Reuters/Ipsos Data: Core Political (02/06/2019)

Americans' optimism toward the direction of the country continues to fall.

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. - Americans' optimism about the direction of the country continues to drop - just 27% agree that the country is headed in the right direction- this is down seven points from mid-December, and one-point from last week. Democrats (10%) and Republicans (57%) are both reporting feeling significantly less optimistic than they did in mid-December (14% and 68% respectively). Just under a quarter of Independents (22%) report that they believe the country is headed in the right direction and this number is unchanged from December 2018. 

President Trump's approval rating continues to fall among all Americans (38%) and is down one point from last week (39%), but more significantly, it is down six points from mid-November (44%). Republicans continue to drive Trump's approval numbers with 79% reporting they approve of the job he is doing as president. However, this number has dipped seven points from November 2018 (86%). Trump's approval rating among Independents is lackluster (32%) and continues to be extremely low among Democrats (9%).

Perceptions of Trump's performance on major issues remains relatively unchanged from last week. As Congress and the President continue to negotiate over a budget deal to keep the government fully open past February 15th,  just 36% of Americans approve of the way he interacts with Congress - down three points from two weeks ago (39%) and unchanged since last week. Half of Americans continue to approve of his handling of  employment and jobs (50%) and U.S. economy overall (48%). Trump continues to receive moderate support on his handling of immigration policies (42%). 

Approval of Congress' job performance has remained stable for the last three weeks (23%). Americans' approval of their individual representative is down five points this week to 41%. Both Republicans' and Democrats' perceptions of their individual representatives have fallen since last week.  Forty-nine percent of Democrats approve of their legislator, down four points from last week (53%) and 47% of Republicans also approve of their representative, down five points from last week (52%).

Healthcare (19%) and immigration (15%) continue to compete with each other for the most important issue facing the nation. Healthcare is up three points this week from last week (16%) and the uptick is driven by an increase in importance for Democrats (27%) and Independents (21%), up five and six points respectively from last week.  Republicans continue to report immigration to be significantly more important (31%) than Democrats (7%) and Independents (12%).

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters between January 30-February 5, 2019. For the survey, a sample of 2,470 Americans, including 963 Democrats, 814 Republicans, and 389 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 2.2 percentage points for all adults, 3.6 percentage points for Democrats, 3.9 percentage points for Republicans, and 5.7 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