Fox News poll: Trump approval holds steady as GOP shrinks Dems' edge in midterms fight

A Fox...

Posted: Mar 26, 2018 9:35 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2018 9:36 AM

A Fox News poll finds President Donald Trump's approval rating holding steady at 45% and the GOP closing the gap on the Democrats' lead in terms of which party voters favor in their congressional districts.

The poll finds Democrats with a five-point edge in a generic ballot test: 46% favor the Democrat in their districts while 41% back the Republican. That's closer than the Fox poll's last measure on the question in October, when 50% of voters said they favored Democrats and 35 said they supported Republicans.

Trump's approval rating is just a couple of points above what this poll found in February and equal to its finding in January.

Trump netted a positive approval rating on the economy (51% approve; 44% disapprove) while reviews break negative on his handling of international trade (42% approve; 49% disapprove). And more say they are nervous about the economy today (47%) than say they are confident about it (40%). That's an improvement compared with the numbers two years ago at this time, when just 30% said they felt confident about the economy.

The President scored his worst reviews in the survey on handling the opioid epidemic, with one third approving and 46% disapproving.

The poll also finds a sharp Democratic advantage on enthusiasm for voting this year: 46% of Democrats say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting for Congress, while just 28% of Republicans say they're more enthusiastic than usual.

Gun issues

The poll also found broad support for a range of gun control measures just days before millions of protesters took to the streets in Washington and around the country to demand legislative action on gun violence. On Trump's handling of the guns issue, it found 40% of voters approve and 54% disapprove.

The poll, which was conducted between March 18 and 21, found that 53% of voters say it is more important to protect citizens from gun violence than it is to protect the right of citizens to own guns. Forty percent say gun ownership is a higher priority.

On Saturday, survivors of the last month's Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead gave impassioned speeches on the need to protect the lives of people more than the Second Amendment. "We want change!" was chanted at various points throughout the day in Washington.

That desire for change was reflected in the poll.

Ninety-one percent of voters said they in favor of requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, 84% support mental health checks on all gun buyers, and 72% support raising the minimum legal age to buy guns to 21.

Sixty percent of voters said they favor a "banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons."

And while 69% of voters support putting armed guards in schools for protection, just 37% support arming teachers and school officials for protection, a proposal that Trump has backed.

On Friday, Trump announced that his administration will issue a new rule banning bump stocks, a gun accessory that makes it easier to fire rounds quickly from a semi-automatic weapon, mimicking automatic fire.

The poll found that few voters are optimistic about potential legislative action on gun laws. Seventy-eight percent say it is just somewhat or not at all likely that Congress will pass gun legislation this year, and 50% say they are more concerned that if Congress does act on new gun legislation, the changes won't go far enough. On the flip side, 36% are concerned that Congress will take action that goes too far.

The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers from March 18 to 21 among a random national sample of 1,014 registered voters; it has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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