ST. LEO, FL – President Donald Trump’s approval rating by Americans in general and by Florida residents persists in the low 40-percent range, according to the latest survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu)

The survey was conducted online November 19 through 24, 2017 (Thanksgiving week), among 1,000 adults nationwide. The resulting margin for results is + or – 3 percentage points, meaning the actual answers could vary by that much in either direction. In Florida, another sample of 500 residents were survey using the same questions, and the margin of error is + or – 4.5 percentage points. Florida is home to both Saint Leo University and the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

The polling institute has been tracking the favorability ratings of the president and other key political figures quarterly. Poll respondents were asked whether they strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the jobs Trump and others are doing, or whether they are unsure. Answers for strongly or somewhat approve are added and constitute a favorable rating. Likewise, the answers for somewhat or strongly disapprove yield the unfavorable rating. The overall favorability sums are shown in the table, along with the breakdown.

Detailed Favorability Ratings for President Trump Over 2017

Bold number equals the sum of strongly approve and somewhat approve

Strongly/somewhat subtotals shown in parentheses

How would you rate … U.S.  Approval % – November Florida Approval – November U.S. Approval – September Florida Approval – September U.S. Approval – March Florida Approval -March
The job Donald Trump is doing as President 41.2
(17.7/23.5)
41.8
(21.6/20.2)
42.8 (20.2/22.6) 43
(22/21)
44.1
(23.4/20.7)
48.7
(25.8/22.9)

 

“It’s not surprising that President Trump’s approval is sliding, as this is a common occurrence as ‘honeymoon’ effects fade away. It is surprising to see Trump’s approval so low with the economy doing well,” said Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and political scientist at Saint Leo University. “The president’s approval rating is much lower than we would expect based on economic performance.”

The survey also asked respondents each quarter how favorably they viewed the president’s job performance in particular areas. Questions were asked both in the national and Florida sample. Florida responses followed the same patterns as the national ones, but were in many cases tilted more favorably, as the table indicates.

“When we break down presidential approval into different parts,” Orlando said, “we can see why the president is having such a hard time.”

The public nationally gave Trump its highest combined favorability rating of 60.7 percent for support of troops and the military. But that that sagged from earlier ratings of 61.5 percent in September and 64.1 percent in March.

The president has held fairly steady on the category of protecting the United States from terrorism. The most recent ranking was 52.3 percent favorable, compared to 52.2 percent in September and 54.1 percent in March.

On jobs and the economy—one of the top two most pressing issues identified by national respondents over the year—Trump’s favorability rating has hovered around 50 percent. It was 51.2 percent in November, 49.3 percent in September, and slightly higher in March at 53.8 percent.

Favorability ratings on another important issue with respondents—revamping Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act—revealed disappointment. The November responses show a 39.1 percent favorability rating, which is essentially statistically steady with the 38.9 percent revealed in September. Favorable responses were much higher in March at 46.7 percent.

On immigration decisions, favorability ratings have stayed around 43 to 44 percent nationally.

The survey began asking in September about Trump’s attention to the opioid crisis. His initial favorability rating on the drug crisis was 39.9 percent and about the same in November at 42.4.

In several policy areas, the favorability ratings from respondents nationally have been lower than his overall approval ratings, including relations with other nations, which started near 42 percent but has sunk to 39.3. Handling relations with Russia (a question added in September) has received a favorability rating of less than 40 percent each time.

On handling ethnic and racial divisions domestically, Trump slid from a favorability rating of 39.9 percent in March to 35.6 percent in September, and 34.4 percent in November. Also consistently in the 30-percent favorability range were the responses on the president’s handling of the media.

The president’s lowest grades came on handling his Twitter messages, with approval of only 20.8 percent nationally in November. That compared to 26.1 percent in September, when the question was first asked. The November survey also revealed the president’s single highest “strongly disapprove” rating—54.9 percent—came on his use of Twitter; another 16.5 percent “somewhat disapprove” so, in all, more than 70 percent of national respondents dislike his use of the social media platform.

