For the first time since 2005, 50% say the country is headed in the right direction. Just before the election, only 40% thought so. A big driver of this gain came from independents: Just 29% were satisfied with the country’s direction last fall, compared with 50% now.
The public is more upbeat about the economy, too, with 55% saying it is improving, up from 49% before the November elections. That includes 58% of self-described investors, who were cheered by the stock market rally since Trump’s election and the Dow Jones industrial average topping 20,000.
What’s more, 51% of Americans overall are satisfied with federal economic policies, up from 45%
Trump’s executive order, which he signed on Jan. 27, also temporarily blocked visas from seven countries known to harbor terrorists. The order sparked protests at airports and denunciations from Democrats and hundreds of companies.
Not surprisingly, there was a sharp partisan split on this question — 82% of Democrats oppose Trump’s executive order, and 88% of Republicans approve. But more than half of independents (55%) back Trump. Overall: 52.6/47.4
The poll also shows widespread confidence that Trump will make good on his key promises of bringing back manufacturing jobs (64% are confident he’ll do this), building the border wall (58%), repealing and replacing ObamaCare (67%) and cutting and simplifying taxes (53%). Confidence in Trump’s ability to defeat ISIS was split, 49% to 48%.
However, when it comes to Trump himself, the public gives him low marks.
President Trump comes into office with very low approval numbers. The Job Approval index is just 46.5% down sharply from President Obama’s last rating of 57%. Obama’s average was around 50 for his eight years in office. Since IBD/TIPP started polling on presidential approval in January 2001, the highest it ever got was 88.7 under President Bush. The lowest was 27.8, also under President Bush.
The IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index dropped sharply in February, the first month that the poll has asked about President Trump. The Presidential Leadership Index dates back to January 2001, when it stood at 64.6 for the newly inaugurated President Bush.
The Leadership Index is comprised of three sub-indexes measuring the president’s favorability, job approval (see below) and whether he is providing strong or weak leadership. Trump’s low favorability and job approval numbers drove down the Index, but Trump did score higher than Obama on the the specific leadership question — 53.8 compared with 50.7.