Reuters/Ipsos Data: Core Political (01/16/2018)

Half of Democrats and Republicans continue to approve of the job their representatives are doing in Congress, despite the partial government shutdown.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, D.C. -  With the government shutdown into its 26th day with no end in sight, just 30% of Americans feel the country is headed in the right direction. This number is unchanged from last week but is down 4-points since December. While a majority of Republicans continue to report that the country is headed in the right direction (58%), this number is down 8-points from December (66%) and 12-points since October 2018 (70%). Democrats continue to be pessimistic about the direction of the country - 81% believe we are headed off on the wrong track. Independents are more likely to be pessimists as well, with 60% agreeing that America is headed in the wrong direction. 

President Trump's approval rating remains relatively unchanged since last week, with 41% of Americans reporting they strongly or somewhat approve of the job he is doing as president. His support continues to come from his party, with 81% of Republicans reporting they approve of the job he is doing.  Democrats and Independents remain much more critical of Trump's performance - just 12% of Democrats and 33% of Independents report approving of his work.  Amid the partial government shutdown and lack of negotiations between Trump and party leaders in the House and Senate,  just 38% of Americans approve of the way President Trump is working with Congress. Trump's immigration policies continue to receive moderate support (43%) from the public, but his efforts to unify the country are not as positively perceived (38%). A majority of Americans (51%) continue to support Trump's handling of jobs and employment and a near majority (48%) approve of his handling of the economy. 

Overall approval of Congress (22%) also remains unchanged in the wake of the partial government shutdown. Democrats are slightly more likely to approve of the job the entire body is doing (28%) compared to Republicans (22%) and Independents (16%).  Despite the low approval ratings of Congress as a whole, half of Democrats (50%) and more than half of Republicans (54%) approve of their individual representative's performance. Independents are less likely to approve of their individual legislator (33%). 

Immigration (18%) and healthcare (16%) are top of mind for Americans when asked what is the most important problem facing the U.S. today. As the key sticking point in the budget negotiations between Congress and President Trump, it is little surprise that immigration has been gaining traction and is up 6-points from October 2018.  Immigration is a much more salient issue for Republicans (34%) compared to Democrats (9%) and Independents (13%). 

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters between January 9-15, 2019. For the survey, a sample of 3,363 Americans, including 1,439 Democrats, 1,159 Republicans, and 438 Independents ages 18+ were interviewed online. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points for all adults, 2.9 percentage points for Democrats, 3.3 percentage points for Republicans, and 5.3 percentage points for Independents. For more information about credibility intervals, please see the appendix.

The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education, and ethnicity. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Figures marked by an asterisk (*) indicate a percentage value of greater than zero but less than one half of one per cent. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. To see more information on this and other Reuters/Ipsos polls, please visit

For more information on this news release please contact:

Clifford Young
President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.


The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs