President Trump’s job approval rating, 44 percent with a 48 percent disapproval rating in a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, makes him “the first president of the post-World War II era with a net negative approval rating in his first gauge of public opinion.”

Trump’s most strident supporters will no doubt call the polls fake, but the fact is, Trump’s numbers are low.

But at the same time, there are signs of optimism — not for Trump’s political fortunes but for the country. More Americans say they are hopeful and optimistic about the future than have said so in several years. And, at least specifically where the economy is concerned, many attribute their optimism to having Trump in the Oval Office.

The Journal-NBC pollsters asked 1,000 adults, “When you think about the future of the country, would you say that you are mainly hopeful and optimistic or mainly worried and pessimistic?” Sixty percent said they feel hopeful and optimistic, while 40 percent said they feel worried and pessimistic. That hopeful number is higher than when the Journal asked in December 2016 (56 percent), and in August 2016 (54 percent) and September 2005 (53 percent).

Trump voters are the most optimistic. But if 60 percent of Americans think something, the number includes a significant number of people who didn’t vote for Trump.

Looking inside the poll, men (66 percent) are more hopeful than women (54 percent). People earning between $30,000 and $50,000 (63 percent) and between $50,000 and $75,000 (64 percent) are more hopeful than those who make more than $75,000 (59 percent) and under $30,000 (55 percent). On the other hand, all age and income groups are over 50 percent on the hopeful scale.

Looking at other groups, 52 percent of Hispanics are hopeful, versus 47 percent worried — that’s got to be a more positive number than many would have guessed. Among African-Americans, though, just 36 percent are hopeful, versus 63 percent worried. Among whites, 65 percent are hopeful, versus 35 percent worried.

Looking at political identification, there’s no doubt Democrats are bummed — 37 percent optimistic versus 63 percent pessimistic. Republicans are happy — 87 percent optimistic to 12 percent pessimistic. And independents are leaning toward the positive side — 56 percent optimistic to 41 percent pessimistic.

Other indicators suggest good feelings among Americans in the wake of Trump’s victory. Forty-one percent said they expect the economy to get better, 21 percent expect it to get worse and 36 percent expect the economy to stay the same. That 41 percent, plus 42 percent who expected better times are the highest expectation numbers in the Journal’s polling since October 2012, right before Barack Obama was re-elected.

The Journal then asked those who believe the economy will get better whether they believe that will be the case mostly because of new Trump economic policies, or mostly because of what Obama set in motion, or mostly because the normal business cycle is simply improving. Seventy-three percent credited Trump policies, while just 5 percent credited Obama and 20 percent cited the business cycle.

None of that adds up to Trump popularity. But Americans’ sense of hope, especially about the economy, is a hugely important factor in presidential support. And where that is concerned, there is, for Trump, a little light for the future.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

(31) comments

Claudia Burnam

We learned from the 2016 presdential election that polls are very unreliable!

Jim Forsythe

Claudia, which poll are you talking about? Is it the  poll that predicted votes only? As more people than before had not made their minds up till just before they voted, it made polling difficult  .

Most polls have a  typical:  margin of error of plus-or-minus such as  3.6 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. That means, based on the sample, there' at  95% certainty that the "true" support levels for the candidates are within 3.6 percentage points of the reported results.
Most polls that show  whom likely voters will vote for. As Clinton did win the vote by 48.03% to Trumps 45.94% most polls were right. Most polls were show showing a very close race, if you consider the margin of error factor.
Polls that try to project   Electoral College are different than the ones that just project the number of votes only.

Carlos Ponce

Most polls showed Donald Trump had "no path to the presidency". According to the polls, Hillary should have walked away with the popular vote AND the Electoral College even with the "margin of error" figured in. There were very few exceptions among pollsters to the consensus that Hillary would definitely win. That's why Democrats are still grasping at ANYTHING to discredit this administration. They are still in denial.

