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Trump's Job Approval Best in a Year

Trump's Job Approval Best in a Year

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • 42% approval in each of past two weeks
  • Best since early May 2017
  • Republicans show largest increase in approval

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Donald Trump's job approval rating has been 42% in each of Gallup's two most recent updates. While still on the low side compared with presidential ratings historically, it is an improvement from his 39% average thus far in 2018 and is his best weekly average since May 2017.

Line graph: Donald Trump job approval, 2017-2018. High 45% (Jan 2017); low 35% (most recently Dec '17); current 42% (May '18).

Between May 2017 and late April 2018, Trump's job approval rating had been 40% or below in nearly every Gallup weekly measurement. The exceptions were 41% readings from April 2-8 of this year and from May 22-28, 2017. He has exceeded that in each of the past two weeks and registered two of the higher approval ratings in his tenure to date. His best was 45% during the first 10 days of his presidency.

Much of the recent news coverage about the president has focused on independent counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion and the payments made by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. But there have been other stories that reflect more positively on Trump, including North Korea's willingness to accept restrictions on its nuclear program, and the U.S. unemployment rate dropping to its lowest level in 18 years.


Over the past two weeks, an average of 89% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 11% of Democrats have said they approve of the job Trump is doing as president. All are up between two and five percentage points compared with April 9-22 polling, though only the five-point change among Republicans is large enough to be statistically meaningful.

Changes in Donald Trump's Job Approval Ratings, by Political Party
  Apr 9-22 Apr 23-May 6 Change
  % % pct. pts.
U.S. adults 39 42 +3
Republicans 84 89 +5
Independents 33 36 +3
Democrats 9 11 +2
Gallup, 2018

Bottom Line

Even after showing definite signs of improvement, Trump's approval rating remains low from a historical perspective. The average presidential job approval rating dating back to 1938 is 53%, and elected presidents in May of their second year in office have historically averaged 58% job approval. In fact, Trump's 42% average at this point would tie Jimmy Carter's from May 1978 as the lowest for an elected president at a comparable point in time.

At 89% approval among his fellow Republicans, Trump has little room to improve his standing among that group. Thus, more substantial improvement in Trump's overall rating would require increased favorable evaluations from independents and Democrats.

Explore President Trump's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted April 30-May 6, 2018, on the Gallup U.S. Poll, with a random sample of 1,507 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 ±3 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.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Poll works.

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