With the first year of the Trump presidency officially in the books, the economy is booming by nearly every measure: the stock market is up, wages are increased, unemployment is down — including reaching a historic low for African Americans — and the Trump-signed, Republican-passed $1.5 trillion tax cut has already begun to positively impact millions of Americans' wallets.
Unsurprisingly, with all that good news, Trump's fortunes in some key polls are starting to improve.
While Trump's overall job approval remains at a sub-par 40% average, he has gained ground in several recent polls. But it's in the all-important category of his performance on the economy where Trump has seen some major movement. Real Clear Politics' current average of the national polls found that Trump has built a 7-point lead on the economy: 50.9% approving of his handling of the economy, while 43.6% disapprove.
A closer look at the polls reveals that his economy approval rating is likely better than the average suggests:
- Fox News' most recent poll (1/21-23) puts him 10 points in the black (51/41)
- Economist/YouGov (1/21-23) gives him an 11-point edge (52/41)
- Harvard/Harris (1/17-19) shows the gap at 18 points (59/41)
- CNN (1/14-18) gives him a 9-point advantage (51/42)
Only three of the seven featured polls show Trump at lower than +7 points.
A look at RCP's graph of Trump's economy approval numbers since August shows a dramatic improvement in the last few weeks:
Trump's overall approval numbers are far less positive for the president, but the most recent polls suggest an upward trend. Rasmussen, Fox News, and Economist/YouGov all show Trump closing the approval gap: 43/56, 45/53, 43/54, respectively.
Rasmussen, which gauges the opinion of Likely Voters, and thus is usually more accurate in predicting results at the polls, provides some more details on Trump's numbers:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove.
The latest figures include 29% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 43% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14. (See trends).
Here's Rasmussen's graph of Trump's approval numbers since he was inaugurated, showing a gradual, moderate increase since July:
Another category where Trump has seen some positive movement is in perception of the Direction of the Country, which has been dismal for years. While it's still nothing to tweet about, the gap has narrowed notably in recent weeks. Here's RCP's graph: