Trump's sagging poll numbers overshadow Americans' optimistic view on the economy

Key Points
  • Those individuals who say the U.S. economy is "getting better" outnumber those who say it's "getting worse," a Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed on Sunday.
  • The margin between the two opinions has also grown to its biggest level in 15 years.
  • President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement related to tax reform on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump looks at an executive order during a signing ceremony with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters

With President Donald Trump's 100-day mark in the White House coming Saturday, a new poll finds that he is "the least popular chief executive in modern times."

His approval rating sits at 42 percent, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll found. The newspaper said that's the lowest recorded at this stage of a presidency dating to Dwight Eisenhower. However, the poll found that Trump has one remarkable achievement on his so-called balance sheet that's related to the economy.

Those individuals who say the U.S. economy is "getting better" outnumber those who say it's "getting worse," and the two opinions are now separated by the biggest margin in 15 years, according to the poll, which was published Sunday.

According to the poll, 30 percent think the economy is "getting better," 18 percent "getting worse," 49 percent "staying the same" and 3 percent "no opinion."

A larger majority in the poll also approve of Trump's efforts to pressure U.S. companies to keep jobs within the country.

Americans view on the Trump economy

Source: Washington Post-ABC News poll

This optimistic view of the economy, though, seems divided along party lines.

The gap between Democrats and Republicans' economic views — as tracked by the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index — has increased to its widest level since early 2009, according to a recent global macroeconomic research note from Goldman Sachs.

"The correlation between economic sentiment and political affiliation is ... visible in regional data," Goldman said in the report to its clients.

"The regions that voted strongly for Trump are the regions that are most optimistic about the future. ... The regions that voted for Trump are [also] the regions that have the lowest assessment of current conditions."

Further, "many investors believe that the rally in U.S. sentiment (and asset markets) reflects post-election expectations of tax cuts, infrastructure and defense spending, and deregulation," the Goldman note added.

Trump said he will make a "big announcement" on Wednesday related to tax reform, something Wall Street is monitoring closely.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted from April 17 to 20 among a random national sample of 1,004 adults interviewed on cellular and landline phones. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Read all the results from the Washington Post-ABC News poll.