent punching bag, more than he dislikes white supremacists, 40 per cent believe the news media is a greater hazard – and more than two-thirds of Republicans ranked the media as a greater threat.

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