Trump’s approval on the economy slides as recession fears grow

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President Donald Trump

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Voters may have started to sour on what they consider the best part of President Donald Trump’s White House tenure.

For much of Trump’s presidency, Americans have broadly held glowing views of the economy — even as a majority of them disapprove of how he has handled his job overall. The good grades for Trump started to slip in recent weeks as fears about a looming recession crept into financial markets and pockets of the general public.

  • A CNN/SSRS poll released Tuesday found 48% of registered voters approve of how the president is handling the economy — down from a peak of 56% in April.
  • In a separate Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week, 46% of adults surveyed said the same, a drop from 51% in July. In addition, 56% of respondents said the economy is either excellent or good, a decline from 65% in November 2018. A majority, or 60%, of those surveyed said they consider a recession either somewhat or very likely in the next year.
  • Trump’s approval rating on the economy dropped to 46% in a Quinnipiac University survey released late last month, down 2 percentage points from May. The 61% share of voters describing the economy as excellent or good was the lowest in a Quinnipiac poll since April 2018.

Concerns about a slowing economy have clearly worried Trump as he mounts his reelection bid. The president and top campaign officials see it as one of his best ways to appeal to voters and win another term in the White House in November 2020.

As his trade war with China and its potential for economic damage widened in recent weeks, Trump repeatedly described the economy as “great.” He has accused the news media of rooting for a recession to derail his election hopes. The president has also downplayed recent polls, including this week’s Washington Post-ABC News survey.

In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump’s agenda has created a strong economy, pointing to better labor force participation, rising wages and high consumer confidence. He said “America is winning under this president.” 

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