Trump rebounds after polling slide

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Trump rebounds after polling slide

After months of declining poll numbers, the president’s approval rating ticks upward.

Donald Trump is pictured. | AP Photo
President Donald Trump’s approval rating is back at 43 percent in this week’s POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. | Charlie Neibergall/AP

President Donald Trump’s summer swoon appears to be over.

After months of declining poll numbers, the president’s approval ratings have stabilized — and even ticked up slightly — over the past month.

Following a low of 39 percent in the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll last month after his controversial reaction to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump is back at 43 percent in this week’s survey. Other surveys show similar results: Trump bottomed out at 35 percent in Gallup’s weekly tracking poll in late August, but ticked up to 38 percent last week. Trump is at 40 percent in the RealClearPolitics average, up about 2.5 points from his low-water mark last month.

Trump’s popularity still remains historically low for a first-year president. But since his August polling nadir, Trump has earned positive reviews for his responses to two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma. And while polls showed his decision to wind down the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which shielded some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation — was unpopular, Trump’s subsequent nod to bipartisanship by negotiating with Democratic leaders in Congress may have helped stanch the bleeding.

It’s impossible to attribute Trump’s small uptick in the polls to any or all of these events. His recovery is modest at best: His 40 percent approval rating still lags every other elected president in the era of modern polling at this point in their first terms. But the data suggest that Trump, now at the eight-month mark of his presidency, has at least arrested the gradual decline that plagued him for the first seven of those months.

The body of polling is fairly limited over the past few weeks, so it’s not completely clear whether Trump has won over some of the Republicans who defected after Trump’s Charlottesville response or the GOP’s failure to advance health care legislation in Congress — or if he is bringing in new converts.

Some polls suggest Trump’s slight bump is the result of Republicans and some independents coming home. In this week’s POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, Trump was at 80 percent approval among Republican voters — up from 73 percent at his low-water mark. Among independents, Trump has bounced 5 percentage points, from 35 percent to 40 percent. Trump’s approval rating was virtually unchanged among Democratic voters, however.

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