President Trump's approval rating improves slightly to 46 percent: poll

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily says Trump travel ban preventing mother from seeing dying son Saudi Arabia rejects Senate position on Khashoggi killing Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation MORE’s approval rating rose slightly, to 46 percent, several weeks after his party lost the House but expanded its slim Senate majority, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.

The poll found that 46 percent approve of Trump’s job performance, while 54 percent don’t approve. That’s a slight bump from his October numbers, when 44 percent approved of the job the president was doing.

A majority of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the economy and jobs as well as combating terrorism — numbers that have remained fairly stable throughout 2018.

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But he still falls under an approval rating of 50 percent when it comes to issues like immigration, foreign affairs and administering the government.

“Trump’s numbers show an uptick as voters continue to give him credit on the economy and battling terrorism successfully. His job approval and the basic numbers have been stable over the last few months but still short of 50,” said Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.

A small majority of registered voters believe the country is on the wrong track — 52 percent — while 40 percent believe it’s headed in the right direction. Eight percent remain undecided.

Regarding the economy, 70 percent of voters believe it’s strong today, but only 47 percent believe the economy is on the right track, a slight decrease from the past two months.

The Republican Party’s approval has slightly increased but remains underwater at 43-57 percent. But the Democratic Party’s numbers have seen an uptick since the November midterms to 46-54 percent, or the same approval rating as Trump.

Several weeks after the Nov. 6 elections, a majority of voters — 67 percent — are satisfied with the outcome of the midterms.

Among Democrats, an overwhelming 79 percent are satisfied, while 58 percent of Republicans are happy with the outcome of the midterms.

Next year, Democrats will hold the House majority for the first time since 2010, having flipped at least 40 seats. Meanwhile, Republicans slightly expanded their Senate majority to 53-47 seats.

“Voters generally were satisfied with the outcome of the elections as they got the divided Congress they wanted that gave Democrats more power but also showed advantages to the Republicans in the Senate,” Penn said.

The top issue for voters in the midterms was health care at 37 percent, with immigration close behind at 35 percent. The economy, typically the top issue for voters, was ranked as the most important issue by 26 percent of voters.

When looking toward the next Congress, voters chose those three as issues they want tackled.

Democrats ran heavily on health care and coverage protections for those with pre-existing conditions as a wedge issue that helped deliver the party the House majority.

Meanwhile, Republicans mirrored much of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, a move that energized base voters in many red states that were home to the most competitive Senate races. Republicans defeated three Democrats, but also lost two Senate seats in Arizona and Nevada.

When Democrats are voting for Speaker of the House, only 33 percent believe House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump finds himself isolated in shutdown fight Key Trump aide on willingness to shut down government over wall: ‘If it comes to it, absolutely’ Impatience, exuberance will define new Congress MORE (D-Calif.) should reclaim the gavel, while 67 percent want a new leader.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,407 registered voters was conducted from Nov. 27 to 28.

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 CAPS/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.