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Trump Approval Highest on Terrorism, Economy

Trump Approval Highest on Terrorism, Economy

by Art Swift
Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • 46% of U.S. adults approve of Trump's handling of terrorism; 45% economy
  • Healthcare policy, relations with Russia lag at bottom of list of issues
  • Republicans support Trump on issues; Democrats do not

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On 10 hot-button issues, President Donald Trump gets the highest approval ratings for his handling of terrorism (46%) and the economy (45%). His lowest ratings are for healthcare policy (28%) and relations with Russia (30%). Trump's frosty relations with the news media meet with approval from 34% of U.S. adults.

Trump Approval, by the Issues
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling ... ?
  Approve Disapprove
  % %
Terrorism 46 53
The economy 45 53
Immigration 40 59
The federal budget 36 57
Foreign affairs 35 62
Taxes 35 57
Relations with the news media 34 64
The environment 32 63
Relations with Russia 30 66
Healthcare policy 28 67
Gallup, June 7-11, 2017

These results are based on a June 7-11 Gallup poll. Trump, at 38% overall job approval in the same survey, does not enjoy majority approval on any of the topics Gallup surveyed.

The president's high-profile commentary on terrorism following attacks in the United Kingdom and Iran in recent weeks perhaps contributed to his relatively strong approval on this matter. And he may be benefiting from a relatively strong U.S. economy in his approval ratings on that issue.

Trump doesn't score as well on the environment, at 32% approval, following his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. His 34% approval rating for relations with the news media comes amid a barrage of tweets from the president about the "fake news" media and his labeling of them as the "enemy of the people."

Gallup previously measured approval of Trump's handling of three issues -- the economy, foreign affairs and immigration -- in February. On all three, his approval ratings are essentially the same now as they were four months ago.

GOP High on Terrorism; Democrats Low on Relations With Russia

As would be expected, Republicans and Democrats assess Trump's performance differently on each of the 10 issues.

No more than 15% of Democrats approve of Trump on any of the issues tested. No less than 61% of Republicans approve of Trump on any issue, with a high of 80% approval on terrorism and the economy. Less than a majority of independents approve of Trump on all issues, ranging from a low of 24% on healthcare to a high of 48% on terrorism.

Trump Approval, by Party Identification
% Approve
  Overall Republicans Independents Democrats
  % % % %
Terrorism 46 80 48 13
The economy 45 80 45 15
Immigration 40 79 35 11
The federal budget 36 71 33 10
Foreign affairs 35 73 32 6
Taxes 35 71 32 8
Relations with the news media 34 61 32 12
The environment 32 69 27 7
Relations with Russia 30 62 27 4
Healthcare policy 28 62 24 5
Gallup, June 7-11, 2017

Bottom Line

With Trump's overall job approval rating in the high 30s, it is unsurprising that Americans would not rate his handling of any specific issues highly. Yet it is instructive to see which issues rate better than others. While there have not been any major acts of terrorism on American shores during Trump's presidency, there have been several attacks in Europe and the Middle East -- and many Republicans may be drawn to the president's direct statements on the matter. The continued strength of the economy, including job creation, GDP growth and record highs for the stock market, likely contribute to Trump's higher level of approval on the issue.

It may be no surprise that Trump earns low marks for his handling of relations with Russia, as the inquiry relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election continues and has seemingly intensified. And with Obamacare imperiled by Congress, Americans are not buoyant about the Trump/GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Unless the president's overall approval rating begins to rise significantly, it is unlikely that these issue ratings will move much higher in the short term.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 7-11, 2017, with a random sample of 1,009 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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