Reuters/Ipsos Data: Core Political (02/20/2019)

Americans are feeling slightly better about the direction of the country.

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. -  As Congress and the president reached an agreement on Friday that would keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year, Americans are feeling slightly more optimistic than they did amid the uncertainty of the government shutdown and negotiating period that followed. Thirty-one percent of Americans say that the country is headed in the right direction - up four points from two weeks ago (27%). While Democrats continue to have the bleakest outlook on the future of the country - just 11% report we are headed in the right direction - this number is up three points from last week. Sixty percent of Republicans and 21% of Independents report that the country is headed in the right direction, statistically unchanged from last week (62% and 22% respectively). 

President Trump's approval rating has increased three points in the last two weeks to 41% among all Americans. Despite the increase, Trump's approval ratings are not yet back to post-midterm levels. Republicans (83%) continue to be far more likely than Democrats (11%) and Independents (32%) to report approving of how Trump is handling his job as president. 

President Trump continues to receive the strongest approval when it comes to how he handles employment (52%) and the U.S. economy (49%). For issues like immigration (43%) and international trade (43%), he receives moderate support. Americans continue to be critical of his handling of Russia (35%), the environment (36%), and his dealings with Congress (38%). 

While Americans continue to give Congress low approval ratings overall, 27% of Americans report approving of Congress' job performance this week, up five points from last week (22%). Individual representatives are evaluated more kindly, with 45% of Americans approving of the work their individual representative is doing - statistically unchanged from last week (47%). Democrats are more positive about Congress as whole (36%) and their individual representatives (52%) than Republicans (21% and 49% respectively). 

Americans remain split on what the most important issue facing the country is: immigration (19%) or healthcare (17%). Democrats and Republicans continue to disagree on which issue is indeed the most the important problem. Democrats continue to report that healthcare (24%) is their top priority followed distantly by the economy (12%). Republicans report that immigration (34%) is the most important problem, followed by healthcare (12%) and morality (12%). Independents report that healthcare (17%), the economy (14%), and immigration (13%) are major concerns.  

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters between February 13-19, 2019. For the survey, a sample of 3,322 Americans, including 1,316 Democrats, 1,224 Republicans, and 460 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, 3.1 percentage points for Democrats, 3.2 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