The new poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal shows the Putin meeting had little impact on his popularity.

By Daniel Herborn


Posted on July 23, 2018

28% of respondents in the poll said they ‘Strongly Approve’ of Trump’s overall performance, while 43% said they ‘Strongly Disapprove’.

Trump’s approval numbers were up slightly; 24% of respondents had said they ‘Strongly Approve’ of him in the June 2018 poll. In that poll, 16% of respondents were ‘Somewhat positive’ about the president. In the most recent poll, 12% described themselves as ‘Somewhat positive’.

In response to a slightly differently worded question, 45% of respondents approved of the job Trump is doing as president and 52% disapproved.

While the Trump administration is often characterised as tumultuous and chaotic, it has remained quite stable in terms of voter support and has been largely unaffected by high-profile criticism of his travel ban, his firing of FBI Director James Comey and his description of white nationalists as “very fine people”.

Support for Trump was sharply divided along party lines. 66% of respondents who identified themselves as Republicans approved of the Trump-Putin summit while only 8% of Democrats voiced their approval.

Voters were most impressed with Trump’s handling of the economy (50% approval and 34% disapproval) and his relationship with North Korea (44% approval).

Only 31% of those surveyed approved of the policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents.

US voters unhappy with Trump’s relationship with Russia

Just 26% approved of his relationship with Russia. Almost twice as many respondents (51%) disapproved of the relationship. On a tweet posted on 22 July local time, Trump said the meeting with Putin had been “GREAT” and efforts to criticise it had been “So bad for our country!”.

The meeting came just days after special counsel Robert Mueller had indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of interfering in the Democratic National Committee’s 2016 US election campaign. Trump said at the summit that he didn’t see any reason why Russia would have been involved and his comments were met with outrage, with many Republicans strongly condemning the President. He later said he misspoke at the conference and did believe US intelligence agencies.

While the poll showed dissatisfaction with how Trump handled the Putin meeting the reaction was more subdued than the thunderous condemnation the president received in Washington.

Poll shows support for Trump’s handling of the US economy

The strong result for Trump in the poll on economic matters echoes other poll results; in a survey by The Economist and YouGov conducted over 15 to 17 July found 48% of respondents approved of Trump’s handling of the economy.

In an opinion piece in The Guardian, independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said that many in the US were not seeing any benefit of the apparent economic boom.

“140 million Americans lack the resources to pay for housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation and a cellphone without going into debt,” he wrote.

The US has enjoyed 2% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018 and gained 213,000 jobs in June.

Overall, Trump’s approval rating has continually remained lower than that of the past two presidents, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.