Most Don’t Like Trump’s Conduct, Despite Rising Policy Support

(CN) – More Republicans are showing support for President Donald Trump’s policies, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday, but a majority of Americans say they don’t like the way he conducts himself as president.

President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 30, 2018.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Pew report found that 80 percent of Republicans now say they agree with Trump on many or all of the issues, up from 69 percent who said the same last August.

No fewer than 75 percent of Republicans today have confidence in Trump’s ability to make good decisions about economic policy, use military force wisely, make good appointments to the federal courts, and negotiate favorable trade agreements with other countries, according to the study based on a national survey of more than 1,500 American adults conducted at the end of April.

The survey found that Republicans have grown significantly more confident in Trump to handle an international crisis. In January, 73 percent of Republicans expressed confidence in Trump’s ability to handle such a crisis, but 84 percent say the same today.

Although Republicans are finding more common ground with Trump on a wide range of issues today, fewer than half say they like the way he conducts himself as president. Only 38 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners say they like Trump’s conduct.

Democrats overwhelmingly disapprove of the way Trump conducts himself as president and the ethical standards of his administration. Eighty-five percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaners say they dislike Trump’s conduct, and 86 percent say the ethical standards of key administration members are “not good or poor.”

However, the share of Democrats who say there are “no or almost no” issues on which they agree with Trump has dropped from 77 percent in August to 58 percent today, indicating that Democrats are also warming up to Trump’s stance on some issues.

Overall, 41 percent of Americans said they agreed with Trump on many or all issues, compared to 57 percent who said the opposite.

Sixty-four percent of Democrats say their party has “high ethical standards” while 66 percent of Republicans say the same. Independents, including equal shares of Republican-leaners and Democratic-leaners, are most likely to say neither party has high ethical standards.

Although Americans are more likely to agree with Trump on one or more of the issues today than at any previous point in his administration, the public’s evaluation of the way he handles his job has changed little in recent months. Only 39 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s conduct in office, while 54 percent disapprove.

There is a significant gender gap in Trump’s approval ratings. While 48 percent of men approve of the way Trump handles his job, only 30 percent of women say the same.

Pew researchers also asked survey respondents about their interest in the 2018 midterms and their voter preferences. Only 19 percent of Americans say they are following news about candidates and campaigns in their state or district very closely, while 49 percent say they are not following the news too closely or at all.

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