President Trump's approval rating hits highest point in two years

President Trump’s job approval rating is the highest it’s been in two years, boosted by voter optimism about the economy, according to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey.

The survey found that 48 percent approve of the job Trump is doing, compared to 52 percent who said they disapprove. That’s up from 45 percent approval in March. The last time the president’s job approval rating reached 48 percent in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey was in June of 2017.

Trump appears to be getting a lift from the economy, with a record 62 percent approving of his approach to employment and 59 percent approving of his handling of the economy.

While only 39 percent of voters said the country is on the right track, 51 percent said the economy is heading in the right direction. Seventy-one percent of voters said the economy is very strong or somewhat strong.

“People’s views on the economy are gradually pushing Trump’s numbers up and his actions on other issues like China and immigration are neutral to positive,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey. “Every point of increase in this range of 45 to 50 improves the possibility of re-election.”

Trump’s job approval rating in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is higher than what other recent polls have found.

The president’s job approval rating is at 42.5 percent in the RealClearPolitics average. A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found Trump at 48 percent, but six other recent polls found him ranging between 38 percent and 44 percent.

Gallup has registered some momentum for Trump recently. The president’s job approval in that survey bounced from 39 percent in March to 46 percent in late April, before falling back to 42 percent this month.

Still, there are some warning signs for the president.

Only 37 percent of voters said they would definitely or probably vote for Trump in the 2020 presidential election, compared to 42 percent who said they would definitely or probably vote for the Democratic nominee. Twelve percent of voters are unsure, and 9 percent said they’d vote for an independent or third-party candidate.

And a slim majority of voters, 52 percent, say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of immigration, his signature campaign issue.

Late Thursday, the president said he would impose new tariffs on Mexico unless the country puts an end to illegal immigration at the southern border.

Stocks fell on the news and analysts warned the tariffs could stifle economic growth.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,295 registered voters was conducted from May 29 to May 30.

Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll throughout 2019.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

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