Jim Forsythe

The polls done on the last day was very close.
Tuesday, November 8
Poll Results
Spread
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein
IBD/TIPP Tracking
Clinton 43, Trump 45, Johnson 8, Stein 2
Trump +2
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton
IBD/TIPP Tracking
Clinton 43, Trump 42
Clinton +1
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton
LA Times/USC Tracking
Clinton 44, Trump 47
Trump +3
Polls done before the 8th were within the margin of error of plus-or-minus such as  3.6 percentage points if you count 4 as the cut off. Some polls even showed Trump would win vote. A few were showing above this range , but were not the majority.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/   
By S.A. Miller and Seth McLaughlin - The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016          
TAMPA, Fla. — Prognosticators have issued a grim assessment of Donald Trump’s chances, but the GOP nominee’s path to the White House is still alive and runs through Florida, where his campaign has gained momentum in the final stretch of the race. 
September 14, 2016 09/14/2016 11:43 a.m. Daily Intelligencer
Trump’s Path to Victory Is Starting to Look Very Real   By Ed Kilgore
The week before last I looked at Donald Trump’s likely “path to victory” and adjudged it as “a tightrope walk down an insanely narrow path to 270 electoral votes.” I’d now take out the adjective insanely and maybe even suggest it’s a walk along a balance beam rather than a tightrope. As the popular-vote margin separating Clinton and Trump gradually shrinks, putting together a map of states Trump might carry involves less conjecture about where he might make gains and more confidence that he might be able to consolidate gains he has already made.


Carlos Ponce

That's not the point, Jim. Hillary won the popular vote. State by state, however,most pollsters agreed Trump had NO path to the presidency based on projected Electoral votes. This from Nov 4, 2016 Politico: "Hillary Clinton leads in most national polls and in enough battleground states to put her on pace to surpass the 270 electoral votes she needs Tuesday to become the next president."

Carlos Ponce

"The Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll released Sunday morning attempts to bury the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump going onto the third and final debate with Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with a poll that gives Clinton a daunting eleven point lead among likely voters, 48% to 37%.
A deep dive in the internals of the poll shows those interviewed voted in 2012 for incumbent Barack Obama 46% to 32% over Mitt Romney. Obama beat Romney by almost four points in 2012 (3.9%), meaning the WSJ/NBC poll was padded with 10 percent extra Obama voters."
Is the WSJ/NBC poll BIASED against Republicans? Sure looks like it.

Jim Forsythe

If you would have been following Fox, maybe you would have read this. They were saying it was getting close, and may come down to the battle ground states. Clinton was losing ground starting early September.

Poll: Trump catching Clinton in critical Electoral College vote     Published September 17, 2016
FoxNews.com.                              
A Reuters poll released Saturday shows Hillary Clinton’s once-significant Electoral College lead dropping sharply in recent week -- with much tighter races in Florida, Ohio and other key states that will decide the national contest.
The wire service’s weekly tracking poll of more than 15,000 Americans projects that Clinton -- “if the race was held today” -- has a 60 percent chance of winning by 18 electoral votes, compared to having an 83 percent chance last week.
A Fox News poll released Thursday show Clinton ahead of Trump by just 1 percentage point among likely voters in the four-way ballot. Clinton receives 41 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 8 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3 percent.  In the head-to-head matchup, Trump leads up by one point.
This story based in part of wire service reports 
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/17/poll-trump-catching-clinton-in-critical-electoral-college-vote.html

Carlos Ponce

"The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove." March 2, 2017 poll
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_mar2

George Croix

I would expect that Pres. Trumps poll numbers WOULD be significantly lower than his predecessors, and not just because of a near totally slap raving nuts media and a host of 'resistors' living in their own personal universe.
People in charge who demand results are never as popular as ones who just hand out favors.

Jim Forsythe

If you wonder why Trump has not increased in polls , todays tweets are a example of self inflicted roadblocks.  . After having a nice speech  this week, he follows it up with this  If he has prof , just turn it over to the DOJ. The traction he gained with some, may be gone.

"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
5:35 AM - 4 Mar 2017
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism."

