Donald Trump’s Approval Ratings Are Rising, Despite Multiple White House Controversies

Susan WalshAP Images

Donald Trump’s approval ratings have risen sharply in the past month, likely due to a booming economy that has overshadowed the constant stream of scandals, staff shakeups, and other ills that have plagued the White House, MSN is reporting.

New polls released this week by both the Associated Press and CNN show Trump’s approval rating around 42 percent, up seven points from a month ago, when his numbers hovered around 35 percent. His approval ratings, though climbing, remain historically low for modern presidents at this point in their administrations, however.

The Hill writers Jordan Fabian and Jonathan Easley note that, though still historically low, Trump’s rising numbers may indicate that he’s at least on “an upward trend.”

The reason for Trump’s rising poll numbers is evident: the economy is surging. Specifically, gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, up from a previous estimate of 2.5 percent. Similarly, 313,000 new jobs were added in February, according to the Labor Department, the most since July 2016. And the unemployment rate remains at 4.1 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2001.

In fact, Trump’s numbers on the economy seem to be the biggest way in which he resonates with voters: 48 percent approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, according to the CNN/SSRS Research poll.

Republican strategist Ryan Williams is clear on where Trump’s bread is buttered.

“[Trump’s] political fortunes will rise and fall with the economy.”

The surging economy and rising poll numbers come at a time when the White House continues to be dogged by scandal after scandal, from an alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, to a continual stream of staff firings and departures, and an ongoing Russia investigation with no end in sight.

Pollster John Zogby says that there’s so much scandal attached to Trump that more scandal isn’t going to make much of a difference.

“With Trump it’s not Teflon. The crud is so caked in, what’s more crud going to do to it?”

Nevertheless, Republicans’ hopes of maintaining majorities in both the House and Senate in this year’s midterm elections may still be in jeopardy, Trump’s climbing poll numbers notwithstanding. Chris Wright, a Colorado oil man and conservative donor, says that Trump may still doom Republicans in November.

“But Trump infuriates people. He energizes the left against him and that’s the problem.”

Republicans intend to focus on tax reform between now and then in order to sell voters on another two years of Republicans controlling the White House and both houses of Congress.