New York: Polls paint a mixed picture of US President Donald Trump`s political fortunes in this election year showing his job approval ratings and sense of betterment at the highest levels while also having all the leading Democratic challengers defeating him.
A Gallup poll released on Thursday said that 61 percent of Americans felt they were better off now than they were three years ago, the highest number since 1992 during a year the president is facing re-election.
A Gallup poll released on February 4 on the eve of Trump`s acquittal showed a 49 percent approval rate for him, steadying his support in the Senate.
That job approval rating in Gallup`s poll in the first week of February of the re-election year is higher than former President Barack Obama`s 47 percent in 2012.
In other polls, he was doing well overall, although the picture is mixed.
The job approval rating, which is seen as a measure of his popularity, aggregated by RealClear Politics (RCP) was at 45.6 percent this week, the highest in his presidency. But disapproval of his performance was 52.1 percent, a spread of 6.5 percent, RCP calculated.
In contrast, the Americans have a far lower opinion of Congress: According to RCP aggregation, 65.6 percent disapprove of its performance and only 22.4 approve.
The Democrats will have to contend with Trump`s rising job approval ratings, especially in the economy, and the sense that things have gotten better when they confront him in the November election.
But they can get satisfaction in RCP aggregations of national polls in which all the six leading contenders for the Democratic Party nomination are shown beating Trump by margins ranging from a 6 percent lead for Michael Bloomberg to just 1 percent for Pete Buttigieg, a small-town mayor from Indiana.
The showing of Bloomberg, the owner of the news and financial service company that bears his name and a former New York mayor, against Trump in the national poll is a surprise as he is at the third place in the polls for Democratic Party nomination and hasn`t participated in party elections so far. But he is climbing fast, reaching 14.2 percent on Thursday from 10 percent on Sunday, while former Vice President Joe Biden, the centrist and one-time front-runner, has been steadily falling from 23.9 percent to 19.2 percent during the same period, according to RCP averages.
Democrats made a defence of Biden in the elections, the core principle of the impeachment of Trump, yet ironically they may have hurt him by the repeated disclosures during the process about a questionable deal by his son Hunter in Ukraine and Biden`s role in firing the prosecutor there looking into his son`s company.
Trump won 304 electoral college votes although he polled only 62.9 million popular votes nationally in 2016, while Hillary Clinton received 65.8 million votes but only 227 electoral college votes.
Individual polls also showed wide discrepancies in their findings this week, with Rasmussen Reports reporting a tie at 49 percent between those approving his performance and those disapproving, and Reuters Ipsos with a 55 percent disapproving and only 44 percent approving, with a negative spread of 11 percent.
With unemployment at the lowest level in about 45 years and the stock markets hitting record levels, Trump scores his best in polls asking about his economic performance: RCP aggregation showed a 56.1 percent approval rate to 39.3 percent disapproval.
This time, Republicans are hoping to use the economy to defuse the Democrat`s challenges based on Trump`s ethical lapses.
"The economy will likely be as potent an election issue as any other, but there is no dominant issue in the public`s minds," according to a Gallup Poll analysis.
While 29 percent of those polled said the economy was the top issue, healthcare came second with 25 percent.
The Democrats are making healthcare an important issue in their campaign, although they have to come up with a coherent, united stand on the topic.
On foreign policy, Trump`s approval sags with a 43.7 percent approval to 52.7 percent disapproval, according to the RCP tally.
Asked about the direction of the country, only 39.3 said it was headed in the right direction, while 54.2 said it was going the opposite way, according to RCP aggregation.
One of the explanations for the discrepancy between Trump`s high job approval rating is seen in the Gallup and Rasmussen polls and the showing of Democratic party candidates in elections is the deep polarisation in the country: 94 percent of Republicans in the Gallup poll approved of his performance, while only 7 percent of Democrats did.
Among independents, it was 42 percent.
Similarly, 89 percent of Republicans said they were better off, while only 29 percent of the Democrats agreed, showing the chasm behind the overall 61 percent number for those feeling their situation had improved.
Independents with 60 percent, were closer to the overall number.