Economy helps Trump approval; his personality, especially among women, not so much (POLL)

The thriving economy looks to be putting a floor under the Donald Trump’s

The president remains poorly rated overall in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll -– 56 percent of Americans disapprove of his job performance, versus 40 percent who approve, and “strong” disapprovers outnumber strong approvers by nearly 2-1.

See PDF for full results, charts and tables.

If the economy helps Trump, his personal style appears to hurt him. By a nearly 2-1 margin (61-32 percent), the public sees him unfavorably “as a person” in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. There’s a close link between this view and his job rating: Among those who dislike him personally, 84 percent also disapprove of his work in office.

Trump’s rating for handling the economy, while better than his overall approval, also is weak in comparative terms. The last time consumer confidence was this high, Clinton had just left office with 76 percent approval for his handling of the economy, 30 points higher than Trump’s now. Clinton’s overall job approval was 65 percent, 25 points higher than Trump’s.

Additionally, while the economy helps Trump, he faces skepticism on one prominent economic initiative, the trade tariffs he’s threatened. Americans are more apt to think these tariffs will be bad for U.S. jobs than good for them, 49-36 percent.

That said, the tariffs –- aimed at cheap steel and aluminum imports -– are better received in the Midwest, where there’s an even division on whether they’re good or bad for jobs. And Trump’s approval rating has jumped 12 points in the Midwest since January to a new high, 48 percent.

Trump also is at a numerical high (by a single point) in job approval among men, at 49 percent approval; at majority approval (53 percent) among whites for the first time in a year; and has jumped to a new high among conservatives, 74 percent approval, up 9 points just since January. At the same time, his approval rating among nonwhites, 17 percent, is its lowest on record.

Gender Gap

Among the most prominent elements of public attitudes toward Trump is the vast gender gap in his basic ratings. While men divide evenly on his job performance, 49-47 percent, women disapprove by a 2-1 margin, 32-64 percent. And while men see him more unfavorably than favorably as a person by 12 points, 53-41 percent, women do so by a 44-point margin, 68-24 percent.

Education and race are additional factors. Seventy-three percent of college-educated white women see Trump unfavorably as a person, while just 35 percent of non-college white men share that assessment. Conversely, 70 percent of non-college white men approve of his job performance; only 34 percent of college-educated white women agree.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone April 8-11, 2018, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 32-25-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Rockville, Md. See details on the survey’s methodology here.