While the last 48 hours have produced a series of new bombshell stories, President Donald Trump enjoyed a slight rise in his job approval rating over the last two weeks of 2017, as Americans absorbed the news of the passage of the Republican tax overhaul. According to SurveyMonkey’s ongoing tracking, 44 percent of Americans interviewed over the past week approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, and 54 percent disapprove. The new approval number represents a 5 percentage point gain over the past two weeks (from 39 percent). Trump’s approval has exceeded 41 percent only once since June (hitting 45 percent in mid-September). The late December rise in Trump’s approval is consistent with results from other tracking surveys.
Similarly, Trump’s disapproval rating has fallen four percentage points (from 58 percent) over the past two weeks. Again, except for one week in mid-September, Trump’s 54 percent disapproval rating is the lowest in SurveyMonkey’s tracking since July.
The trend is similar in strong feelings about the President. Over the past two weeks, 24 percent of Americans strongly approved of Trump’s performance – a three point improvement from two weeks ago and slightly better than any week since June. The percentage who strongly disapprove has fallen from 47 percent in early December to 42 percent this past week.
Likely in response to news about the passage of the Republican tax bill, most of the improvement in Trump’s job approval has come among Republicans. Over the past two weeks, Trump’s approval rose 4 percentage points (from 84 to 88 percent) among Republican identifiers and 6 points (from 83 to 89 percent) among independents who lean Republican.
Trump’s numbers have also ticked up, from 32 to 35 percent over the past two weeks, among independents who lean to neither party. The approval rating is essentially unchanged among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic.
The improvement in Trump’s strong approval rating has occurred entirely among Republicans. Strong approval increased most among independents who lean Republican, jumping ten points from 44 percent in early December to 54 percent this past week. The shift among those who initially identify as Republican was comparatively small, from 54 percent in early December to 57 percent this past week.
The top concerns of Americans have remained mostly stable over the past few weeks. Jobs and the economy (28 percent) and health care (23 percent) continue to rank first among a list of seven issues as those selected most often by our respondents. Concerns about terrorism receded to between 8 to 9 percent after rising to 14 percent in early November.
As was often the case during 2017, the last day of our most recent field period included a barrage of new Trump news stories, including tweeting that he has a “bigger & more powerful” nuclear “Button” than North Korea, and breaking sharply with his former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, over Bannon’s disparaging remarks in a new book. What impact these new developments will have on Trump’s ratings going forward is, as always, anyone’s guess.
This week’s full approval topline results and a detailed demographic breakdown can be viewed here. Full topline results for Dec. 21-27, 2017 can be viewed here. Results from previous weeks can be accessed here.
Methodology: This week’s SurveyMonkey Tracking poll testing President Trump’s approval rating was conducted online December 28, 2017 through January 3, 2018 among a national sample of 12,238 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data for this week have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.
The previous week’s tracking poll was was conducted online December 21 through December 27, 2017 among a national sample of 7,557 adults ages 18 and up. The modeled error estimate for this survey was plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.