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Rating President Trump on the Issues

Most Give Trump Positive Marks for Economy

Monday, October 29, 2018

Most voters now commend President Trump for his economic leadership but are less impressed by his performance when it comes to foreign affairs. That’s potentially good news for Republicans facing an election in which voters say Trump and the economy are the big issues

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters give the president good or excellent marks for his handling of the economy. Thirty-three percent (33%) still rate his performance in this area as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)  

Trump’s economic positives continue to rise from 39% in August of last year. Forty-nine percent (49%) gave his economic performance good or excellent marks four months ago.

When it comes to foreign policy, 45% of voters say Trump is doing a good or excellent job, down slightly from 47% in June. Forty-four percent (44%) consider his performance poor. Just six percent (6%) rate national security as their top voting issue, though.  

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 25 and 28, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The president’s job approval rating has been in the high 40s on most days in recent months, peaking at a high of 51% two weeks ago. Trump’s approval is tracking higher than Barack Obama’s at this stage of his presidency.

Predictably, 88% of Republicans think Trump is doing a good or excellent job handling the economy, but only 19% of Democrats agree. While 80% of GOP voters give positive marks to the president for his handling of foreign policy, 77% say he’s doing a poor job.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 51% say Trump is doing a good or excellent job on the economy, but only 43% feel that way about foreign policy.

The older the voter, the more strongly they approve of the president's job performance when it comes both to the economy and to foreign policy.

While black unemployment is at an historic low, blacks are much more critical of the president’s economic performance than whites and other minority voters are. Blacks are similarly unimpressed by his handling of foreign policy.

Economic and consumer confidence, already at or near record highs, is moving upward again in the latest Rasmussen Reports Consumer Spending Update.

Fifty percent (50%) of all voters now believe the improving economy is due more to Trump than to President Obama, while 40% think it is more the result of the policies Obama put in place before he left office. Credit to Trump has been on the rise since October 2017 when voters were evenly divided, 45% to 45%, over who was more responsible for the improving economy. 

Forty-eight percent (48%) say the upcoming midterm election is a referendum on Trump’s agenda.  Thirty-eight percent (38%) think it’s more about individual candidates and issues. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided.

Voters are more confident than they have been in years that the country is safer than it was before the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, and most also agree we’re winning the ongoing War on Terror.

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