Politics

Trump approval rating bounces back from government shutdown lows

Key Points
  • President Trump's approval rating has mounted a decisive comeback from its descent last month during the record-long 35-day partial government shutdown.
  • In the nearly three weeks since the government reopened, voters have warmed to the president. His approval rating has hit its highest level this year, 41.5 percent.
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum on February 11, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

President Donald Trump's approval rating has mounted a decisive comeback from its descent last month during the record-long 35-day partial government shutdown.

Trump's approval numbers hit a low of under 40 percent on Jan. 25, the final day of the shutdown, a loss of almost 3 points from before the closure, according to an average calculated by the website FiveThirtyEight.

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President Trump: Will decide on funding bill when I see it

In the nearly three weeks since, voters have warmed back to the president, to 41.5 percent approval, its highest level this year. That's still down from Trump's approval rating of 42.2 percent on Dec. 22, the day the shutdown began.

The figure has hovered around 42 percent for much of the last 10 months, an unusual steadiness that some pollsters have attributed to increased polarization.

In the weeks since the government reopened, Trump delivered his second State of the Union address as well as what is considered his first campaign speech of the 2020 cycle.

Congress, which faces a midnight Friday deadline to pass a spending bill that will keep the government running, appeared likely to pass a measure Thursday.

To be sure, the president still has a low approval rating compared with modern presidents, and measures of disapproval remain unusually high.

The president's approval lags that of every U.S. president who served in the last 50 years at this point in their presidency, with two exceptions. President Ronald Reagan, whose flagging approval rating in his first two years mirrored rising unemployment levels, had less support. President Jimmy Carter, who also wrestled with high unemployment, had the same amount of support as Trump.

Trump, by contrast, has presided during a period of strong economic growth and low unemployment.

Experts have said that an approval rating of 40 percent or higher puts the president in a favorable position for his re-election bid.

WATCH: Congress scrambles to avoid another shutdown

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Congress scrambles to avoid another shutdown