Washington: US President Donald Trump’s approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, even as his approval ratings for handling major issues remain largely negative, according to a new CNN poll.
Overall, 42 per cent approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54 per cent disapprove, the poll revealed on Monday.
Approval is up seven points overall since February, including six point increases among Republicans (from 80 to 86 per cent now) and independents (from 35 to 41 per cent now).
However, Trump’s approval rating still remains below that of all of his modern-era predecessors at this stage in their first term after being elected, though Trump only trails Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama by a narrow four points at this point in their first terms.
Trump’s approval ratings have seesawed over the last four CNN polls — from 35 per cent in December up to 40 per cent in January, down to 35 per cent in February and back up to 42 per cent now.
Looking at intensity of approval, however, the share who strongly approve of Trump’s performance (28 per cent in the new poll) and strongly disapprove (46 per cent) have held relatively steady over a similar time frame.
The President’s strongest approval ratings on the issues come on the economy, the only issue tested where his reviews tilt more positive than negative: 48 per cent approve and 45 per cent disapprove.
On trade generally, 38 per cent approve of the President’s work while 50 per cent disapprove.
Trump’s handling of foreign affairs merits 39 per cent approval, with 53 per cent saying they disapprove.
The CNN poll also found that 47 per cent believe the President has been too easy on Russia so far, while 41 per cent feel his handling of Russia has been about right.
The poll was completed just before the announcement on Monday of the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the US.
A majority (54 per cent) disapprove of the way the president has handled gun policy, while 36 per cent approve, roughly the same as in February.
On the President’s character, Trump has made some improvements since November lows on a range of attributes, but most remain in negative territory.
Majorities have said that he cannot bring the kind of change the country needs (52 per cent) and that he won’t unite the country (60 per cent).
About six in 10 said that they do not see him as honest and trustworthy (59 per cent), that they were not proud to have him as president (59 per cent), and that he does not respect the rule of law (58 per cent).
The CNN Poll was conducted from March 22-25 among a random national sample of 1,014 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer.