With the midterm elections approaching, approval ratings for President Donald Trump are going up, with a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll giving him a record high 47 percent overall approval rating. According to the same poll, that’s an increase from 44 percent in September, 44 and 46 percent in August, 45 percent in July, and 44 percent in June.
Notably, Trump’s current approval rating is two points higher than President Barack Obama had with registered voters in the same poll in late October 2010, just before Obama’s first midterm election.
Trump has a 49 percent overall disapproval rating, according to the poll, which surveyed 900 registered voters and has a margin-of-error of about 3 percentage points. But his disapproval rate is at an all-time low, the highest being a 57 percent disapproval rate in January and April, according to the same poll.
A YouGov poll taken Oct. 20 to 21 gave Trump a 40 percent approval rating and a 52 percent disapproval rating among 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. But his favorability varies widely by party. According to that poll, his favorability among Republicans was 87 percent; among Democrats, 11 percent; and among independents, 35 percent.
An Oct. 22 Rasmussen poll of 1,500 likely voters also showed Trump with a 47 percent favorability rating. Similar to the NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, Rasmussen also shows Obama near Trump around this time eight years ago: 47 percent approved of his job for the month of October 2010, while 52 percent disapproved.
Pollsters are looking at Trump’s favorability as a weather vane for the midterms, especially in states where elections are contested. And both Republicans and Democrats are using his presidency to motivate their base to vote.
Trump has been traveling the country to campaign for Republican congressional candidates for the past several weeks, trying to create enthusiasm for the midterms, so that his party can maintain control of Congress. Historically, the presidential party takes a hit in the midterms after the first presidential election, and Trump is hoping to reverse that trend.
“There’s something about that ‘Make America Great Again’ that just worked, but ‘Keep America Great,’ it’s very important because everything we do, they can destroy very quickly if the wrong people get into office,” Trump said at a rally in Mesa, Arizona, on Oct. 19, referring to his campaign slogan.
“Under Republican leadership, America is booming, America is thriving, America is winning, because we are finally putting America first.”
Pollsters have consistently predicted the House being won by Democrats and the Senate by Republicans next month, but even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) isn’t willing to say “take it to the bank” as she did in May 2016 when predicting Donald Trump wouldn’t win.
“If the election were held today, Democrats would handily win the House,” she said during CNN’s Citizen forum Oct. 22. “I can only speak in the present tense, because you never know in another couple of weeks.”
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