Poll: Trump job approval gains as voters warm to tax bill

Poll: Trump job approval gains as voters warm to tax bill
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE’s job approval rating has rebounded from its low point as voters warm to the GOP tax bill and express optimism over the economy, according to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, viewed first by The Hill.

Forty-five percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing. That’s up from 41 percent in December, the low point for his presidency in the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found the president's job approval rating dropping from 40 percent earlier in the month to 37 percent presently, near his low of 36 percent. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Trump is at 41.8 approval, up from his December low of 37.1. 

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Trump’s job approval rating sits at 83 percent among Republicans in the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll but it dips to 40 percent among independents and only 17 percent among Democrats. Fifty percent of men surveyed said they approve of the job Trump is doing but only 41 percent of women approve.

Older voters were much more likely to approve of the job Trump is doing, with 51 percent of those 65 or over giving the president positive marks. Among those who are between 18 and 34 years old, the president’s approval rating is at 43 percent.

One possible factor in the job approval uptick is the president’s State of the Union address in January. It was well-received, with 52 percent of voters saying they approved.

“Trump’s job performance has significantly improved — a solid bump — in the face of the tax cuts, strengthening economy and successful State of the Union,” said Harvard CAPS/Harris co-director Mark Penn. “While men are cheering the president, young women, in particular, see him in a very negative light.”

Trump’s approval rating is dragged down by voters' personal views of the president — only 40 percent of those surveyed view him positively while 56 view him negatively.

“His personal rating has barely moved while his job rating has improved — tweets and controversies continue to weigh him down,” Penn said.

Still, the president’s job approval rating has ticked up as voters are bullish on the economy and increasingly approve of the GOP’s tax overhaul, which was reflected in paychecks for many Americans this month.

Forty-eight percent of voters say the economy is on the right track, against 39 who said t's on the wrong track. That compares favorably to voters' views of the country overall — only 37 percent say the nation as a whole is on the right track, while 54 percent say it is on the wrong track.

Seventy percent of voters say they think the economy is strong. Support for the tax bill — which polled dreadfully while it was being debated by Congress — is now nearly at the break-even point, with 48 percent support.

A majority of voters approve of the job Trump is doing on the economy, stimulating jobs and fighting terrorism, while a majority disapprove of the job he’s doing on immigration, foreign affairs and administering the government.

“The 57 percent who approve of the job he is doing on the economy is the highest positive number he has ever achieved,” Penn said.

Republicans still have their work cut out for them on selling the tax bill, which is going to be a centerpiece of GOP messaging heading into the 2018 midterm elections. Forty-one percent of voters say they’re unsure about whether they’ll get a tax cut, 31 percent said they would not get one and only 28 percent said they’d get a tax cut in 2018.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of voters approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing and 39 percent approve of the job Democrats are doing. That’s a huge improvement for Republicans — in November, the party was polling at only 28 percent approval.

Still, Republicans trail in the generic congressional ballot ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Forty-one percent of voters said that if the midterm elections were held today they’d vote for a Democrat, compared to 36 percent who said they'd support a Republican.

Fifty-three percent said they want to see Democrats control the House and the same number said they want Democrats to control the Senate.

Generic ballot polls have been all over the place in recent weeks, with surveys showing Democrats in the lead by anywhere between 2 points and 15 points. The spread is 8 points in the RealClearPolitics average.

“The Democratic/Republican ballot is tightening up, though Dems still have an edge,” Penn said.

Former President Obama is the most popular political figure in the Harvard CAPS-Harris survey by far, at 56 percent favorable and 38 unfavorable. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV Keeping up with Michael Avenatti MORE remains deep underwater at 38 percent positive and 56 percent negative.

The GOP’s 2012 presidential candidate Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms Kavanaugh and the 'boys will be boys' sentiment is a poor excuse for bad behavior MORE, who is running for Senate in Utah, is at 41 percent positive and 39 percent negative. Vice President Pence is at 42 percent favorable and 43 percent unfavorable.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris online survey of 1,934 registered voters was conducted between Feb. 16 and Feb. 19. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 4 percent other.



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



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.