Trump's approval rating holds steady at 45 percent amid government shutdown: poll

Trump's approval rating holds steady at 45 percent amid government shutdown: poll
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE’s approval rating held steady in the first weeks of 2019 despite an ongoing partial government shutdown that is now in its fifth week.

A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill showed that 45 percent of U.S. voters approve of the job Trump is doing in the Oval Office. That’s largely unchanged from a similar survey conducted last month that put his approval rating at 44 percent.

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Trump, who has largely tied his political success to economic growth, gets his highest approval marks for stimulating jobs – 57 percent, according to the survey. Likewise, his handling of the economy gets 54 percent approval.

But approval of Trump’s work administering the government is underwater at 41 percent, according to the poll. His handling of foreign affairs doesn’t fare much better, with just 44 percent of respondents approving.

Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, said that despite the ongoing government shutdown, Trump’s approval rating has been buoyed largely by a positive perceptions of his economic performance.

A similar poll conducted last month showed approval of his handling of the economy at 52 percent.

“Trump’s job approval has held up during the shutdown and is helped by improved perceptions of the economy from the December poll,” Penn said.

“This represents a better start of the election cycle than either [former Presidents Barack] Obama or [Bill] Clinton had, but so far he has shown little ability to climb past this point.”

While Trump’s approval rating in the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll largely held steady, the survey offered a dimmer projection of his reelection prospects in 2020.

According to the poll, only 36 percent of voters said that they would either definitely or probably vote for Trump next year. By comparison, 43 percent said that they would either definitely or probably vote for the eventual Democratic nominee.

Ten percent of respondents said they plan to vote for an independent or other candidate in 2020, while another 11 percent are unsure about how they will cast their ballot in the next presidential election, the poll found.

The survey also showed Trump’s likability underwater. Only 29 percent of respondents said they “like him personally,” compared to the 58 percent who said they dislike the president on a personal level. Thirteen percent said they were unsure.

The most recent poll results came as Trump finds himself locked in a bitter feud with congressional Democrats over the ongoing partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

At the center of the fight is Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for his long-promised border wall.

The president has insisted that any spending package must contain the border wall funds, but Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have rejected the request.

Over the weekend, Trump rolled out a proposal to break the deadlock, offering temporary legal protections for certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children in exchange for border wall funding. Democrats have called that proposal a nonstarter.

A broad field of Democrats is expected to vie for the party’s nomination to challenge Trump next year. So far, roughly half a dozen Democrats have thrown their names into the running, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (N.Y.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (Calif.), who announced her candidacy on Monday.

But several others are expected to announce their decisions in the coming weeks, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters MORE (I-Vt.), creating the potential for one of the largest primary fields in the Democratic Party’s history.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,540 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 15-16.

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 2019.

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.