WASHINGTON - With a robust U.S. economy, polls show that President Donald Trump's approval ratings are on the upswing, even as a majority of Americans still disapprove of his 14-month White House tenure.
A pair of polls this week — by CNN and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research — both say that 42 percent of Americans approve of his performance as president, the highest figures the news organizations have recorded in months. CNN says 54 percent of voters disapprove of Trump's handling of the presidency, while AP says 58 percent feel that way.
Real Clear Politics' national average of several polls shows a similar result, a 53-42 negative rating for Trump.
Trump's approval ratings, through the first months of his four-year term, have been the lowest among modern U.S. presidents recorded during seven decades of polling. But CNN noted that Trump's current standing is only marginally lower than that recorded for President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s and President Barack Obama in 2010 in the earliest stages of their two-term presidencies.
Trump's White House tenure has been buffeted by a marked turnover of key officials, with Trump firing both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster in recent days, and allegations of extramarital affairs in 2006 — relationships the U.S. leader has denied took place a decade before the 2016 election.
Both CNN and AP said that Trump's brightening approval numbers are linked to the performance of the U.S. economy, the world's largest, where voters give him a favorable assessment compared to his handling of other public issues.
The U.S. unemployment rate has held steady at 4.1 percent, wages for many workers are growing, and the Republican-approved tax cut legislation championed by Trump has added more money to workers' paychecks.