After winning the election as the candidate with officially the worst favorability rating to ever run for the office, much less actually emerge victorious, Donald Trump's first year in office was plagued by polling numbers that were likewise historically bad. But as Americans have begun to enjoy the impact of the "Trump boom," things have begun looking up for the 45th president.
Rasmussen, one of the most reliable national polls due its focus on likely U.S. voters, has been tracking public perception of Trump, which has shown some promising trends in his second year in office. In fact, over the last two months, Trump has managed to match and at times surpass where President Obama was tracking at the same point in his presidency.
As of March 9, Trump and Obama are deadlocked at 44% at the same points in their presidencies. After almost an entire year of tracking at times well below Obama, Trump finally caught up to him on December 22, when they both polled at the same number, 44%. Since public perception of the two presidents matched up in late December, Trump and Obama have been trading leads. Obama's biggest lead over Trump in that period was 6 points (50 - 44) on January 31; Trump's widest lead was 7 points (50 - 43) on February 27. Their polling numbers have been within a point of each other multiple times since first syncing.
Here's Rasmussen's graph showing the back and forth battle between Trump and Obama over the last two months:
Over the last few weeks, Trump's numbers have declined from a high of 50% on February 27 to 44%, with 54% disapproving. Rasmussen's Presidential Approval Index rates Trump at -14 due to more people saying they "strongly" disapprove than approve (44 - 30).
Some of Trump's positive movement over the last two months is likely connected to positive economic indicators, helped by the GOP-passed, Trump-signed $1.5 trillion tax cut, which will give 80% of taxpayers a tax cut. The Daily Wire's Joseph Curl provides some highlights from the latest economic numbers (formatting adjusted):
The number of Americans now employed has set another new record, topping 155 million for the first time ever. Since President Donald Trump took office, employment records have been topped eight times. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 155,215,000 Americans were employed in February, which is 785,000 more than last month’s record of 154,430,000. Black employment also hit a record high of 19,087,000 last month. In addition, a record 72,530,000 women 16 and older were employed. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the fifth straight month the measure has held steady. That's the lowest it's been since Bill Clinton was president.
Despite all the good news, Rasmussen notes that their polling data shows that "a sizable number of voters — including most Democrats — remain convinced that [Obama], not Trump, is responsible for the continuing economic boom."