Despite the two hurricanes that swept through the American South (or maybe because of them), September has been a pretty good month for President Donald Trump. After months of declining poll numbers, his approval ratings have stabilized in the past few weeks and are even ticking upwards, according to a report published on Wednesday in the left-leaning publication, Politico.
The president hit a low of 39 percent in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll last month after the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, caused a flurry of negative press for Trump.
He’s back up to 43 percent in this week’s survey, with other surveys showing the same type of results: Gallup’s weekly tracking poll shows him up to 38 percent last week, and Trump is at 40 percent in the RealClearPolitics average, which is up about 2.5 points from last month.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday showed that 43% of likely U.S. voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove. These numbers remain stable on the Trump-friendly polling system.
Trump earned rave reviews for his responses to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. And while polls showed his decision to put an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which shielded some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation — was unpopular, Trump’s subsequent decision to negotiate with Democratic leaders in Congress may have helped raise the public’s opinion of him.
Of course, his recovery isn’t huge — a 40 percent approval rating is historically low when compared to other elected presidents in their first terms. But the data suggests that after eight months in office, Trump is starting to establish a better reputation with the American people.
Some polls are showing Trump with more approval from his own party, which could be the reason for his latest bump. According to this week’s POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, Trump was at 80 percent approval among Republican voters — this is up from 73 percent at his lowest point. Among independents, Trump has gone from 35 percent to 40 percent. However, his approval rating among Democratic voters was virtually unchanged.
“Trump’s post-Charlottesville plunge proved to be short-lived, and his approval has stabilized,” said Morning Consult co-founder and chief research officer Kyle Dropp. “A key driver of this movement appears to be independents. Immediately after Charlottesville, 35 percent of independent voters approved of Trump, and 58 percent disapproved. In this latest poll, that has risen to 40 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval.”
The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted September 14-17, surveying 1,994 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
A Marist College poll last week found Trump’s approval rating at 39 percent, up from 35 percent in August. According to Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, the reason for this has nothing to do with Democrats: The percentage of Republicans who approve of Trump jumped from 79 percent in August to 87 percent last week.
“There has been some rallying behind President Trump for his handling—a bounce that also came mostly from Republicans–of hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Miringoff. “But his improved standing is seen only among his core supporters. He is still unable to reach beyond his base.”
Far less popular than Trump’s handling of the hurricanes was the announcement earlier this month that his administration will wind down the DACA program. In the Marist poll, only a third, 33 percent, approved of that decision. A 57 percent majority disapproved.
The results were close in last week’s POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, but still net-negative: 35 percent said ending the DACA program was the right thing to do, while 45 percent said it was the wrong thing to do.
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