New poll shows Americans think Trump is failing on the economy, guns, and trade

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll has some bad news for President Donald Trump, as a large majority of Americans think he’s doing a poor job on the economy and guns while also roundly rejecting his ongoing trade war with China.

The bottom line from the poll is sobering news for Trump, according to NBC News:

Trump’s political standing remains in dangerous territory ahead of his re-election fight next year, with just four in 10 Americans approving of his job and saying they’ll vote for him in 2020.

“This is not an attractive set of numbers for an incumbent,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with the Democratic pollsters from Hart Research Associates.

Free Trade Polls High

64 percent of those surveyed said they think free trade is good for the United States, a direct rejection of the president’s tariff and trade war with China.

Only 27 percent said that free trade is bad for the U.S.

Support for free trade has risen steadily since 2015:

The percentage of those favoring free trade is up 13 points from 2015 and 7 points from 2017, with Democrats and independents much more supportive than they were four years ago.

Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt said it’s clear most Americans don’t agree with the trade war policy Trump is pursuing:

“While Trump plays a game of chicken on tariffs, a record number of Americans believe that free trade is good.”

Guns and Gun Control

On this issue, too, most Americans favor much tougher gun control measures, and even want assault weapons banned outright:

  • 89 percent say they favor Congress expanding background checks to all firearm sales and transfers, including 75 percent who “strongly” support that;
  • 76 percent back “red flag” laws that help law enforcement temporarily remove guns from those deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others;
  • 75 percent support a voluntary program where the government would buy back firearms that people no longer want;
  • 62 percent favor banning the sale of selected semi-automatic firearms referred to as assault weapons.

The Economy

If indeed elections are referendums on people’s personal finances, Trump should start worrying, because while 49 percent say they approve of the job the president is doing with the economy, 46 percent say they disapprove of his performance on that all-important issue.

The 49 percent approval is a full ten-point drop from early May (51-41 percent), and an even bigger drop from the 16-point edge he had last July (50-34).


There’s more bad news for the president here, too:

As for Trump’s political standing, 43 percent of Americans approve of his overall job performance, down 2 points from July, although that’s well within the poll’s margin of error.

Fifty-five percent say they disapprove, which is up 3 points.

One pollster noted that the American public normally rallies around a president when a tragedy such as the mass shootings in El Paso or Dayton takes place, but that isn’t being seen this time:

“Americans typically rally around their president in times of national tumult and tragedy. Yet again in his response to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, we see that Americans view Donald Trump and his reactions to national tragedies far differently.”

A little bit more than a year out from a presidential election, Donald Trump doesn’t appear poised to make a strong bid for a second term. But polls change and so do events. It’s early, but Trump clearly has a lot of ground to make up if he intends to pull off a repeat of 2016.

Featured Image Via NBC News