Reuters/Ipsos Data: Core Political (01/30/2019)

Pessimism about the direction of the country continues to grow despite the reopening of the government this week.

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. - Pessimism about the direction of the country is persistent and is continuing to increase - just 28% of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction. This number is down six points since December 2018. While Republicans are slightly more likely to report they believe the country is headed in the right direct this week (56%) compared to last week (54%), the number is still down 10 points from December 2018 and 14 points from October 2018.  Comparatively, just 9% of Democrats and 22% of Independents believe the country is headed in the right direction. 

With the government reopened while the president and Congress continue negotiations for funding, President Trump's approval rating has fallen to 39% among all Americans, down one point from last week (40%) but down five points from mid-November (44%). Republicans remain the linchpin of the president's approval numbers (78% somewhat or strongly approve), but their support of him has fallen significantly since November (86%). Democrats approval of the president remains abysmal (just 9% somewhat or strongly approve), and support among Independents is lukewarm (34%).

Americans' perceptions of Trump's performance on specific issues remain stable overall, however, just 36% of Americans approve of the way he interacts with Congress - down three points from last week (39%). A majority of Americans continue to approve of his handling of  employment and jobs (51%) and a near majority support his handling of the U.S. economy overall (47%). Trump's approach to immigration continues to receive support from four in ten Americans (42%).

Less than a quarter of Americans (23%) approve of the way Congress is handling its job - this number is unchanged from last week. Americans' approval of their individual representative is up three points this week to 46%.  A majority of Democrats (53%) and Republicans (52%) approve of their individual lawmakers, up six points and four points, respectively, from last week. 

Nearly one-fifth (18%) of Americans report the biggest problem facing the nation is immigration and a similar number (16%) report it is healthcare - both numbers are unchanged from last week. While negotiations are on-going with Congress and the president on the issues of immigration and border security, Republicans report immigration to be significantly more important (32%) than Democrats (8%) and Independents (13%). Healthcare remains the number one priority for Democrats (22%) and Independents (15%) compared to just 12% of Republicans. 

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters between January 23-29, 2019. For the survey, a sample of 2,958 Americans, including 1,118 Democrats, 988 Republicans, and 455 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 2.1 percentage points for all adults, 3.3 percentage points for Democrats, 3.6 percentage points for Republicans, and 5.2 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