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.