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Story highlights

President Trump's approval rating climbed from 35% in December to 40% now

A majority of Americans, 55%, say they disapprove of Trump's job performance

It's still the lowest for any modern president at this point in a term

(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump’s approval rating ticked up to 40%, his highest mark since last September but still the lowest for any elected president at the one-year mark since modern public opinion polling began, according to the latest CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

A majority of Americans, 55%, say they disapprove of Trump’s job performance.

The President’s approval rating improved 10 percentage points among conservatives and 7 points among independents, mostly among those who lean toward the Republican Party. He also improved 8 points among men.

Trump’s job approval rating was most recently at 35% in December. It has fluctuated between 35% and 40% for the last nine months.

But Trump’s approval rating of 40%, while an improvement for him, is the lowest mark for any elected president at this point in their term in the White House in the last seven decades. Both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama had approval ratings below 50% at this point in their first terms, but all seven of the other presidents for whom data are available were above 50% approval at this point. Of course, both Reagan and Obama went on to be re-elected while presidents with better approval ratings after a year, like Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, did not.

Polarized partisan politics plays a big role in the approval splits for Trump: A broad 87% of Republicans say they approve of Trump’s job performance vs. only 6% of Democrats who say they approve. Four in 10 independents, 40%, say they approve of Trump’s handling of the presidency.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS January 14-18 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. No interviewing was completed on January 16 due to weather conditions at call center locations. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.