"How low has President Obama gone to taped my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"


Carlos Ponce

Wait for the evidence, Jim. Note that in Obama's rebuttal there was "wiggle room".

Jim Forsythe

The question was , why is Trump not doing better in polls? My answer was--  one of the reason might be  because of his tweeting, and today he provided - accusing a  ex president , without showing prof. If he wants to increase his poll numbers this is not how to do it. He may have had a up tick in favorability  after his speech , and he may have lost all he gained. 
 Should he be tweeting about something that the DOJ may be  instigating now or in the near future? If this is true, he needs to let the DOJ take care of it .

He needs to remember, tweeting is not his friend.

Steve Fouga

Trump often accuses his opponent of exactly the same kind of tactic he would employ, given the opportunity.

In this case it wouldn't surprise me at all if he were right. There's no doubt in my mind that the Obama administration was using various means to "investigate" Candidate Trump during the campaign and transition.

Steve Fouga

President Trump's poll numbers are low for two reasons: First, his was a razor-thin electoral victory and a slight loss in the popular vote, meaning that a little more than half the public preferred his opponent. Second, and probably more telling, he is not a likeable person. Personally, I have seldom felt such distaste for someone I don't actually know.

His popularity will rise as he creates policy that helps the American public economically. A lot of folks, like myself, will probably never lose their dislike of him, but if my bank account looks better in a few years, I'll like him more than I do now.

When discussing President Trump's unfavorability, we should remember that If Secretary Clinton had been elected we would be having exactly the same discussion, for exactly the same reasons.

George Croix

Out of 538 Electoral College votes, 7 went for Other Than Trump/Clinton.
Of the 531 remaining, trump got 304 to Clinton's 227.
That's 57% to 43%.
A 14% margin.
That's a lot thicker than my Schick Slim Twin blade.....[beam]
I believe Clinton beat a 100 year old record for number of faithless electors at 5, versus 2 for Trump (combined, these two deeply unpopular candidates had more than ever before)....5 to 2 is also a pretty thick difference, considering that 1 is not common.
That tactic of 'inevitability' may be good for winning the popular vote, but middle America still decides who wins elections, not the coastal progressive paradises....
Anyway, I agree about not liking Trump....I'd rather he was not President, but compared to having Hillary in there I'd take Trump 40 times over..... or more.....so far......He may turn out to be worse than the new ex-Pres., whiich will be a triuck, but not impossible....time will tell.....Perhaps he'll be allowed to have his Cabinet seated by the end of the first term....[wink][rolleyes]

Steve Fouga

You're right of course about the number of electoral votes, and in that light what I said appears stupid.

I meant that the swing states went down to swing counties, and the vote was close in some of those places. A few hundred thousand votes made the difference in a large electoral victory.

Sorry you couldn't read my mind. [cool]

George Croix

From that perspective, the close races/places that determined the ultimate end and decided the all or nothing states, you are certainly pretty darn sharp, if only slightly less than razor.....[smile]
But, close only counts when pitching hand grenades and horseshoes........[beam]

Steve Fouga

Well, except it also counts in determining the popularity of the winning candidate. I have a feeling if he had won a bunch of those close precincts by a landslide, we would be saying he's popular.

Anyway, it doesn't matter now. He won, he's not popular, but he has a chance to redeem himself by making us wealthier and safer.

Carlos Ponce

"President Trump's poll numbers are low...." I guess you think 52% is a let down compared to the 59% approval rating he had a little earlier. His lowest was 50%.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/trump_approval_index_history
It does compare to Obama's which reached even lower numbers in July and August of his first year. Obama reached a high of 62% his last full day in office but a 47% approval rating during his first year.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history
When put in perspective Trump is doing very well when you consider the unsubstantiated attacks from the media and Democrats.

Steve Fouga

Carlos, I don't share your love of Rasmussen. I could link a dozen, maybe two dozen, that show the opposite. He's not popular.

Randy Chapman

[rolleyes] If one repeats something enough, they tend to believe their own story.

