Even as some congressional Democrats call for impeachment proceedings, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has surged to its highest level since his first month in office, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
The average approval rating for the president’s performance is at 45.1%, according to the average of polls calculated by the site. The last time Trump hit that mark was Feb. 21, 2017. The highest number his average job approval reached on RCP was 46% on Feb. 4. The lowest was 37%, which came on Dec. 13, 2017.
The apparent spike in Trump’s job approval comes after a flurry of positive economic data and the release of the redacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives trying to sway the 2016 election. It also did not reach a decision on whether to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.
The most recent jobs report found the unemployment rate at 3.6%, its lowest mark in 50 years. In addition, major stock market indices are near record levels and the gross domestic product continues to see sustained growth.
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In the “old days” if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism. Remember, “It’s the economy stupid.” Today I have, as President, perhaps the greatest economy in history…and to the Mainstream Media, it means NOTHING. But it will!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
Recent polling data indicates Trump’s improving approval is due more to the economy than to the Mueller report. Last week, a CNN poll found that 56% of Americans approve of his handling of the economy, a new high within that poll. On Monday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that just 29% of voters believe Mueller’s report cleared Trump of wrongdoing, while 42% said it did not and 29% said they weren’t sure.
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But analysts fear the economic gains could be setback by the news that the administration’s trade talks with China have stalled and by the president’s threat to drastically increase tariffs on Chinese goods as soon as Friday. Such a move would likely trigger a comparable tariffs on American goods by the Chinese government.
Despite the uptick in the president’s RCP average job approval, poll numbers indicate he still faces major hurdles in his quest for re-election.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bushboth had higher RCP average approval ratings and lower disapproval ratings than Trump at this stage in their presidencies. Obama was at 46.5% approval in 2011 and Bush’s was at 58.7% in 2003.
Last week’s CNN poll found the president trailing every leading candidate in the Democratic primary except for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.
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