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CNN Poll: 42% approve of Trump, highest in 11 months

President Donald Trump's approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency,...

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 7:35 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 7:35 PM

President Donald Trump's approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, even as his approval ratings for handling major issues remain largely negative.

Overall, 42% approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54% disapprove. Approval is up 7 points overall since February, including 6-point increases among Republicans (from 80% to 86% now) and independents (from 35% to 41% now). Trump's approval rating 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 4 points at this point in their first terms.

Related: Full poll results

Trump's approval ratings have seesawed over the last four CNN polls -- from 35% in December up to 40% in January, down to 35% in February and back up to 42% now. Looking at intensity of approval, however, the share who strongly approve of Trump's performance (28% in the new poll) and strongly disapprove (46%) have held relatively steady over a similar time frame, suggesting the fluctuation in Trump's ratings comes largely among those whose views on the President aren't that deeply held.

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% approve and 45% disapprove. That isn't the case on foreign trade, however, the economic issue on which Trump has most recently taken action, implementing tariffs aimed at Chinese imports, steel and aluminum. On trade generally, 38% approve of the President's work while 50% disapprove.

Trump's handling of foreign affairs merits 39% approval, with 53% saying they disapprove. The poll also found that 47% believe the President has been too easy on Russia so far, while 41% feel his handling of Russia has been about right. The poll was completed just before the announcement Monday morning of the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S.

A majority (54%) disapprove of the way the president has handled gun policy, while 36% approve, roughly the same as in February.

Nearly two-thirds believe affair allegations

The survey results follow a tumultuous period for the President and his administration, in which allegations of extramarital affairs and efforts to cover them up have swirled and several members of Trump's Cabinet and team of top advisers have faced scandals of their own or been replaced outright.

Although the turmoil does not seem to have negatively affected Trump's overall approval rating, the public expresses sharp doubts about Trump's side of the story on the affair allegations, rates Trump's Cabinet and top advisers as generally less qualified and less in touch than previous presidential appointees, and hasn't moved much on questions of Trump's character.

Almost two-thirds of Americans say they believe the women alleging affairs with Trump over the president (63% say so), while just 21% say they believe Trump's denials of those affairs. And about half (51%) say the two women pursuing lawsuits seeking to free themselves from non-disclosure agreements relating to any relationship they may have had with Trump ought to be free to discuss those alleged relationships.

There are party and gender divides on both questions. Women are more apt than men to say they believe the women claiming affairs (70% to 54%) and that holds even among those who are Republicans or lean toward the Republican party (45% of women who consider themselves GOP or lean that way say they believe the women compared with just 25% of GOP and GOP-leaning men). Democrats are far more apt than Republicans to say the women should be free from their NDAs (78% among Democrats, 49% among independents and 25% among Republicans say so), and while women break in favor of allowing the women to discuss their relationships (59% say they should be free to discuss them, 34% say that the agreements should remain in place), men tilt the opposite way (48% say the agreements should hold and 43% say that they should be free to discuss their relationships).

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 say he cannot bring the kind of change the country needs (52%) and that he won't unite the country (60%). About six in 10 say they don't see him as honest and trustworthy (59%), that they are not proud to have him as president (59%), and that he does not respect the rule of law (58%). Most also say Trump does not care about people like them (56%).

Perceptions of Trump as someone who can manage the government effectively are roughly unchanged since last summer, but at just 40%, that's 10 points below the 50% who said so just after the election in 2016.

Trump's team gets low marks

Trump's appointees to Cabinet and high-level government positions fare poorly in comparison to previous appointees on their qualifications for the job, ability to empathize with the public, willingness to use their positions for personal gain and to misuse taxpayer money. And the public is split on whether they bring fresh perspectives to their positions or have cut wasteful government spending and bureaucracy.

