President Donald Trump has certainly had a tumultuous and tempestuous first term so far, if headlines and approval ratings are anything to go by. According to a recent report from CNBC, however, voters seem to be split on their opinions separating Trump’s mercurial leadership style from his results and achievements pertaining to the U.S. economy.
Per a Quinnipiac poll released on Tuesday, November 20, the majority of the American electorate approves of the job that Trump is doing with regards to the economy — an indicator of strength for the incumbent president. 54 percent of the 1,046 respondents affirmed that they believed that Trump was doing a good job on this score, with 42 percent opposed. Having passed a large and comprehensive tax cut package, cut regulations for many businesses — big and small — and signaled a strong stance against foreign tariffs and excise taxes, Trump has been a hawk on the domestic economy.
The news was not so rosy for Donald Trump on a number of several other metrics, however, including on the question pertaining to his job performance overall. In a near reversal of the earlier question’s results, 54 percent of respondents disapproved of Trump’s job performance in total, with 41 percent in approval. This indicates that while many respondents — and likely the larger American electorate — appreciate the strong economy that President Trump has presided over, this appreciation does not extend to the handling of his broader portfolio.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) November 14, 2018
Particularly problematic areas for Trump, at least according to the pollsters, surround concerns about Trump’s honesty and connection to everyday Americans. 53 percent of respondents in the Quinnipiac poll said that they do not believe that Trump cares about the average American, and an even greater number — 58 percent — said that they do not believe that the president is particularly honest. A substantial 63 percent of those polled said that the president was not level-headed, and only a slightly lesser number — 61 percent — said that Trump does not share the values of the voters themselves.
At first glance, these are certainly troubling numbers, but it must be remembered that the vast majority of polls were — in retrospect — inaccurate in advance of the infamous 2016 presidential elections. As Pew Research points out, the stunning upset victory of Donald Trump over opposing candidate Hillary Clinton was largely due to a widespread underestimation of Trump’s base of support. Professional pollsters were proven wrong by the voting public once — will they do so again?
It is hard to tell whether or not polling metrics have improved since the 2016 presidential election, or whether the pool of respondents has become more representative of the electorate. Only time will tell, it seems.