To say that the Trump administration has proven to be tumultuous would be an understatement. In the short time that the belligerent-businessman-turned-political-leader has been in power, his White House has been rocked by everything from a record level of staff departures to the Russia scandal. Even in the face of these issues, the going line from the president is that he’s doing fine as commander-in-chief.
Most Americans do not share his viewpoint; at least, that’s the conclusion that can be drawn from a poll newly released by CNN. To be sure, the poll results show the president as having his highest approval rating since the 100 day mark of his administration about 11 months ago — but he’s still below every other modern president when it comes to his approval rating. Two of them — Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama — had approval ratings about four percent higher at this point in their first term, and they’re the closest to the current president on that scale.
Overall, according to the poll results, 42 percent of Americans approve of President Trump’s job performance and 54 percent disapprove. His approval rating has improved by seven percent since February, a rise sparked by slightly improving attitudes about the president on the part of both Republicans and Independents.
The approval rating among members of the GOP went from 80 to 86 percent, while among Independents, it went from 35 to 41 percent.
There is one catch to the slightly improved approval ratings for the president — according to CNN, there’s been little change in the number of people who feel intensely one way or the other about the president, so it’s not as though he’s changing the minds and hearts of people who have long been opposed to him.
Even still, the president’s approval rating went from 35 percent in February to 42 percent in March. (In December it was at 35 percent and in January 40 percent.)
CNN reporting an increased approval rating for the president isn’t likely to prompt him to lay off his characterization of the outlet as an “enemy of the American people.”
The poll in question also measured respondent’s attitudes about the president’s handling of specific issues. Perhaps indicating where the slight surge in support for the president came from, more people said they supported the president’s handling of the economy than said they did not. The economy was the only issue on which the president can claim more supporters than detractors, according to the new poll, with 48 percent approving of his handling of the economy and 45 percent disapproving of it.
At that, the president can not claim a majority of supporters on the issue of foreign trade. In the wake of approving rounds of heavy tariffs, only 38 percent approve of the president’s handling of foreign trade, while 50 percent disapprove of it.
His handling of foreign trade issues was certainly not good enough to win him the continued support of Rust Belt voters in Pennsylvania, who effectively repudiated the president in electing Democrat Conor Lamb to the U.S. House in a district the president won by about 20 percent.
Other issues on which the new poll found more voters opposed to the president than on board with him include gun policy, foreign affairs, and Russia related issues.
- 36 percent approve of Trump’s handling of gun policy, while 54 percent disapprove
- 39 percent approve of his handling of foreign affairs, while 53 percent disapprove
- 41 percent feel as though his handling of Russia has been “about right,” while 47 percent think he’s been too soft
The poll also found that most people believe the women who have come forward with stories about affairs with the president, although people are more divided on the question of whether or not those women should be free from nondisclosure agreements they’ve signed.
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