Poll: End of Shutdown Boosts Trump’s Approval Rating From Record Lows

(CN) – President Donald Trump’s approval rating surged following the end of the longest government shutdown in history, but that number could tank again if Congress doesn’t avert another partial government shutdown by Friday’s deadline, according to two new polls released Wednesday.

A Gallup poll shows the president’s job approval rating jumped 7 points from last month, increasing from 37 percent to 44 percent. The survey results, taken early February just after President Trump agreed to a temporary end to the shutdown, were largely driven by independents.

President Donald Trump delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Jan 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

During the government shutdown in mid-January, 32 percent of independents said they approved of the job Trump was doing. In Gallup’s latest poll, that number rose to 38 percent. The partisan divide remained the same as in last month’s poll, with only 5 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of Republicans approving of the president’s job performance.

Trump took a hit to his already low average job performance ratings during the shutdown, reaching a record high 55 percent disapproval rating. Most Americans blamed Republicans and Trump for the shutdown, especially after remarks he made in December when he said he would gladly shut down the government if his demands for a border wall weren’t met.

“The recent political brinksmanship harmed Trump’s ratings when he eagerly used the government shutdown as a strategy to force funding for a border wall,” according to Gallup. “At that time, Trump’s approval rating fell, while Congress’ already low rating held steady. But by reopening the government — something widely seen as evidence of failure — Trump may have won praise from the public, something both sides should bear in mind as they negotiate to avoid a repeat shutdown.”

While another shutdown may be curbed thanks to a tentative agreement reached by congressional negotiators Monday, President Trump said Tuesday he was “not happy” with it.

Despite his unhappiness with the deal, multiple news outlets report he is likely to approve it, largely based on pressure from congressional Republicans who would take another popularity hit should the government shut down again.

In a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday, about 6 in 10 registered voters said they oppose another shutdown, while just 33 percent said they would favor a shutdown in order for Trump to receive funding for a U.S.-Mexican border wall.

The poll, which was taken before Monday’s announcement of a funding deal, found that 52 percent said they would blame Trump or Republicans for another shutdown. While only 37 percent of voters said they would blame Democrats, that number is higher than in the last shutdown.

“Although voters would hold President Trump responsible for a second shutdown, there’s an uptick in voters who would blame congressional Democrats,” Morning Consult Vice President Tyler Sinclair said. “Notably, 37 percent of voters would blame congressional Democrats for a government shutdown, compared to 31 percent who said the same before the first shutdown.”

The previous 35-day government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, with $3 billion permanently lost.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,106 Americans between Feb. 1 and Feb. 10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,845 registered voters between Feb. 7 and Feb. 10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

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