Poll: Trump Approval Slightly Underwater, But Americans' Economic Outlook Brightens

Posted: Apr 27, 2017 1:05 PM

A fresh national survey from Fox News' bipartisan polling firm contains decidedly mixed reviews for President Trump as his 100th day in office approaches. Overall, the president's approval rating is upside-down by three points (45/48) which is actually several points better than the latest RCP average.  Let's look at a few nuggets from the internals:

(1) On issues, Trump's approval rating is strongest on national security (+8) and the economy (+4). He fares worse on taxes (-4), foreign policy (-6) and immigration (-10). His worst area is healthcare (-21).

(2) Vice President Mike Pence enjoys a much stronger public image than Trump, with his approval level hitting a 50 percent majority, with just one-third of voters disapproving. Both men have lofty approval ratings (in the mid-to-high 80's) from self-identified Republican voters.

(3) The country's right track/wrong track numbers have been underwater for years now, but this survey finds that trend edging closer to parity. This data set's (45/53) result is the strongest that metric has been in nearly five years. These numbers are also encouraging for the White House:

The number [of respondents] saying the economy is in “poor” shape is lower than it’s been in more than a decade. By an 18-point margin, 52-34 percent, voters see the nation’s job situation improving -- the first time since 2004 that more than half say so. By a 5-point margin they say it feels like the economy is getting better rather than worse for their family (42-37 percent), and more voters think Trump’s policies are helping the economy rather than hurting it (37 percent vs. 25 percent).

(4) Nevertheless, a majority feels "discouraged" about the next four years, just as a similar slim majority believes that Trump is failing to bring change to Washington. By a wider margin (52/29), Americans say believe the United States is less respected in the world today than it was one year ago -- even as two-thirds of voters support the president's airstrikes against Syria in retaliation for the regime's chemical weapons attack, thus enforcing the previous president's impotent "red line" and affirming international warfare norms.

(5) The vast majority of respondents say they're confident in their vote from last November, including 97 percent of Trump supporters. Looking ahead to the 2020 election (gag) against an unnamed opponent, a majority Americans are currently inclined to replace Trump with a new president, with just 36 percent leaning toward re-election. A Washington Post/ABC News poll out this week showed that in a re-match with Mrs. Clinton, Trump would win again. In a more relevant statistic, Democrats enjoy a five-point edge on the generic Congressional ballot (the survey's partisan sample is D+5, which seems reasonable).

(6) With the Left intent on peddling the story that Obamacare has become very popular with Americans, this poll demonstrates that the failing healthcare law is still highly controversial. A majority (57 percent) wants the law either entirely repealed or partially repealed, with just 16 percent favoring keeping it in place. One-quarter of voters would like to see it expanded. Asked which major GOP priority should take precedence, three-quarters of voters picked "fixing the healthcare system" over tax reform. It will be interesting to see how Obamacare's approval numbers are affected when 2018 coverage options and premiums are announced, which are expected to highlight the law's ongoing collapse.

(7) Finally, a result that will frustrate Democrats who've invested so much in the Russia/election narrative. Most Americans are getting tired of it:

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