News and Commentary

Trump Bump: President’s Approval Rating Skyrockets After Soleimani Strike
US President Donald Trump arrives for a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, on January 9, 2020.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has ticked up substantially since he launched a targeted strike, killing Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and striking a significant blow against Iranian involvement in destabilizing the fledgling Iraqi government.

Real Clear Politics reports that Trump’s overall approval rating, culled from several separate polls, has risen sharply over the last several weeks and ticked up significantly after the United States killed Soleimani — a move that leftists derided as overly aggressive and indicative of a potential “World War III.”

“The president’s rating rebounded considerably since dropping during the several months that House Democrats investigated his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky,” the Washington Examiner reported Sunday. “Trump notched a 45.3% approval mark, matching a local high recorded on Sept. 24, 2019, according to RealClearPolitics. His disapproval rating is down to 52.3% from a high of 58.1% on Dec. 16, 2017.”

The president’s approval numbers seem to track with overall American approval of the Soleimani strike. According to The Hill, to Morning Consult, and to YouGov, which conducted a poll on the matter last week, a plurality of Americans — 47% — approve of the president’s decision to eliminate the head of Iran’s Quds Force, while around 40% disapprove.

“The survey, which was released on Wednesday but conducted before Iran responded to the strike by firing rockets at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, found that 47 percent of American voters supported Trump’s move to authorize a drone strike on Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport last week. Forty percent of voters said they opposed the decision, while 14 percent said they did not have an opinion,” the Washington, D.C.-based outlet reported.

Approval of the strike broke down along party lines — no surprise given the current acrimonious partisan landscape.

Later polls showed a breakdown of support, but only when respondents were asked if they approved of Trump’s handling of the Middle East conflict overall. Most of those polls were taken before tensions cooled late last week, amid allegations that Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner with an errant anti-aircraft missile.

Trump’s approval rating is flying in the face of predictions. Last week, CNN suggested that Trump would not see a polling “bump” in the wake of Soleimani’s death because Trump was too divisive a figure in American politics: “Trump’s extremely steady approval rating and a growing partisanship in the US may prove stronger than that ‘rally around the flag’ bump.”

President Barack Obama did not see gains when he launched his own military strike, CNN explained, perhaps in part because of an electorate severely fractured along party lines.

The response to Soleimani’s death, though, has apparently shocked critics of the administration, who predicted dire consequences, including heightened tensions in the Middle East and a possible global conflict. Eager to present the chief architect of Iran’s insidious plan to destabilize the region as an “official,” or a respected member of global leadership, news organizations were quick to broadcast Soleimani’s funeral as a national event.

Just this weekend, however, Iranians opposed to the rogue nation’s leadership took to the streets to protest the Ayatollah and the Iranian government and celebrate Soleimani’s death.

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