February 23, 2018

President Trump has made a determined push for arming school teachers after the Parkland, Florida, shooting last week, but voters appear divided on the issue, a new CBS News poll reveals. Half of Americans, 50 percent, are opposed to arming teachers, while 44 percent are in favor of the plan, the poll found.

"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly," the president said during a listening session at the White House on Wednesday. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten blasted the idea: "Teachers don't want to be armed, we want to teach," she said.

Sixty-five percent of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, up 8 points since December due to mounting support by Republicans and independents. Forty-one percent of Republicans said they would follow Trump's lead if he called for stricter laws, as he has suggested.

Overall, 87 percent of Americans want the country to spend more money on mental health screenings, 75 percent want to strengthen background checks, 56 want to ban bump stocks, and 53 percent want a nationwide ban on the AR-15, making arming teachers the least popular of the ideas being mulled.

The poll reached 1,012 adults nationwide between Feb. 20 and 22. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 points. See the full results here. Jeva Lange

February 14, 2018
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Republicans have at last seized the advantage on a generic congressional ballot following a three-month period that saw Democrats with leads between 2 and 10 points, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll found. Among registered voters, 39 percent said they would vote for a generic Republican candidate for Congress, while 38 percent said they would vote for a Democrat and 23 percent said they are undecided.

Other polls do not yet show Republicans ahead, although RealClearPolitics' average has Democrats with an advantage of 7 points on a generic ballot, down from a high of 13 points last year.

Trust over handling the economy has also swung since December to Republicans, and the GOP also has a 9-point advantage on handling jobs, a 19-point advantage on national security, and "the Democratic advantage on health care has dwindled to just 4 percentage points, down from double digits last year," Politico writes.

Forty-seven percent of Americans approve of President Trump's job performance in the Politico/Morning Consult poll. The same percentage also disapprove. The poll surveyed 1,985 registered voters between Feb. 8-12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 points. Read the full results here. Jeva Lange

February 7, 2018

President Trump and the Republican Party are feeling the love. Seventy percent of Americans said the U.S. economy is "excellent" or "good" in the most recent Quinnipiac University survey — the highest percentage to respond that way since the question was first added to the poll in 2001, and up from 66 percent on Jan. 10. The latest survey also marked the first time Americans have said Trump is more responsible for the state of the economy than former President Barack Obama, 48 percent to 41 percent.

Trump is personally seeing the boost, too: His approval rating is the highest it's been in a Quinnipiac University poll in seven months, at 40 percent, although it's still "nowhere near that magic 50 percent mark," observed Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the poll. The GOP also boasts its highest favorability rating since Trump's inauguration:

It appears to be the GOP's tax plan that has done the trick. Trump's approval on taxes is up 10 percent from before the plan passed in December:

"The post State of the Union bump kicks in," said Malloy. "And an attaboy on the economy doubles the pleasure for President Donald Trump." The Quinnipiac poll reached 1,333 voters between Feb. 2-5 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent. Read the full results here. Jeva Lange

January 22, 2018

Democrats can thank women voters for their surging advantage on a generic ballot ahead of the hugely important 2018 midterm elections, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll has found. Although white women supported Trump by nine points in 2016 and Republicans by 14 points in the 2014 midterm, the demographic has since swung to favor Democrats over Republicans by 12 points on a generic ballot.

Overall, women voters now favor Democrats by a 26-point advantage, double Hillary Clinton's margin in 2016. Independents have also swung to favor Democrats, 50 percent to 34 percent. "The swing group has been decisive in three consecutive midterm election waves, backing Republicans by 19 points in 2010 and 12 points in 2014, but supporting Democrats by 18 points in 2006 as they retook control of the House," The Washington Post writes.

Across the board, Democrats have a 15-point advantage over Republicans on a generic ballot among likely voters. In the same Washington Post/ABC News poll in November, that margin was slightly smaller, at 11 points. Experts caution that none of this means the Democrats will necessarily take back the House, qualifying a flip as "possible" but not "likely." Even though the margin looks impressive — and Democrats are only thought to need about an eight-point advantage to gain the 24 seats to win the House — some experts say the party could nevertheless "fall five seats short even if they won all contests the Cook Political Report classifies as solidly Democratic, leaning Democratic, or toss-ups," the Post adds.

