Trump’s on the rebound! Sort of? Maybe!
What’s going on? The big headline from a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, as written by CNN’s Director of Polling and Election Analytics Jenn Agiesta, is that the President’s approval rating “has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency.”
A bit later in the story, she adds this: “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.” So, he’s historically low, but on the upswing, maybe, and nipping at the heels of the low marks of some other Presidents who went on to reelection.
A couple of things to remember here, as Agiesta ably points out, including that Trump’s approval rating has seesawed for months, between about 35% and a little over 40%. From that perspective, today’s poll is largely in line with where his approval has been.
He’s under 40% approval on several important issues, including how he’s handled foreign policy and gun policy. But he’s at 48% approval on the economy, which is the best number for him in the poll.
So, is he nipping at the heels of Reagan and Obama in terms of approval?
Both of them were dealing with very very bad economies at the outset of their presidencies, whereas Trump has overseen a historic bull run on Wall Street and an unemployment rate under 5% – literally full employment.
The unemployment rate for Obama in March of 2010 was 9.7% For Reagan, in March of 1982, it was 9%. Another historical note is that before they went on to re-election, Obama and Reagan suffered huge losses in midterm elections. Obama’s Democrats lost 63 seats and control of the House. Reagan only lost 26 seats. But if Trump’s Republicans lose 26 seats, it’ll be Nancy Pelosi or another Democrat wielding the gavel come January.
On the other hand, neither Obama nor Reagan had the kind of personal drama currently embroiling Trump. CNN’s poll shows two-thirds of Americans believe the women who say they’ve had affairs with him, not White House denials.
The Point: This is all in the way of saying that a seven-point approval swing may be welcome news in the White House, but there’s a lot of context that suggests things aren’t going to be getting any easier for the President anytime soon.