A new survey indicates that more than half of Americans approve of President Donald Trump's job performance. The data is a bright spot for the president amid a sea of divisive polling results.
On Mar. 7, a daily Presidential Tracking Poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that 51 percent of likely voters approve of Trump's performance nearly seven weeks into his presidency, while 49 percent disapproved.
The survey found that 37 percent of respondents strongly approved of the president while 38 percent strongly disapproved. And 45 percent believed that the U.S. was steering in the right direction.
The data also found that while only 12 percent of respondents wanted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remain as it is, 56 percent want the GOP-majority Congress to tweak the healthcare law while 30 percent want it repealed outright.
On Mar. 6, another survey conducted by Rasmussen found that a majority of likely voters believed that job creation should be the president's top priority, with 26 percent of respondents singling out jobs among six initiatives. Fourteen percent believed that curbing illegal immigration should be the primary focus of the new administration while 11 percent called for cutting taxes to be on the top of the list.
FiveThirtyEight, the polling website spearheaded by statistician Nate Silver, provides ratings for fellow polling groups. They found that Rasmussen Reports has a mean-reverted bias of 2 percentage points conservative-leaning. Based on sample error, races called correctly and methodology, they give Rasmussen a C+ for reliability.
On Mar. 7, a USA Today/Suffolk University Poll found that 47 percent of respondents approved of Trump's job performance while 44 percent disapproved. The survey found that respondents were split on the president's policies, with 46 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving.
The data was less positive for how respondents perceive Trump's temperament, which 60 percent disapproved of while only 30 percent voiced their approval. Maybe not surprisingly to most, 59 percent of respondents said that the president spends too much time tweeting on social media.
The Suffolk poll indicated a polarized response to the president, but also marked a bump in approval compared to previous surveys conducted by the same polling group. The data arrives a week after Trump's first address before a joint session of Congress, which had been highly praised by GOP lawmakers and media pundits.
"Donald Trump did indeed become presidential tonight," said the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, after Trump's address, according to Politico. "And I think we'll see that reflected in a higher approval rating."
Aggregating the 13 national surveys released from Jan. 15 through Mar. 4, RealClearPolitics found that an average 42.2 percent view Trump favorably while and average 51.2 percent view him unfavorably. Those averages did not include the latest Rasmussen and Suffolk University polls.