About half say Trump's appointees are less qualified than their predecessors, that they are less apt to understand the needs and problems of people like you and that they are more likely to use their positions for personal gain. And by a 40% to 33% margin, Americans say Trump's top appointees are more apt rather than less apt to misuse taxpayer money.

About four in 10 come down on each side when asked whether Trump's appointees are more or less likely to bring a fresh perspective to their position and to cut wasteful spending.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS March 22-25 among a random national sample of 1,014 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.

Correction: The graphic for Trump's approval as President has been corrected to better reflect CNN's polling data.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295001

Reported Deaths: 3535
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin624331107
Ramsey26238493
Anoka20851224
Dakota20527189
Stearns13245106
Washington13220111
St. Louis8141108
Scott798154
Wright720338
Olmsted639934
Sherburne552241
Clay473356
Carver443213
Blue Earth395813
Rice393335
Kandiyohi378719
Crow Wing344731
Nobles301429
Chisago29799
Otter Tail288820
Benton285847
Winona266629
Mower248523
Douglas242235
Polk238223
Morrison224027
Lyon206711
Beltrami202517
McLeod198511
Becker194015
Goodhue190628
Steele18336
Itasca179123
Isanti179016
Todd173912
Carlton170414
Nicollet154925
Freeborn14795
Mille Lacs145131
Le Sueur141111
Waseca135911
Cass133310
Brown131215
Pine12788
Meeker11638
Roseau11074
Hubbard107523
Martin105520
Wabasha9941
Redwood87518
Dodge8230
Chippewa8157
Watonwan8104
Cottonwood7942
Renville77322
Sibley7564
Wadena7476
Aitkin71729
Rock7149
Pipestone69618
Houston6534
Fillmore6510
Yellow Medicine61511
Pennington6137
Murray5623
Kanabec55713
Swift5448
Faribault5251
Pope5071
Clearwater4817
Stevens4813
Jackson4581
Marshall4508
Lake3916
Unassigned38659
Koochiching3675
Wilkin3605
Lac qui Parle3513
Lincoln3331
Norman3307
Big Stone2962
Mahnomen2834
Grant2566
Red Lake2033
Kittson2027
Traverse1391
Lake of the Woods941
Cook630

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 223783

Reported Deaths: 2330
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33166333
Linn13991164
Scott1100384
Black Hawk10795134
Woodbury10255124
Johnson940036
Dubuque913491
Story674921
Dallas629057
Pottawattamie617069
Sioux366725
Webster357033
Cerro Gordo349644
Marshall346345
Clinton322840
Buena Vista302214
Muscatine282668
Des Moines282419
Warren276411
Plymouth270641
Wapello251571
Jones228413
Jasper214643
Marion202919
Lee199416
Carroll196422
Bremer192612
Henry18107
Crawford174115
Benton167418
Tama153340
Jackson143013
Delaware141021
Washington138214
Dickinson135810
Boone134811
Mahaska126127
Wright12226
Buchanan115410
Clay11504
Hardin114010
Page11144
Hamilton11009
Clayton10875
Harrison106629
Cedar106213
Calhoun10607
Kossuth10426
Floyd103916
Mills10297
Fayette102210
Lyon10188
Butler9916
Poweshiek98213
Winneshiek95812
Iowa93012
Winnebago91323
Hancock8547
Louisa84916
Grundy84611
Chickasaw8424
Sac8407
Cherokee8214
Cass80222
Allamakee79011
Appanoose77910
Mitchell7794
Humboldt7635
Shelby76111
Union7576
Emmet74924
Guthrie74115
Franklin73421
Jefferson7062
Madison6764
Palo Alto6474
Unassigned6470
Keokuk5777
Pocahontas5572
Howard5489
Greene5170
Osceola5171
Ida48113
Clarke4774
Taylor4603
Davis4548
Montgomery45011
Monroe43912
Adair4298
Monona4272
Fremont3553
Van Buren3545
Worth3540
Lucas3226
Decatur3160
Audubon2952
Wayne2957
Ringgold2082
Adams1652
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