Americans Send Mixed Signals on Economy & President Trump

Several recent polls and surveys found that most Americans are feeling better about the economy, their jobs and their own fortunes. The latest Bloomberg national poll out last week found that 58% of Americans believe they’re moving closer to realizing their own career and financial aspirations. That tied for the highest level recorded in the poll since the question was first asked in February 2013.

A majority of Americans polled by Bloomberg expect the US stock market to be higher by the end of this year, while only 30% expect a decline. This compares to the latest reading from Consensus, Inc. which found that 74% of investors were bullish on stocks last week.

The Bloomberg poll also surveyed respondents on their biggest concerns, which were (in order): healthcare, jobs/unemployment, terrorism, immigration and climate change. Healthcare concerns were by far the greatest worry on Americans’ minds – even before this week’s Senate failure to pass a new GOP healthcare bill.

The positive results of the latest Bloomberg poll on the economy are consistent with what we see in the Consumer Confidence Index which has risen sharply since the election in November and since the end of the recession (shaded in gray).

Yet while indicators of consumer confidence have risen sharply since the election, the latest Bloomberg poll also yielded results which suggest that Americans’ confidence in President Trump is fading rapidly. There were only three areas where those polled think Mr. Trump still has a good chance to succeed.

Almost two-thirds of those polled still believe he will make significant cuts in government regulations. Likewise, 53% still believe he will succeed in deporting millions of immigrants living in the US illegally. And third, 54% still believe President Trump will manage to create trade deals more beneficial to the US, but that’s down from 66% in December.

Beyond those three, President Trump’s approval ratings are in freefall. The Bloomberg survey was conducted on July 8-12, before the Republicans abandoned their controversial healthcare plan and failed to repeal Obamacare. That means the president’s approval rating now is probably even lower than the numbers below.

President Trump’s overall job approval fell to 41% favorable this month, down from 50% in December. His unfavorable rating jumped to 55%, up from 43% in December. Asked how they feel about the Trump administration in general, 48% now view it unfavorably, up 21 points since December.

A 56% majority say they’re more pessimistic about Trump because of his statements and actions since the election. That’s a huge swing since December when 55% said his statements and actions made them more optimistic about him. Less than half of Americans – 46% — approve of Trump’s performance on the economy, while 44% disapprove.

There’s a growing division on whether he’ll be able to bring a substantial number of jobs back to America, or significantly reform the tax code. More than half said he won’t be able to revive the coal industry. And two-thirds now don’t believe he will be successful at building a wall along the Mexican border.

Respondents to the Bloomberg survey were also skeptical about Trump’s abilities as a world leader, with 58% saying they disapprove of the way he handles relations with other countries. Meanwhile, most Americans don’t share the president’s apparent soft spot for Vladimir Putin – 65% view the Russian president negatively.

With the three exceptions noted above, nearly every performance measure in the latest Bloomberg poll suggests that Mr. Trump’s presidency is increasingly not wearing well with the public. And as noted above, those numbers may be even worse today.

I would be remiss not to mention the fact that President Trump has been criticized non-stop by the mainstream media, more than any president in modern history. A major new study out of Harvard University has revealed the true extent of the mainstream media’s bias against Donald Trump. Take a look:

As you can clearly see, the bias against President Trump has been incredible. Only Fox News came anywhere close to balanced coverage. This overwhelming negative coverage is no doubt driving Mr. Trump’s approval ratings lower. Of course, President Trump has been his own worst enemy on numerous occasions.

Today marks the end of the president’s first six months in office. It has been a tumultuous time for the president and the nation. With his approval ratings sliding, it will be interesting to see if he makes any significant changes. I hope he does, but I’m not holding my breath.

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