New polling indicates a bump in approval for President Donald Trump following his first address before a joint session of Congress. The findings signal that a majority approve of the president's economic policies, but disapprove of his temperament and social media habits.
On March 7, a new Suffolk University/USA Today national poll found that 47 percent of those surveyed approve of Trump's job performance, while 44 percent disapprove.
That approval rating remains polarized compared to Trump's predecessors during the early stages of their presidencies, but marks an increase for the new president compared to previous surveys conducted by the same polling group, USA TODAY reports.
The survey was conducted after Trump delivered a well-received speech. On Feb. 28, the president delivered his first address before a joint session of Congress. A CNN/ORC poll found that 57 percent of respondents who watched the speech had a very positive positive response, according to CNN.
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The Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, predicted that the address would provide a boost in Trump's popularity.
"Donald Trump did indeed become presidential tonight," McConnell said, according to Politico. "And I think we'll see that reflected in a higher approval rating."
The findings of the Suffolk University/USA Today poll project that a majority of registered voters feel more confident about the direction of the country following Trump's election. 46 percent of respondents said that the country was on the right track while 43 percent disagreed. That three percent net positive rating marks the highest confidence in almost a decade.
"According to Real Clear Politics, you have to go back more than a thousand national polls, to 2009, to find +3 or better," David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, wrote in a special for USA Today.
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52 percent of respondents said that they believe the economy is recovering from the Great Recession of 2008, whereas only 43 percent shared a similar assessment in December 2016.
Paleologos asserted that the economy is "Trump's strongest suit... he regularly cites the Dow's unprecedented and historic rise since his election."
Taking credit for the record-breaking trajectory of the Dow Jones Industrial Average could backfire down the road. Paleologos noted that Obama never touted the strong rise in the stock market index during his two terms because he understood that what goes up may come down.
"Under Barack Obama, the Dow more than doubled... But the savvy ex-president never made repeated references to the Dow during his administration until he knew there was not enough time to lose all those stock market gains before the end of his presidency," Paleologos said. "Trump doesn't seem to care."
The survey found that, while a majority of registered voters approve of the economy under Trump, they also are not fond of the president's personality. Only 30 percent of respondents approve of Trump's temperament, while 60 percent disapprove. 59 percent disapproved of the president's daily Twitter statements.
"Voters seem to be experiencing tweet fatigue," Paleologos said.
The poll also found that 63 percent of respondents take the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that the Russian government had meddled in the 2016 election seriously, while 31 percent were not concerned by it.
58 percent support an independent investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged contacts with Russian officials, while 35 percent do not believe it is necessary.