It has been six months into Trump’s presidency, and if you took a quick glance at some recent polling data, you might start to think that the American people are starting to feel “great again.”
A Bloomberg poll concluded that despite only 40 percent of Americans approve of the job they’re doing, they are feeling better about themselves, their financial and economic prospects.
If Trump were reading this, it should all be a good news for him, except for one thing: America’s confidence is in spite of him, not because of him.
Read poll questions and methodology here
The latest Bloomberg poll tells that 58 percent of Americans believe that they are moving closer to realizing their financial and career related dreams and aspirations.
About 36 percent of them believe that their household income is better now.
That is not a good number, considering 45 percent of them believing it to be the same as it was before. Almost 40 percent of the people surveyed believe that their home value has become better.
But the numbers of overall financial stability tell a different story, considering the poll questions over time. In the last six months, there is a downfall of about 7.6 percent (35% from 38%) in the people who believe that their overall financial health has become better.
There is a rise of about 33 percent (12% to 16%) in people believing that their conditions have become worse, which is not a good sign at all.
Just 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing in the White House, and 56 percent now view him unfavorably, up 12 points since December. Presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush were both on 56% at the same juncture. One has to go back to Gerald Ford in 1975 to find a president with such low numbers.
Ford was also on 40% after six months in office, according to Gallup, following his politically radioactive pardon of predecessor Richard Nixon for the Watergate scandal.
But Mr. Trump’s disapproval rating (56%) is far higher than Ford’s (45%) after the half-year mark. Sixty-one percent say the nation is headed down the wrong path, also up 12 points since December.
Trump scored his best numbers on his handling of the economy, but even there the news for him isn’t great. Less than half of Americans — 46 percent — approve of Trump’s performance on the economy; 44 percent disapprove. He gets slightly better marks for job creation, with 47 percent approving.
The majority of the people don’t know whether Trump will be able to fulfill most of the promises he made before winning the elections. A 56 percent majority say they’re more pessimistic about Trump because of his statements and actions since the election. That’s a huge swing since December when 55 percent said his statements and actions made them more optimistic about him. Two-thirds don’t think he’ll succeed in building a wall along the Mexican border during his first term. More than half say he won’t be able to revive the coal industry.
“If you take the president’s scores out of this poll, you see a nation increasingly happy about the economy,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey. “When Trump’s name is mentioned, the clouds gather.”
How is the US economy holding up?
During the campaign, Mr. Trump vowed to create 25 million jobs over 10 years. He used to claim the actual unemployment rate was more than 40%. The basic trajectory of the economy under President Trump remains the same as it did under President Obama.
The jobless rate (4.4%) is at a 16-year low and close to full employment after 81 consecutive months of growth.
Stock markets have hit record highs, oil prices remain low, consumer confidence is buoyant and inflation is under control. However, car and retail sales have been falling, while wage growth remains sluggish. The White House has set a growth target of 3%, but the US Federal Reserve chairwoman has sounded skeptical.
Growth has only averaged less than 2% a year since 2001; the American economy grew 1.4% in the first quarter of this year.
Trump’s overall job approval rating among his voters stood at almost 90 percent, but just 62 percent approved of his handling of health care.
Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters are less confident of his leadership on health care even though they still overwhelmingly support him as president, the latest Bloomberg National Poll shows.
As Trump calls on the U.S. Senate to pass legislation repealing and replacing Obamacare, 60 percent of all poll respondents said they think it’s unrealistic that a bill lowering premiums and covering more people will be passed in the next several years. At the same time, health care ranked as the most important issue facing the country, ahead of jobs, terrorism, and immigration.
Trump voters were more optimistic on health-care changes than Democrats, with 62 percent saying it’s realistic that a bill that improves coverage will pass. About three in four Democrats (77 percent) said it’s unrealistic, as did 64 percent of independents. Health care was the No. 1 issue for all demographic subgroups, with the exception of Republicans, who ranked terrorism as the most important issue, with health care second.
Trump would love this
Don’t expect Trump to take the results to heart, of course, especially given his track record of confounding pollsters. He brushed off an ABC/Washington Post poll over the weekend showing his approval rating down at 36 percent. “Almost 40 percent is not bad at this time,” he tweeted.
Despite his tweets and him being on the lower side of the polls, this news will cheer him up – Hillary Clinton is doing worse than him.
The former secretary of state has always been a polarizing figure, but this survey shows she’s even lost popularity among those who voted for her in November.
More than a fifth of Clinton voters say they have an unfavorable view of her. By comparison, just 8 percent of likely Clinton voters felt that way in the final Bloomberg poll before the election, and just 6 percent of Trump’s voters now say they view him unfavorably.
How many bills have been passed?
“We’ve signed more bills – and I’m talking about through the legislature – than any president, ever,” said Mr. Trump recently.
“For a while, Harry Truman had us. And now, I think, we have everybody.”
According to the White House website, the president has so far signed off 42 bills. The New York Times has calculated the average of his six predecessors to be 43.
President Trump is way ahead of George W Bush (20) and a little ahead of Barack Obama (39), but the latter did sign off on an $800bn stimulus program as the country tried to clamber out of recession.
Many of the current president’s bills appear to be nationally insignificant, like renaming a building in Nashville or appointing individuals to a museum board.
President Trump also exercises political power through unilateral executive orders and memoranda, which allows him to bypass the legislative process in Congress in certain policy areas.
One of the president’s most consequential actions was neither a bill nor executive order – his announcement to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.
The telephone poll of 1,001 American adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, higher among subgroups. It was conducted July 8-12 by Iowa-based Selzer & Co. and published by Bloomberg.