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Fox News Poll: Trump Approval Slips, Even as More Feel Economy Improving

Dana Blanton
The most voters in more than a decade see an improving economy but it is not helping the President.

Voters think President Trump is ahead of most previous presidents on fulfilling campaign promises, and the most voters in more than a decade see an improving economy. Yet that isn’t enough to put the president’s job rating in positive territory, according to a Fox News Poll released Wednesday.

By a 19-point margin, voters feel the economy is getting better rather than worse for their family (48-29 percent).  The 48 percent “getting better” number is the highest since the question was first asked in 2003.  Just five months ago, voters felt the economy was getting worse by an 11-point margin (37 percent better vs. 48 percent worse, October 2016).

Increasing economic optimism only goes so far, as a majority still says the world’s “going to hell in a handbasket.”  Fifty-four percent feel that way, down just a touch from 57 percent in 2016 and 58 percent in 2014.

Check out these post-election swings among partisans:  optimism in the economy is up 54 points among Republicans, and down 29 points among Democrats since October.  The number saying the world’s going to hell has gone up 26 points among Democrats, but dropped 32 points among Republicans.

Trump gets his best job rating on the economy:  47 percent approve, while 44 percent disapprove.  Almost as many approve of how he’s handling terrorism (45 percent approve vs. 48 percent disapprove).  Voters are much more disapproving on other issues, such as immigration (41 vs. 56 percent), health care (35 vs. 55 percent), and America’s relationship with Russia (33 vs. 55 percent).

In addition, a 54 percent majority disapproves of the president’s revised executive order banning citizens from six countries from traveling to the United States, and the number believing the travel ban makes the U.S. safer dropped eight points since last month and now stands at 34 percent.

Approval of Trump’s overall job performance is down five percentage points.  Currently, 43 percent of voters approve, while 51 percent disapprove.  In February it was 48-47 percent.

Trump opponents hold more strident views than his fans: 45 percent “strongly” disapproves of the job he’s doing, while 30 percent “strongly” approves.

The poll also asked about Trump’s tweeting.  One-third of Trump voters (35 percent) approve of his tweeting -- but just 16 percent of all voters approve.  The rest either disapprove (50 percent) or “wish he’d be more careful” with his tweets (32 percent).

By a 51-38 percent margin, more voters than not feel that being a non-politician has hurt rather than helped Trump do his job as president.

Those backing Hillary Clinton in the election overwhelmingly disapprove of Trump’s job performance (93 percent) and a large majority feels his lack of political experience is a negative (84 percent).

It’s the opposite among Trump voters:  93 percent give him a thumbs-up and 81 percent feel being a non-politician has helped him do his job.

Fifty-one percent of voters think Trump has done more to fulfill his campaign promises than most other presidents at this point in their administrations.  That number climbs to 88 percent among voters who backed him in the election.  Overall, 34 percent think he’s done less.

Meanwhile, less than half of voters (47 percent) are confident the Trump administration will be able to make “significant positive change for the country.”

For comparison, at a similar point in President Obama’s first term, 63 percent approved of his job performance and a 64 percent majority had confidence he would bring positive change (February/March 2009).  A notable difference is that only a third as many Democrats (10 percent) have confidence in Trump now as Republicans had in Obama then (31 percent).

Pollpourri

There’s remarkable agreement among Democrats, Republicans, and independents in the ranking of top priorities for the president.

When asked about the one thing they really want Trump to get done, voters pick “create jobs.”  Thirty-three percent say that and it’s the number one choice across the political spectrum.  Next, 23 percent say “destroy ISIS,” and it’s the second pick across the board.

“The only significant difference in priorities is that just nine percent of voters overall pick putting a Constitutionalist to the Supreme Court, but it’s the top choice for 19 percent of Republicans,” says Democratic Pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican counterpart Daron Shaw.  “Just 8 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats feel that way.”

Putting a Constitutionalist on the court tops the list among “very conservative” voters (26 percent) and Republican men (22 percent).

Fifty-eight percent of voters approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing, up from 45 percent the last time the question was asked in 2012.  The shift comes mainly from Republicans (+19 points in approval) and independents (+14 points).

By a 45-39 percent margin, voters would confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,008 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from March 12-14, 2017.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.

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