The poll reached 1,005 adults between Jan. 15-18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points. Read the full results here. Jeva Lange

December 18, 2017
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As Americans get to know first lady Melania Trump, their opinion of her has improved, according to a new Gallup poll. In early January, the percentage of people who viewed Trump favorably and unfavorably was tied at 37 percent; as of early December, a 54 percent majority of Americans view her favorably while 33 percent view her unfavorably and 13 percent have no opinion. President Trump's approval rating has notched up 1 point in that same time period, to 41 percent now, but so has his unfavorable number, 56 percent.

The fact that more people like Melania Trump than President Trump "is consistent with Gallup's findings that recent first ladies are, on average, more popular than their husbands," Gallup says, though "Hillary Clinton averaged 1 point lower favorability than Bill Clinton over the course of his presidency." Still, like her husband, Melania Trump's popularity lags behind her predecessors at this point in her first year as first lady — Michelle Obama had a 61 percent favorable rating, Laura Bush's was 77 percent, and Hillary Clinton's was 58 percent.

Fewer women than men view Melania Trump favorably, 51 percent versus 57 percent, and the same is true of President Trump, with 33 percent of women and 50 percent of men viewing him favorably. Gallup conducted its poll Dec. 4-11 among 1,049 U.S. adults; it has a margin of sampling error of ±4 percentage points. Peter Weber

December 8, 2017

A new survey from the Pew Research Center found broad agreement among Democrats and Republicans about the importance of the GOP tax legislation, a sharp partisan split over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion, and almost no good news for President Trump on his job approval. Overall, 32 percent of Americans (and 34 percent of registered voters) approve of Trump's performance, down from 39 percent in February, and most of the losses are from conservatives.

Trump still has majority support from Republicans (76 percent) and white evangelical Protestants (61 percent), but those are the only groups polled where Trump's approval rating is higher than 46 percent. The 17-point drop among evangelicals since February is especially steep.

Since February, Trump’s job approval has ticked down among Republicans, Republican leaners

Trump's support also dropped significantly among white Americans without a college degree, Catholics, and moderate Republicans. He has a 7 percent approval rating among black Americans and also Democrats, and the only demographic where his approval ratings is unchanged is Hispanics, steady at 17 percent. The poll was conducted among 1,503 adults from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4, and it has a margin of sampling error of ±2.9 percentage points. Peter Weber

November 6, 2017

Democrats are poised for potentially sweeping victories in the 2018 midterm elections — if only they would show up to vote. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that hypothetical Democratic candidates are favored by voters against their Republican counterparts 51 percent to 40 percent. But "winnow down to those who say they voted in the last midterms and are certain to do so again and the contest snaps essentially to a dead heat, 48-46 percent," ABC News writes.

Democrats have often led generic ballots ahead of midterm elections, only for Republicans to surge ahead in the actual results, such as in 2010 and 2014. Still, the last time the Post and ABC News found such a significant spread in their hypothetical election poll was in October 2006, before a major Democratic wave.

That doesn't mean Democrats don't have their work cut out for them. The poll "suggests Democrats' antipathy toward Trump has not translated to greater motivation to vote, with an identical 63 percent of Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning registered voters saying they are absolutely certain to vote next year," the Post writes.

The poll reached 1,005 adults over cell phones and landlines between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, with a margin of error of 3.5 points. Read more about the results here. Jeva Lange

October 31, 2017

On Monday, President Trump hit a new low in Gallup's three-day polling average, at 33 percent approval and 62 percent disapproval, a 29-point favorability deficit. Since Dwight D. Eisenhower, only two presidents have ever recorded Gallup numbers that low: Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday, Trump also hit a new low, 38 percent approval and 58 percent disapproval, a sharp decline from September.

"The daily Gallup numbers tend to be noisy," says Phillip Bump at The Washington Post. "As a result, we instead prefer to look at Gallup’s weekly averages — in which Trump sank back down to his low of 35 percent," hit back in early September. In the NBC/WSJ poll, Trump's drop "has come from independents (who shifted from 41 percent approval in September to 34 percent now), whites (who went from 51 percent to 47 percent), and whites without a college degree (from 58 percent to 51 percent)," all parts of his base, NBC News says. No president in modern times has hit 38 percent this early in his presidency.

The Gallup daily average "includes surveys conducted on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the latter two days of which followed initial revelations that indictments were imminent," Bump notes. "Whether the indictments themselves will push Trump lower — or help move him higher — remains to be seen." The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Oct. 23-26 among 900 adults and has a margin of error of ±3.3 percentage points. Peter Weber

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