A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll has bad news for President Trump on the economy.
To start, his net approval rating on the economy is down to a mere three percentage points — 49% of registered voters approve while 46% disapprove. This is a big drop from the 10-point edge he had in early May (51%-41%), and an even bigger dropped from the 16-point edge he had last July (50%-34%).
This drop of support on the economy has brought his overall approval rating to its lowest level of the year — 43% — according to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, 55% said they disapproved of Trump.
Some 9% of voters support Trump’s handling of the economy but don’t approve of him overall. But in a “warning sign for Mr. Trump,” the Journal notes that those voters “prefer a Democratic candidate over Mr. Trump by 73% to 5%.”
Why have Trump’s ratings on the economy dropped? As CNBC explains in the lead to its story on the poll, “Add President Trump to the list of those hurt by his trade war.”
In fact, Trump’s disastrous tariff-driven trade war with China hasn’t just hurt Americans in the pocketbook and caused volatility in the stock market. It has actually made Americans more supportive of free trade.
Near the start of his presidency, Americans’ net approval of free trade was 20 percentage points — 57% supported it and 37% opposed. Today, that net approval is a whopping 37 points, as 64% support but only 27% oppose.
That change “was driven most sharply by political independents,” reports CNBC, “who now embrace free trade by a 77%-15% margin.”
The bottom line is that whatever advantage Trump thought he was going to get in the election from his handling of the economy and his trade war with China has all but vanished.