A recent survey has found that President-elect Donald Trump's favorability has jumped to 50 percent, his highest approval rating since he began his presidential campaign. Another survey found that Trump's Carrier deal has worked like gangbusters for upping his popularity.
On Dec. 7, a new poll conducted by Bloomberg Politics found that 50 percent of the 999 adults surveyed had a favorable opinion of Trump. The new peak in popularity is an increase of 17 percentage points when compared to August, when the same polling group found that only 33 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the business mogul.
Trump had historically low favorability ratings for a major party nominee leading up to the November election, but his popularity has grown since winning the presidency.
Aggregating the 14 favorability polls released between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, Real Clear Politics found that Trump had an average favorability of just 39.9 percent, but that his popularity had been steadily climbing over the past month.
The Bloomberg poll found that 55 percent of respondents felt more optimistic about the incoming Trump administration based on the business mogul's actions since election night, while 35 percent felt more pessimistic. And 79 percent of respondents said that they wanted Trump to be less confrontational as president than he was as a candidate.
On the issue of potential conflicts of interest, 69 percent of respondents believe that demanding Trump and his family members to sell off their businesses would be going too far, while only 26 percent believe that it is the appropriate course of action.
Fifty-one percent of respondents were confident that the business mogul would place American interests above his own financial interest when dealing in foreign policy.
On Dec. 6, a Morning Consult/Politico national survey found that 60 percent of registered voters viewed Trump more favorably after his much-publicized Carrier deal, when he negotiated with Carrier to keep a purported 1,100 jobs in Indiana in exchange for $7 million in tax breaks.
The number of jobs that the president-elect's deal has saved has been called into question, with only 800 factory jobs that were scheduled to be relocated to Mexico actually remaining in Indiana.
The workers' representative, union president Chuck Jones of the United Steelworkers 1999, has accused Trump of intentionally inflating the number of jobs his deal had saved, telling The Washington Post that the president-elect had "lied his a** off."
Despite this controversy, the Carrier deal appears to have been a tremendous boon for Trump's popularity, because even 32 percent of survey respondents who had voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the deal had improved their opinion of the president-elect.
Professor Adam Berinsky, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's political experiments research lab, has noted that presidents-elect have historically enjoyed a dramatic spike in popularity during the period between their election victories and their inauguration.
"We move from a contentious election campaign where the negatives of both candidates are highlighted by their opponents, to a time where the losing candidate concedes and withdraws from the limelight," Berinsky told The Christian Science Monitor. "The balance of coverage then becomes more favorable and approval typically surges, even among the out party."
For example, a survey conducted by Gallup in January 2009 found that President Barack Obama's favorability was at 78 percent during that timeframe. The Bloomberg survey found that Obama's favorability rating is currently at 54 percent.