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Trump hits 49 percent approval rating in Gallup poll

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s job approval soared to 49 percent in a new Gallup poll released Thursday, making up a 6-point loss from a similar survey released just two weeks ago. 

The new approval number is tied for Trump’s personal best in Gallup’s polling data. A survey conducted by Gallup in mid-March similarly found his approval ticking up to 49 percent before it took a 6-point dive in the first half of April

The poll released on Thursday marked a rare instance in Gallup’s polling history in which Trump’s overall approval is above water. Only 47 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the job he’s doing in the White House. 

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The rise in approval comes as Americans remain divided on the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty percent said they approve of his handling of the crisis, while nearly as many — 48 percent — disapprove, according to Gallup. 

The 6-point jump in Trump’s overall approval rating owes primarily to a bump in support among independents, according to Gallup. Forty-seven percent of independents said they approve of the president’s handling of his job compared to only 39 percent in the previous April survey.

Among Republicans, the president remains overwhelmingly popular. Ninety-three percent said they approve of the job he’s doing in the White House. He remains highly unpopular with Democrats, only 8 percent of whom said they approve of his job in office.

Trump’s recent uptick in approval is the latest sign of the political volatility he faces in an already turbulent election year. 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the president to refrain from the campaign rallies that have become a staple of his political brand. At the same time, the mounting jobless claims and volatile financial markets that resulted from the outbreak have dealt a blow to one of Trump’s strongest arguments for his reelection: a strong economy.

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In recent days, however, governors across the country have begun laying out plans to reopen their states’ economies. 

Hopes were also raised this week after Anthony FauciAnthony FauciScience seeks truth, Trump denies it Fauci says US may want to mandate masks amid COVID-19 surges Trump, Biden final arguments at opposite ends on COVID-19 MORE, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that an experimental drug called remdesivir showed promising signs in shortening recovery times for some COVID-19 patients.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,016 U.S. adults by telephone from April 14-28. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.