Carlos Ponce

No poll is accurate but it best to compare poll numbers from the same source (apples to apples, oranges to oranges). Scott Rasmussen no longer heads the polling firm which bears his name. He left in July 2013.

George Croix

Personally, I don't care whether Pres. Trump is ever Poll Popular..ever....
I'd much prefer he be results productive.....
When in a bind, I don't want the guy who's fun to have a drink with show up..I want the one who can, and will, help me get out of the bind.....

George Croix

Would ex-Pres. Obama ever sanction spying on a political opponent....?
Maybe....
I note that one can usually judge the character of a person in a leadership position by noting whether the standards they hold themselves to are the standards they hold their subordinates to....Then note that the most recent ex-AG didn't even get a eye blink after the phony 'accidental' meeting with Bill Clinton, when blindness and silence looked to be self-serving.....

There it is........

Steve Fouga

Like I said above, I wouldn't be surprised if he spied. But not because Trump was a political opponent. If he spied on Trump, it was because he was concerned about the danger to the U.S. due to the possibility of Trump's having been compromised by Russians. I bet he did spy on Trump -- "he" meaning his intelligence services.

George Croix

ps: Also noted is Pres. Trump has shown no lack of willingness to shoot first and ask questions later.
He better be right on this one......

Gary Scoggin

Why does he have to be right? Many of his supporters feel no need to hold him accountable when he says and says other incorrect stuff. They just chalk up any evidence of his silliness as "fake news."

George Croix

I dunno...it's been my observation that ex-Pres. Obama's #1 concern was anythign effecting himself, including his 'legacy'....
As such, if...if...he did order spying on Trump, it would more likely have been to try and get useful info to aid Hillary's election chances/his own programs/orders' perpetuation...
After all, there was SOME reason for the secretive "....tell Vladimir I'll have more flexibility after my election" words to the Russian Ambassador.....else, why the aside.....
But, that may be wrong...I just don't think so....

Steve Fouga

Yeah, the "more flexibility" comment was, along with his "red line," one of the real WTF moments of the Obama presidency, neatly encapsulating the weakness of his foreign policy. For me, it doesn't rise to the level of treachery, but at least to the level of naivete/stupidity. President Reagan gave us the formula for dealing with Russia: unrelenting pressure, economically and militarily.

The use of anti-Trump intel to aid Secretary Clinton is the most obvious reason to collect it, but the fact that he didn't use it and that led to her opponent's election means that that wasn't the reason. Or... like President Trump insists, that there was no "there" there.

I hope we get to find out, because, well... Russia.

George Croix

Well, what he didn't use it, because there was no "it" to use.....
That IS a possibility.....
Another is his and Hillary's own arrogance and sense of inevitability that she WOULD win, so he folded with 4 aces...and he's now trying to re-play that hand through intermediaries.....
Could be....there's certainly precedent...several...that ex-Pres. Obama will lie knowingly and say pretty much anything to promote his personal interests and/or cover his own but_ and resort to the truth only when his pants fall down...
Pres. Obama proved his personal stake in the election with his very public pronouncement of " a personal insult to my legacy" if he didn't win, and an all out effort by him to promote Hillary Clinton's election, even declaring her "the most qualified candidate for this job, ever", and anyone who'd say that would surely not be averse to using ANY real or contrived 'there', there.....
imho
Oh, wait.....I suppose there's also always the possibility that the ex-Pres. didn't really know what was going on at all, and only found out after watching the news......again.....[whistling][rolleyes]
I don't fault anybody their personal hot button issues, but I'm a lot less worried about a country that wants to control the world and so needs a world to control than I am about a bunch of raving lunatics who believe they'll go to their heaven if they kill all the infidels...meaning anybody not like themselves.....the most vile of whom have now been aided, even paid, and veritably assured to go nuclear by the very ex-Pres. describing his successor as unfit to hold the Office.....
Can't fix that

George Croix

what IF he didn't use is it....

Close enough

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