Trump’s job approval falls amid racial unrest, while Biden jumps to 14-point lead

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President Donald Trump’s overall job approval rating dropped 7 percentage points over the past month, according to a survey released Monday that also shows him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by 14 points ahead of the general election in November.

The CNN poll showed that 38 percent of respondents said they approve of the “way Donald Trump is handling his job as president,” and a majority — 57 percent — indicated that they disapprove.

Trump’s approval rating — his worst in CNN polling since January 2019 — has diminished considerably since May, when 45 percent of Americans said they approved of his job as president. His disapproval among Americans has increased 6 percentage points, from 51 percent in May.

Trump’s electoral fortunes have also apparently faltered over the past several weeks. Among registered voters polled, 41 percent said they would be more likely to cast their ballots for him compared with 55 percent of voters who said they prefer Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

In CNN’s previous May poll, the gap between the two major-party candidates was smaller, with 46 percent of registered voters favoring Trump and 51 percent backing Biden.

Trump rejected the results of the latest survey in a tweet Monday morning, writing: “CNN Polls are as Fake as their Reporting. Same numbers, and worse, against Crooked Hillary. The Dems would destroy America!”

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The snapshot of Americans’ assessment of Trump and registered voters’ likelihood to support him in November represents CNN’s first effort to poll opinions of the president since historic levels of racial unrest began roiling the United States late last month. That nationwide wave of protests was sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a Minneapolis police officer.

Trump was criticized for insufficiently addressing Floyd’s death in the immediate aftermath of the killing, and frustration with his response escalated as he increasingly advocated the use of police and military force in some protests in cities across the country, including Washington.

Trump threatened last Monday to call on active-duty troops to put an end to the protests if state and local officials refused to activate the National Guard. Later that evening, federal law-enforcement violently dispersed peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, on the north side of the White House, enabling Trump to stage a photo opportunity at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, where rioters had set a small fire the previous weekend.

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The president’s actions drew rebukes from several former high-ranking military officials, including retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, Trump’s first Defense secretary, who said in a statement last Wednesday that he was “angry and appalled” with the week’s events and charged that Trump “tries to divide” the American people.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from June 2-5 and included a random national sample of 1,259 adults reached by telephone, including 1,125 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points and is 3.6 points among registered voters.

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