President Donald Trump's job approval rating has risen to 49%, his highest in Gallup polling since he took office in 2017.
The new poll finds 50% of Americans disapproving of Trump, leaving just 1% expressing no opinion. The average percentage not having an opinion on Trump has been 5% throughout his presidency.
Trump's approval rating has risen because of higher ratings among both Republicans and independents. His 94% approval rating among Republicans is up six percentage points from early January and is three points higher than his previous best among his fellow partisans. The 42% approval rating among independents is up five points, and ties three other polls as his best among that group. Democratic approval is 7%, down slightly from 10%.
The 87-point gap between Republican and Democratic approval in the current poll is the largest Gallup has measured in any Gallup poll to date, surpassing the prior record, held by Trump and Barack Obama, by one point.
n addition to possibly reflecting sentiment regarding his impeachment, Trump's increased approval rating may also result from other issues, including:
- The recent military action in Iran. More Americans in the new poll approve (53%) than disapprove (45%) of the U.S. military action that resulted in the death of a leading Iranian military general. Iran retaliated but, despite fears of escalation, no further military action has been taken by either side.
- Foreign trade. During the poll's field period, Trump also signed the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- The economy. Americans' confidence in the economy is higher than at any point in the past two decades. Similarly, national satisfaction is the highest in nearly 15 years.
Sixty-three percent of Americans now approve of the way Trump is handling the economy, up six points from the prior reading in November. It is the highest economic approval rating not only for Trump, but for any president since George W. Bush enjoyed stratospheric job approval ratings in the first few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Trump's ratings for handling foreign affairs (47%) and foreign trade (50%) are also his best to date.
As the Senate impeachment trial wrapped up Wednesday with President Trump's acquittal, "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace said from a political standpoint, the president is in a stronger position now than he was before Democrats started the process of attempting to remove him from office.
“As far as the political impact, I think you’d have to say that Donald Trump is better off now than he was when the impeachment process began,” Wallace said.
“He’s had a number of bipartisan successes on trade deals, the economy is rolling along. The Gallup poll just came out. It’s the highest he’s had in this presidency, 49 percent," he added, lamenting that the country remains "50-50, bitterly divided."