A Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll shows the president’s approval rating at its highest level in two years. Not surprisingly, it’s the strong economy that is giving Trump a boost. From the Hill:
The survey found that 48 percent approve of the job Trump is doing, compared to 52 percent who said they disapprove. That’s up from 45 percent approval in March. The last time the president’s job approval rating reached 48 percent in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey was in June of 2017.
Trump appears to be getting a lift from the economy, with a record 62 percent approving of his approach to employment and 59 percent approving of his handling of the economy…
“People’s views on the economy are gradually pushing Trump’s numbers up and his actions on other issues like China and immigration are neutral to positive,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey. “Every point of increase in this range of 45 to 50 improves the possibility of re-election.”
This poll shows Trump doing a bit better than other recent polls. A Hill-HarrisX poll conducted last week found the president at 44% approval. That poll also found Trump’s support among independents had dropped to 35 percent. But earlier this week, Gallup reported that the public’s assessment of Trump’s character had improved somewhat, though it’s still behind where presidents Obama and Bush were at a similar point:
More Americans today (40%) than two years ago (33%) believe President Donald Trump has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have, although that still represents a minority of the public. In contrast, roughly six in 10 Americans thought George W. Bush and Barack Obama had the right presidential characteristics at a similar point in their presidencies…
Trump’s better ratings on issues than on character distinguish him from Bush and Obama, who were both rated significantly better on character than on issues.
The Gallup poll was conducted in late April so this would be after the Mueller report was released. Perhaps that’s helping him a little?
In the mix of these polls, you can see the outlines of the 2020 race. Democrats will run against Trump’s character and Trump will run on the strong economy. Trump has certainly taken a lot of punches in the past two years, but it’s hard to imagine a majority of Americans deciding to dump him in this economy. There must be a fair number of Democrats who would tell a pollster they don’t approve of Trump when asked but who are also doing pretty well personally. How motivated with they be to take a risk on Biden or someone more radical like Sanders? Put another way, are there enough resistance types out there who would be willing to see the economy tank if it also meant getting rid of Trump? We’ll have to wait and see.