President Trump's approval rating is the highest it's ever been, coming in at 49% in a new Gallup poll, which also found that 63% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the economy. Trump's ratings for handling foreign affairs and foreign trade also topped out at 47% and 50% respectively, his best numbers to date.
While Democrats maintained roughly the same level of hatred for Trump, his gains came from higher ratings among Republicans and independents - with approval ratings among Republicans up 6% to 94%, and up 5% among independents to 42%.
Democratic approval is down 3%, dropping Trump from 10% to 7%. No surprises there.
What's interesting is that the 87-point gap between Republican and Democratic approval in the current poll is the largest in Gallup history, "surpassing the prior record, held by Trump and Barack Obama, by one point."
More from Gallup:
The Jan. 16-29 poll was conducted in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial that will likely result in the president's acquittal. The poll finds 52% of Americans in favor of acquitting Trump and 46% in favor of convicting and removing him from office.
In addition to possibly reflecting sentiment regarding his impeachment, Trump's increased approval rating may also result from other issues, including:
- The recent military action in Iran. More Americans in the new poll approve (53%) than disapprove (45%) of the U.S. military action that resulted in the death of a leading Iranian military general. Iran retaliated but, despite fears of escalation, no further military action has been taken by either side.
- Foreign trade. During the poll's field period, Trump also signed the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- The economy. Americans' confidence in the economy is higher than at any point in the past two decades. Similarly, national satisfaction is the highest in nearly 15 years.
Sixty-three percent of Americans now approve of the way Trump is handling the economy, up six points from the prior reading in November. It is the highest economic approval rating not only for Trump, but for any president since George W. Bush enjoyed stratospheric job approval ratings in the first few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Gallup also notes that as President Trump's approval rating has gone up, so has that of the GOP, with 51% of Americans viewing the Republican Party favorably, up from 43% in September.
Views of the Democratic party rose slightly from 45% to 48% over the same period, while 48% of Americans identified as Republicans or leaning towards that party vs. 44% Democratic identification or leaning.
The polling company observed similar trends when Bill Clinton was impeached - with his approval rating spiking to a personal high of 73% after the House impeachment vote - a level he maintained through his acquittal by the Senate in early 1999.