There's trouble in Trumpland.
The voters who backed Donald Trump still like the disruption but are looking for more function from the outsider they helped put in the White House, members of the USA TODAY Network Trump Voter Panel say.
While they still approve of the job President Trump is doing, the collapse of the GOP's promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act has rattled some of his loyalists. So have chaos in the White House staff and the public humiliation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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"All the bickering, fighting and firings take time away from solving all of our problems," worried Joe Canino, 62, of Hebron, Ct.
"The caveat or the pause there is, he's got to figure out a way to get more done collaboratively with Capitol Hill," Barney Carter of St. Marys, Ga., said. "The Hill to me has the most to blame for it, but he's got to figure out a way to solve that problem."
The loyalty of the president's base — voters who tend to be older, socially conservative and mostly white — has been a critical source of his political strength. Trump continues to hammer messages that appeal to them on such issues as limiting immigration and reversing Pentagon policy on transgender troops.
That said, the spiderweb of concern among his supporters in these interviews is an anecdotal finding consistent with the results of recent nationwide polls. A CNN survey at the six-month mark of Trump's presidency last week showed his approval rating among Republicans at a healthy 83%, but the percentage of Republicans who "strongly approve" had dropped by double-digits, to 59% from 73% in February.
None of the 25 voters on the USA TODAY panel express regret for casting a ballot last November for Trump instead of Democrat Hillary Clinton or someone else. They generally trust him to handle the crisis with North Korea, although there is concern about his bellicose rhetoric.
But now some couch their approval of the president with a hedge that wasn't there in three previous rounds of interviews with this group. And their disdain for congressional Republicans and the GOP establishment is rising, a troubling development for the party as it heads into the 2018 midterm elections.
"I approve, but not 100%," Monty Chandler, 46, a disabled veteran from Church Point, La., said of the president.
"I'd have to approve, but with some laughter in the background," said Duane Gray, 63, a truck driver from Boise, Idaho. Asked if Trump was doing better or worse than he expected as president, he said: "I don't know what I expected. I just didn't want Hillary in there."
There's also bit less confidence these days about how history will judge Trump. In January, 21 members of the panel predicted he ultimately would be seen as a "great" or "good" president. In February, there was even more unanimity: 23 gave that positive assessment.
Now that number has slipped to 19 — still favorable territory, but with signs of some erosion. Four predict he'll be seen as a "fair" president. Two didn't respond.
The panel of 25 Trump voters from 19 states is drawn from respondents in the USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll taken in December, just after the election. The group of 18 men and seven women, ranging in age from 31 to 88, agreed to weigh in occasionally for a look at how Trump is faring with his supporters.
'Embarrassing and disgusting'