Poll: Trump approval rating rebounds

Greg Nash

President Trump’s approval rating has bounced off a previously low point, according to a new poll.

According to data from the latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey, provided exclusively to The Hill, 48 percent of respondents say they approve of the job Trump is doing, compared to 52 percent who say they disapprove.

That’s a 3-point increase in the approval rating from last month, when Trump posted a 45-55 split in the poll, his lowest mark since Harvard-Harris Poll began tracking his approval rating in March.

Trump’s 48 percent approval rating in the survey is considerably better than in other polls.

Trump is deep underwater in the RealClearPolitics poll average, at 40.6 approve and 54.1 disapprove.

Two surveys released in mid-June had Trump down 21 points, with CBS News putting him at 36 percent approval and Reuters-Ipsos at 38 percent.

{mosads}The Harvard-Harris Poll results are even better than Rasmussen, the conservative polling outlet that has historically given Trump higher marks than their polling peers. In the latest Rasmussen survey, Trump is at 46 percent approve and 54 disapprove.

The Harvard-Harris Poll online survey of 2,237 registered voters was conducted between June 19 and June 21. The partisan breakdown is 35 percent Democrat, 29 percent Republican, 30 percent independent and 6 percent other.

Mark Penn, the poll’s co-director who has past experience as a pollster for both former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, has argued that the polls are underestimating Trump’s support by 5 or 6 points by sampling all U.S. adults, rather than only those who voted in the last election.

Most surveys also oversample young people who don’t vote, Penn said, and load their questions with storylines that are critical of Trump.

“The actual [special] elections suggest little has changed from Election Day,” Penn said.

On Trump’s bounce in the Harvard-Harris Poll survey, Penn noted that Republicans notched a big victory in the Georgia special House election that was cast as a referendum on Trump’s agenda. That came after two damaging weeks punctuated by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about Trump and explosive revelations surrounding the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling.

“It appears that a return to substance rather than wall to wall hearings enabled the administration to find some footing and recover somewhat in its ratings,” Penn said. “The findings suggest that it is puzzling as to why Republicans in Congress would keep holding public Russia hearings especially since there is an independent counsel on the case.”

Still, only 32 percent of voters believe the country is on the right track, compared to 55 percent who say it is on the wrong track.

The economy is a bright spot. Here, 44 percent say right track versus 38 percent wrong track. Sixty-three percent describe the economy as strong.

Trump gets the highest marks on fighting terrorism and stimulating jobs. He is underwater on foreign affairs and his ability to administer the government.

Trump’s approval rating is better than that of the Republican and Democratic parties. Republicans are at 37 percent approval and Democrats are at 38.

“With 52 percent not approving of the administration and over 60 percent disapproving of both the Democratic and Republican parties there are no winners here until they start to make progress on major legislation,” Penn said.

Harvard-Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard-Harris Poll throughout 2017. Full poll results will be posted online later this week.

The internet survey is a probability sample and so does not produce a traditional margin of error.

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