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.
The Jan. 16-29 poll was conducted in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial that will likely result in the president’s acquittal. The poll finds 52% of Americans in favor of acquitting Trump and 46% in favor of convicting and removing him from office.
In 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 Trump’s job approval rating has improved, so has the image of the Republican Party. Now, 51% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, up from 43% in September. It is the first time GOP favorability has exceeded 50% since 2005.
Meanwhile, 45% of Americans have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, a slight dip from 48% in September.
Additionally, the poll finds 48% of Americans identifying as Republicans or leaning toward that party, compared with 44% Democratic identification or leaning. Recent Gallup polls had shown a fairly even partisan distribution, after the Democratic Party held advantages for much of 2019.
Impeachment and a strong state of the nation may have brightened Trump’s election prospects, but U.S. registered voters are evenly divided at 50% as to whether he deserves re-election. When the question was last asked, just before the 2018 midterm elections, 41% of Americans thought Trump deserved a second term.
With the Democratic nomination campaign fully underway, 39% of registered voters say they will vote for Trump regardless of whom the Democratic Party nominates for president, while nearly the same percentage (36%) say they will vote against Trump regardless of whom the Democrats choose. Twenty-four percent of voters say they are waiting to see whom the Democrats nominate.
Read more via Gallup