   Job-Specific Presidential Approval Ratings Over 2017

Rate the job Donald Trump is doing on… U.S. Approval % – November FL Approval % – November  U.S. Approval – % – September FL Approval – % September U.S. Approval – % March FL Approval % – March
Support for troops and the military 60.7 62.6 61.5 69.2 64.1 69.4
protecting the U.S. from terrorism 52.3 56.6 52.2 60.8 54.1 57.6
jobs and the economy 51.2 54.6 49.3 57.2 53.8 59.4
immigration decisions 43.5 48.2 43.8 46.2 44 46.9
the opioid crisis in the U.S. 42.4 45.8 39.9 46.6 -  –
relations with other nations 39.3 42.6 37.8 43.4 41.8 45.4
revamping Obamacare/ACA 39.1 45.2 38.9 45.8 46.7 51.1
handling relations with Russia 37.8 41.2 35.7 42.2       -   -
addressing handling racial/ethnic divisions in the nation 34.4 38.4 35.6 40.8 39.9 44
handling of the media 32.9 37 35.7 41.8 35.4 40.6
his Twitter messages 20.8 25.8 26.1 28.8   -  -

 

“While Trump is above water on terrorism, the economy, and the military, he is well below it on the other issues that voters care about,” Orlando commented.  “It seems as though President Trump would be well served to focus on the three issues citizens agree with him on rather than be drawn into Twitter battles with the media or making missteps on handling racial and ethnic divisions in the country.”


Republican Leaders Compared
The survey asked respondents to assign ratings to other key Republicans in national governance, as well. Orlando observed: “While Mr. Trump is not doing well compared to other first-year presidents, he’s still more popular than Republican leaders in Congress, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This tells me that some Trump supporters are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt while scapegoating Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell.”

Detailed Favorability Ratings for Top Republicans Over 2017

Bold number equals the sum of strongly approve and somewhat approve

Strongly/somewhat subtotals shown in parentheses

How would you rate … U.S.  Approval % – November Florida Approval % – November U.S. Approval % – September Florida Approval %- September U.S. Approval % – March Florida Approval %-March
The job Donald Trump is doing as President 41.2
(17.7/23.5)
41.8
(21.6/20.2)
42.8
(20.2/22.6)
43
(22/21)
44.1
(23.4/20.7)
48.7
(25.8/22.9)
The job Mike Pence is doing as Vice President 44.1
(20.2/23.9)
46.4
(26.6/19.8)
44.2
(19.3/24.9)
50.7
(24.4/26.30)
45.5
(22.1/23.4)
50.5
(28.2/22.3)
The job Congressman Paul Ryan is doing as Speaker of the House 36.3
(9.2/27.1)
39.8
(11.2/28.6)
33.3
(11.3/22)
40.5
(12.4/28.1)
42.4
(14.9/27.5)
47.5
(19.5/28)
The job Mitch McConnell is doing as U.S. Senate Majority Leader 27
(6.9/20.1)
29.2
(7.4/21.8)
28.7
(8.7/20)
30.7
(8.8/21.8)
 –  –

 

Given this picture, Orlando predicts an active campaign season for Congressional midterm elections in 2018. Specifically, 33 seats in the U.S. Senate and all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election on November 6, 2018. “Midterms are usually difficult for the president’s party, and they are doubly so when approval is hovering around 40 percent,” Orlando said. “While the Senate map may insulate the GOP from big losses, the House will certainly be in play for Democrats unless President Trump can regain some popularity.”

More data tables can be found in the Poll Reports section of http://polls.saintleo.edu.

 

Media contacts:
Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University, University Communications jo-ann.johnston@saintleo.edu or (352) 588-8237 or (352) 467-0843 (cell/text).    Mary McCoy, Saint Leo University, University Communications mary.mccoy02@saintleo.edu or (352) 588-7118 or (813) 610-8416 (cell/text).

 

About the Poll
METHODOLOGY: The poll sampled opinions of 1,000 adult approximately proportional to state population contribution nationwide. The survey was conducted November 19 through November 24, 2017. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument.The poll has a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis.

Florida results were acquired by surveying a separate population of 500 respondents in the state. For these answers, poll has a +/- 4.5 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis.

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute conducts its surveys using cutting-edge online methodology, which is rapidly transforming the field of survey research. The sample is drawn from large online panels, which allow for random selections that reflect accurate cross sections of all demographic groups. Online methodology has the additional advantage of allowing participants to respond to the survey at a time, place, and speed that is convenient to them, which may result in more thoughtful answers. The Saint Leo University Polling Institute develops the questionnaires, administers the surveys, and conducts analysis of the results. Panel participants typically receive a token incentive—usually $1 deposited into an iTunes or Amazon account—for their participation.

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey results about national and Florida politics, public policy issues, Pope Francis’ popularity, and other topics, can also be found here: http://polls.saintleo.edu. You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls.

 

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University (www.saintleo.edu) is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 90,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.