GOP pollster says Trump's 'persona' hurts him in polling

GOP pollster Ed Goeas argued in an interview that aired Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's policies tend to help his approval rating, while his public "persona" appears to hurt him in various polls.

"What you see with his job approval is when he focuses on policy, his approval rating goes up. ... When he focuses on his persona and how he's talking about the policy, his approval level goes down," Goeas, president and CEO of the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"There is a large chunk of voters who like his policies, but don't like his persona," he said. "So the ebb and flow on the job approval is not surprising."

The Republican pollster's comments came in a segment focused on Trump's decision last week to declare a national emergency at the border in order to circumvent Congress and secure funding he's demanded for a border barrier.

Trump has sought to shore up his support among his base with the emergency declaration, which is part of an effort to fulfill his campaign promise to build a border wall. He has also slammed Democratic lawmakers for what he calls their support of open borders.

Hill-HarrisX survey released on Wednesday found that 59 percent of registered voters oppose his emergency declaration at the border.

Trump's overall approval rating stands at 44.1 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics polling index, with 52.8 percent of Americans saying they disapprove of his job in office.

— Julia Manchester