Poll: Trump job approval hovers near low point


President Trump’s job approval rating is stuck near its low point in a new survey.

The latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll finds that 42 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing, while 58 percent say they disapprove.

That’s up one point over the same poll in December, when Trump logged his second straight month at 41 percent, the low point for his presidency in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.


The polling firm Gallup has reported that Trump ended his first year in office with the lowest average approval rating for a first-term president in history, at 39 percent.

Among polls conducted in January, Trump’s job approval rating has ranged from a low of 35 in an IBD–TIPP survey to a high of 45 percent in a survey conducted by the right-leaning outlet Rasmussen.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll found that 83 percent of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing, but he is dragged down by independents, at 41 percent, and Democrats, at 10 percent.

The president’s favorability rating is lower than his job approval rating, at 39 percent positive and 58 negative.

A majority approve of Trump’s performance on jobs, the economy and terrorism. But the president is underwater on immigration, foreign affairs and administering the government.

“Trump is doing remarkably well as a steward of jobs and the economy but that has only slightly lifted his overall approval numbers, given all of the verbal battles with the media and the Democrats,” Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn said.

“No question that the poll shows a lot of support for his policies and performance but his use of Twitter and personal style of running the government is still seen as holding him back.”

Sixty percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of Trump’s handling of North Korea.

The president has been lashing out at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Twitter, disparaging “Little Rocket Man” as short and fat and stoking fears among the foreign policy establishment that the president will blunder his way into a nuclear war.

But 55 percent say they support Trump’s efforts to renegotiate the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, and the same amount support the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy there over the next few years.

Trump has voiced his support for protesters in Iran, but 62 percent of voters say they’d prefer the president withhold comment and take a wait-and-see approach. Still, a strong majority of voters say Iran is run by religious leaders and is not a democracy. Seventy-nine percent say they don’t think the Iranian government has the support of its people.

And 79 percent say they support the U.S. government’s decision to withhold military and financial aid from Pakistan in an effort to pressure the government there to crack down on terror networks in the country.

“Voters applaud the tough actions that Trump has taken on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Iran and Pakistan,” Penn said. “The public sees him as standing up for American interests with common sense positions. The exception is North Korea where they worry he has been too inflammatory, even if they fully support the ultimate goal of containing his nuclear weapons capability.”

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,192 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 13 to 16. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 4 percent other.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard/Harris Poll throughout 2018.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval. 

Tags approval rating Donald Trump Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll Polling
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