The recently bouncing ball of presidential approval bounced up again over the past week for President Donald Trump.
In SurveyMonkey’s most recent national tracking poll 44 percent of Americans surveyed said they approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, up from 40 percent the previous week, while 55 percent say they disapprove, down from 58 percent.
This most recent poll was conducted from Thursday, January 25 through Wednesday, January 31, so it captured only single day of interviewing following the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Over the past month, overall approval has varied between 40 and 44 percent, with peaks in late December and this week. The two upward bumps represent a slightly higher level of approval than Trump attained from August through mid-December, when his approval rarely varied outside a range of 39 to 41 percent.
The bump up this week is partly explained by a slightly greater number of Republican identifiers in the sample (29 percent) than SurveyMonkey’s average over the past year (27 percent), while the percentage of Democrats (31 percent) matched the year-long average. Trump’s overall approval also ticked up this week, however, by two percentage points among Republicans (from 87 to 89 percent), independents who lean Republican (from 84 to 86 percent) and Democrats (from 6 to 8 percent).
While Trump’s approval among Republicans has remained in the mid to high 80s throughout the first year of his presidency, this week’s 89 percent is the highest among Republicans to date.
This week’s overall approval also marks Trump’s best approval number among college educated white Americans (44 percent) in SurveyMonkey’s tracking since late April, just before Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
The trend in the number who say they strongly approve of Trump’s performance has been similar, if somewhat less variable than for overall approval. That percentage held mostly constant between 20 and 21 percent from August through late December, and has varied between 23 and 24 percent since, coinciding with passage of the Republican tax plan. This week, 26 percent strongly approve.
Virtually all of the upward movement in strong approval has occurred among Republicans. This strong approval percentages over the past week among Republicans (61 percent) and Republican-leaning independents (49 percent) represent gains better than five points each since November.
Another recent change in the political dynamic involves a jump since late December - from 8 percent to 13 percent – in the percentage of Americans who select “immigration” as the issue that matters most to them right now. Immigration recently emerged as the third most mentioned issue behind jobs and the economy (27 percent) and health care (22 percent).
Methodology: This week’s SurveyMonkey Tracking poll testing President Trump’s approval rating was conducted online January 25 through 31, 2018 among a national sample of 16,564 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data for this week have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. More details on SurveyMonkey's methodology are available here.