A regular reminder: While President Donald Trump’s approval rating has declined gradually over the course of his first year in office, it has been generally far more stable than dynamic. That story remains the same even in a week featuring news of the first indictments stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling.
Over the past week, 41 percent of Americans approved of the way Trump is handling his job as President in SurveyMonkey’s tracking poll, up slightly from 39 percent the previous week, while 58 percent disapprove, a one point downtick. For 13 of the past 15 weeks, Trump’s rating in our polling has fallen within a two-point range, between 39 and 41 percent.
Similarly, the percentage that strongly approve of Trump’s performance ticked up a point (from 21 to 22 percent), while strong disapproval was down a point (from 47 to 46 percent). These minor week-to-week fluctuations largely reflect statistical noise. The bigger story here is the continuing gap, with strong disapproval better than double strong approval.
Continuity is also the story when it comes the extreme polarization in Trump’s ratings: 80 percent or better of Republicans approve of Trump’s performance, while the number among Democrats remains mired in the single digits.
While much of the week-to-week variation in the overall approval reflects slight, statistically insignificant fluctuation in the partisan composition of the samples, this week also saw a slight increase, from 30 to 33 percent, in Trump’s approval rating among independents who lean to neither party.
The issues that Americans choose as mattering most to them has also remained largely stable throughout 2017, punctuated by brief increases in concern about health care that coincide with congressional efforts to repeal President Obama’s signature health care act. While issue concerns have not shifted significantly in recent weeks, mentions of the economy (25 percent) did click up above health care (23 percent) this week for the first time since mid-September.
Methodology: This SurveyMonkey Tracking poll was conducted online October 26 through November 1, 2017 among a national sample of 13,308 adults ages 18 and up. 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.