Trump approval holds steady in tumultuous month

Trump approval holds steady in tumultuous month
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE’s approval rating held steady in February, despite a tumultuous month that included a prolonged fight over funding for his long-promised border wall, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

Forty-five percent of registered voters surveyed said that they approve of the job Trump is doing in office, in line with the poll in January. That compared to 55 percent who disapprove, the poll found.

“The president’s approval has remained steady, pushed up by strong economic performance and weighted down by the clash over immigration and continued controversies,” Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, said.

“He would be equal to or ahead of Clinton, Bush and Obama at this point in their presidencies, but still short of where he would need to be for a successful re-election.”

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Some of the president’s strongest support came from white male voters, 57 percent of whom said they approve of Trump’s tenure in office.

At the same time, 84 percent of Republicans gave the president’s performance a thumbs-up, according to the survey.

But the poll also underscored an ongoing partisan divide in how the president is viewed. Only 14 percent of Democrats surveyed said they approve of Trump’s job in the White House.

Trump gets his highest marks for stimulating jobs, with 57 percent approval, according to the survey. Likewise, his handling of the economy gets 56 percent approval.

But approval of Trump’s work administering the government is underwater at 42 percent, according to the poll. His handling of foreign affairs doesn’t fare much better, with just 43 percent of respondents approving.

The latest round of approval numbers follows a tumultuous month in Trump’s presidency.

In that time, the president signed a short-term deal to end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and narrowly avoided a second lapse in funding weeks later.

Both funding fights stemmed from Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion from Congress to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But after congressional leaders refused to approve that much in spending, the president signed an emergency declaration in an attempt to shift existing funds, a move that has already prompted a flurry of lawsuits.

Democrats in the House were also set to hold a vote on Tuesday on a resolution condemning the declaration.

The series of fights and controversies is likely to be a central theme as Trump prepares to head into his 2020 re-election bid.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,792 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 19-20. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 2 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 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.