US President Donald Trump speaks on steel and aluminum tariffs during a meeting with industry leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on March 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN
President Donald Trump’s approval rating has ticked up, according to two recent polls — an increase that could be due to rosier US economic data — but the Republican leader’s popularity still remains below that of his predecessors.
Trump’s rating moved up from 35 percent to 42 percent from February to March, according to CNN’s monthly opinion poll and another study jointly conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The two polls have a margin of error of 3.7-4.2 percentage points.
Management of the world’s largest economy remains the strong point for the real estate mogul-turned-president — more Americans (48 percent) now approve of how he is handling the economy than disapprove (45 percent), according to the CNN poll.
The sweeping tax cuts adopted by Congress in December are also a high point for Trump: 46 percent of Americans polled approve of the president’s fiscal policy, the AP-NORC study reveals.
On the negative side, Trump earns lower marks for his trade policy and an attitude towards Russia that is seen as “too easy,” the CNN poll says.
The apparent upward trend in Trump’s approval ratings does not however appear in Gallup’s weekly poll, where he has been stuck since last May under 40 percent approval.
For comparison, after about 430 days in office, Barack Obama enjoyed a 49 percent approval rating in March 2010, George W. Bush was at 79 percent (in the post-9/11 period) in March 2002 and Bill Clinton was at 51 percent in March 1994.