Putting an end to President Donald Trump's summer swoon of months of declining poll numbers, his approval ratings look to be stabilized with a slight upward graph. With his approval rating hitting its lowest at 39 percent last month due to his controversial reaction to the violent protests in Charlottesville, VA, he got it up to 43 percent this week in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. Other poll results were also similar. In Gallup's weekly tracking poll, it jumped from 35 percent to 38 percent and an improvement of 2.5 points in the RealClearPolitics average with 40 percent. Nevertheless, these are still historically low for a first-year president. Trump won approval for his responses to two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma and nod to bipartisanship by negotiating with Democratic leaders in Congress after attracting frowns with his decision to wind down the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Despite Trump's rating lagging behind every other elected president in the era of modern polling at this point in their first terms; he has succeeded in stopping the gradual and steady decline after eight months of his presidency. With the polling body limited since last week, it cannot be clarified if Trump appeased some Republicans who defected after Trump's Charlottesville response and his team's failure to advance health care legislation in Congress or he has impressed some new converts.
A few polls attribute the spike to some Republicans and few independents joining his team. This week in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, Trump improved from 73 to 80 percent approval amongst Republican voters and from 35 percent to 40 percent among independents. He remains status quo with Democratic voters. The poll was conducted September 14-17 with 1,994 registered voters participating. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, stated that Trump's approval rating of 39 percent from 35 percent came from predominantly Republicans with the approval rating jumping to 87 percent from 79 percent in August. Here his ratings amongst independents and Democrats were essentially unchanged. However, he pointed out that the rating has improved only among his core supporters and not beyond his base. In SurveyMonkey's polling, Trump again has more independent approval gains than Democrats or Republicans. Likewise, Gallup's weekly data showed Trump improving from 7 to 9 percent among Democrats, 78 percent to 81 percent amongst Republicans and 30 percent to 35 percent among independents. None showed Trump gaining amongst Democrats.
Going by the specific questions asked by the pollsters, Trump's responses to hurricanes Harvey and Irma had won him the support to improve his ratings. SurveyMonkey poll showed 56 percent of people admiring Trump's response while 26 percent called it poor. Likewise in Marist poll, Trump's response had 55 percent approval and 25 percent disapproval.
Another natural disaster, Hurricane Maria striking Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands is already knocking on Trump's door though one cannot forecast if it will impact the continental United States. Opposed to the hurricane response, Trump's announcement earlier this month to wind down the DACA program met with 33 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval in the Marist poll. According to last week's POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 35 percent approved Trump's decision while 45 percent declared it wrong. Trump has compromised his stance on DACA by agreeing to reconsider his decision if Congress fails to act to codify protection for these undocumented immigrants in the next six months.