In general, the poll paints a picture of a president who has done little to improve the negative impressions of him or his job during his reign. As a result of several questions asked early in Trump's time in office and a question asked again, the poll reveals little positive change and deep partisan polarization.
The presidential approval rating remains where it is in mid-August, with 39% approving the work he is doing and 55% disapproving. Although every change in the last few weeks has not been large enough to be statistically significant, its disapproval rating is the highest it has been since early February, with approval being the lowest since January.
Trump's approval ratings for handling major issues are largely stagnant, with little movement in the wrong direction for the president. His approval ratings for the economy have fallen below 50% for the first time since early this year, and his ratings have worsened at least slightly in terms of foreign trade, foreign affairs and environmental policy.
The President's approval rating for immigration processing is holding roughly stable, but 59% who do not currently approve are the highest numbers from last year before the midterm elections. A majority (52%) say Trump's immigration policies do too much to restrict immigration to the US, 24% say they are correct, and 20% say they don't go far enough.
In a hopeful finding for the president in a poll, in the last two years there has been a slight increase in the proportion of registered voters who say he deserves to be re-elected, from 35% in November 2017 to 39% now. And among those who are most enthusiastic about next year's vote, the proportion who consider the president worthy of a second term is higher – 43%. However, even among this group, 55% say they should not be re-elected.
Compared to the beginning of this year, more generally now they say that the president has changed the country for the worse. Among all adults, 80% say the president has made significant changes in the country, compared to 76% who felt this way in early February. That includes 45% who say the president has made things worse, compared to 37% who said this in a poll earlier this year. Thirty-three percent said Trump changed the country for the better, and 2% said the change was not for the better or worse, or they didn't decide what the change meant.
This shift comes mostly from independents and Democrats. Among Republicans, 73% say the president has changed the country for the better – up from 70% in February. Among independents, the proportion who say Trump has changed things for the worse has shifted from 35% in February to 47% now. Among Democrats, that share has increased from 62% to 69%.
Additionally, 51% say Trump is doing a poor job keeping up with important promises he made during the presidential campaign, and 43% say he's doing a good job. This is a twist since April, when 50% said they were doing a good job and 46% said they were doing bad. That change comes almost entirely among independents, 51% of whom said they were doing well, keeping their promises in April, which is now 38%.
The president's volatile summer – including several sudden changes in gun and trade policy, as well as persistent protection of demonstrably false statements – did not worsen public confidence in official White House communications. Overall, 71% say they trust only some or none of what they hear from White House official announcements, about the same as 68% who felt this way at the end of 2017. Only 9% said that they trust almost everything they hear from the White House, and another 19% say they trust most of them.
sharply polarized on party lines, with most Republicans saying they trust most of what they hear from the White House (58%), while most independents trust only some or less (65%), and a majority of Democrats say they do not believe in anything they hear from the White House (52%).
Americans, too, are no more confident now than at the beginning of the president's time, which gave control of the Trump Organization to his adult sons and did enough to prevent a conflict of interest. In a new poll, 60% say that this is not enough to prevent these conflicts, about the same as 62% who felt this way just before the president was sworn in.
Skepticism that the agreement does not allow the president to have a conflict of interest crosses demographic lines, but again the partisans are divided on the issue. Two-thirds of Republicans (67%) say the creation does enough to prevent conflicts, compared to only 30% of independents and 10% of Democrats.
A CNN survey was conducted by SSRS from September 5 to September 9 among a random national sample of 1,639 adults reached via landline or mobile phones by a live interviewer. The results for the full sample have a margin of error in the sample plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. The sample of the survey included samples of African American and Hispanic voters. These subgroups are weighted to represent the appropriate proportion of the general population and are not overrepresented in the overall survey results.