President Donald Trump’s approval rating has once again reached 40%, while earning high marks for his handling of the government’s response to recent hurricanes, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
A broad 64% of Americans say they approve of how Trump’s government reacted to the recent storms, including two in three independents (66%). Nine in 10 Republicans support his reaction (90%), and even Democrats are evenly divided on Trump’s response to the crises, with 44% both approving and disapproving.
Related: Full poll results
Support is not as clear for his foreign policy. Escalating tensions with North Korea have raised concerns about that country; half of Americans now view North Korea as an immediate threat to the United States, climbing from 37% to 50% since April. The administration announced new sanctions against North Korea Thursday. Half say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the situation with North Korea (50%) vs. four in 10 who say they approve (41%) — little changed from Trump’s rating in August on the topic.
Indeed, a deteriorating number of Americans believe the crisis can be resolved by economic and diplomatic means alone (43%), sinking to its lowest level yet on this question and down 10 points since 2012. A majority say they favor military action (58%) if the US can’t accomplish its goals by diplomatic and economic efforts — up 20 points from 2012. Still, more than six in 10 (63%) say the US should take military action only if other nations support and participate in it. Only three in 10 (29%) say the US should take action unilaterally if it decides to take military action.
Deep divisions over Trump and climate change but confidence in the economy
Approval for the President overall is divided sharply along party lines: 85% of Republicans approve of his job performance vs. only 9% of Democrats who say the same. Trump gets a roughly even split on his handling of the economy, though a broad 63% think economic conditions today are good — up six points since Trump took office and the highest mark since 2001. Trump’s rating on health care remains low at just 31% approval during the Senate’s last-ditch push to pass a reform bill. Overall, 55% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance. Thirty-eight percent approved of his performance in August.
Almost half of Americans (49%) say they believe global warming is a major cause in the increase of recent hurricanes — up from just 36% in a 2005 poll. About one in four (28%) — including a majority of Republicans (55%) say it’s not a cause at all. Partisan divides are stark: 78% of Democrats believe climate change plays a major role, up 30 percentage points from 2005. On the other hand, only 15% of Republicans say the same, down 10 points in the same time frame. Almost half of independents, for their part, believe it plays a major role (48%) — up from one in three over a decade ago (34%). On a separate question, three in four Americans (74%) support hurricane aid to victims even if no other correspondent funding is cut, including a broad seven in 10 conservatives (69%).
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone September 17 to 20 among a random national sample of 1,053 adults. The margin of sampling error for results among the full sample is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.