Fox News Poll: Trump's First Report Card

By Dana Blanton Politics FOXBusiness

(Copyright Reuters 2017)

It’s been about three weeks since President Donald Trump’s inauguration.  The Fox News Poll checked in with voters nationwide to get a read on how things are going.

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Here are five findings on the new administration.  Voters feel:

  • Divided over Trump.
  • A bit more confident in Trump’s judgment than they did before the election.
  • Optimistic on the economy, pessimistic on health care, and mixed on security.
  • Repealing and replacing Obamacare and cutting taxes should be higher priorities than building the wall. 
  • Trump’s election victory was a bigger surprise than the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback. 

Here are the numbers behind those bullet points:

When asked if the Trump administration is working on things that will help their family, 47 percent of voters say yes, while 48 percent say no.

That’s almost identical to the split over President Trump’s job performance:  48 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove.  Moreover, most voters feel strongly one way or the other, as 35 percent “strongly” approve and 41 percent “strongly” disapprove. 

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Nearly all Republicans approve (87 percent), as do just over half of independents (52 percent).  Among Democrats, 10 percent give him the thumbs up.

For comparison, after Barack Obama’s first month as president, 60 percent of voters approved of the job he was doing, including 90 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents, and 29 percent of Republicans (February 2009). 

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The poll, released Tuesday, finds 50 percent feel confident in Trump’s judgment in a crisis, up from 43 percent in October 2016.  Yet nearly half, 49 percent, lack confidence in his judgment.  In addition, about half of voters describe Trump as a “strong leader” (52-45 percent). 

Where will things stand after Trump’s first year?  In spite of his mixed approval rating, by a 55-35 percent margin, voters feel the economy will be stronger a year from now.  That includes more than one in five Democrats (22 percent).  There’s less optimism on health care coverage, as voters expect it will be harder (48 percent) rather than easier to get coverage next year (35 percent) -- likely due to Trump’s pledge to repeal Obamacare.  Meanwhile, 46 percent think the U.S. will be safer a year from now, while 43 percent say less safe. 

In Trump’s first 100 days in office, twice as many voters say it’s extremely or very important for him to work on cutting taxes (52 percent) and repealing Obamacare (49 percent), than building a border wall (26 percent).   Among Republicans, 76 percent prioritize repealing Obamacare and 74 percent cutting taxes, while just 47 percent say the same of building the wall.

For many, the unique way Trump won the election made it unexpected -- with a big Electoral College advantage despite losing the popular vote by more than two percentage points.  Some compared it to this year’s Super Bowl, in which the New England Patriots overcame a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons. 

Which was more surprising?  Voters say it was Trump’s win by a 56-35 percent margin.  Among Hillary Clinton voters, 76 percent say Trump.  That’s more than twice the number of Trump voters who say the same (37 percent).

Trump’s win also bothered more people than the Patriots’ victory (49-27 percent).  That’s largely driven by the fact that 91 percent of Clinton voters were bothered more by the election, while for Trump voters it was the Super Bowl (52 percent) or neither event (39 percent).

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,013 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from February 11-13, 2017.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.

 

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