Amid a number of positive developments for the economy, including the GOP's pro-business tax cuts, low unemployment, rising wages and a recent forecast predicting over 5% growth in the GDP in the first quarter of 2018, President Trump has experienced some positive movement in the polls.
While he's still tracking behind most recent presidents, Trump's approval numbers have ticked up over the last couple of weeks, including a dramatic 6-point improvement in Rasmussen's tracking poll and a surge in approval of Trump's handling of the economy. Another key indicator of an improved outlook on the Trump presidency is the public perception of the direction of the country, which has been moving in the right direction over the last three months.
Currently, Real Clear Politics calculates Trump's overall approval average at 42% approving, 54.1% disapproving (-12.1%), which is an improvement over the average from the last few months, which was stuck at around 40% approval. Rasmussen, which only polls Likely Voters and thus has generally proven to be more accurate than many other national polls in election cycles, gives Trump much higher marks: 48 – 51. Rasmussen provides more details:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.
The latest figures include 34% who Strongly Approve of the way the president is performing and 42% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8. (see trends).
As both Rasmussen and RCP's graphs show, Trump's overall approval has been trending upward in recent weeks:
Clearly enjoying the "Trump Boom" are Trump's approval numbers on his handling of the economy, which were effectively deadlocked since last summer. Now, he's surged to an over 7-point lead on the issue. RCP puts the average at +7.6%, with 50.9% approving of his handling of the economy and 43.3% disapproving.
RCP's graph of shows the rather dramatic improvement in public perception of the president's economic policies over the last few weeks:
While it still remains in the red, public perception of the direction of the country has significantly improved since October. Currently, RCP averages the spread at -16.3% (38.3 - 54.6). In October, the gap was twice the size at -35%. So far, the best DOC numbers during Trump's tenure were around -13% in mid-March, when he enjoyed a surge in optimism with the changing of the regimes. During Barack Obama's final year in office, public perception had soured to an abysmal -47%.
While Trump is clearly enjoying some positive momentum in the polls, he remains double-digits in the red on his handling of foreign policy, an issue on which he has consistently rated poorly. He currently averages at -13.2%. Two recent polls, Economist/YouGov and Reuters/Ipsos, show him at a slightly better -6% and -5%, respectively.