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Trump Job Approval 42%; Below 50% on Seven Key Issues

Trump Job Approval 42%; Below 50% on Seven Key Issues

Story Highlights

  • Approval rating has ticked up from 38% in June
  • Best issue rating on economy, at 48%
  • 36% approve of his handling coronavirus response

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump's job approval rating is 42% in the latest Gallup poll. This marks a slight improvement from two readings below 40% in June -- after nationwide protests on racial injustice -- but remains below his ratings prior to June, including several personal best readings of 49%.


Line graph. Donald Trumps 42% job approval rating is up slightly from 38% in June but remains below his ratings from January through May 2020.

The latest figures are from a July 30-Aug. 12 survey of 1,031 U.S. adults. Trump continues to get high marks from his fellow Republicans, among whom 90% approve, and low marks from Democrats (5% approve). Thirty-nine percent of independents approve, up from 33% in late June and 34% in July.

In addition to measuring Trump's overall job approval rating, the survey asked Americans to rate the president's handling of seven different issues. On none of these does Trump receive majority approval; his 48% positive rating for handling the economy comes closest. He gets nearly as high a rating on crime, at 46%. Meanwhile, 41% approve of his handling foreign affairs generally, and 40% approve of his handling relations with China specifically.

Fewer than four in 10 approve of his handling of race relations, the response to the coronavirus and education.

President Donald Trump's Approval Ratings for Handling Issues
Approve Disapprove
% %
The economy 48 51
Crime ^ 46 52
Foreign affairs 41 56
Relations with China ^ 40 57
Race relations ^ 37 62
The response to the coronavirus 36 63
Education ^ 35 62
^ Item asked of a half sample

While Trump's overall job approval ratings have stayed within an 11-point range this year -- between 38% and 49% -- his ratings on certain issues have varied more. In particular, Trump's ratings on the economy and coronavirus are down by at least 15 points from earlier this year.

In January, before the recession began, 63% of Americans approved of the way Trump was handling that issue. Now, with the economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, his approval for handling the economy is down 15 points.

Ratings of his handling of the coronavirus have fallen even more. In March, as the coronavirus was rapidly spreading in certain parts of the country and states were beginning to shut down their economies, 60% of Americans approved of how Trump was handling the response to the coronavirus. That fell to 50% in an April survey and has dropped further in each of the last two surveys, falling a total of 24 points since March.


Line graph. Donald Trumps 48% job approval rating for handling the economy is down from 63% in January. His approval rating for handling the response to the coronavirus is down from 60% in March to 36% now.

Approval of Trump's handling of foreign affairs is also down from earlier this year, but by a smaller amount, from 48% in early February to 41% now.

Gallup had not measured Trump's handling of the other four issues this year prior to the current survey. However, his 37% approval rating for handling race relations in the wake of ongoing calls for racial justice is not materially different from how he was viewed on the issue earlier in his administration, including 34% approving in August 2019 and 38% in February 2019.

Bottom Line

In less than three months, voters will decide whether President Trump gets another term in office. His approval rating is showing modest improvement, but it still remains below the 50% mark that has been a key indicator of incumbent reelection success.

Currently, the election campaign is being fought on two issues that are weaknesses for Trump -- the coronavirus pandemic and race relations. Those issues, along with the government itself, rank among the most important problems in the eyes of Americans. A greater focus on the economy, specifically to the extent it shows clear signs of recovery, could give Trump a better chance at winning a second term. Although the economy remains the president's strongest issue, his ratings for handling it are much weaker now than earlier this year.

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

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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