While once more optimistic about the next four years under President Trump, Americans are now more pessimistic
Despite the many Executive Orders President Trump has signed during his first 75 days in office, the public doesn’t see him as getting more things accomplished than other presidents typically do during their first couple of months on the job.
Just one in four in the lastest Economist/YouGov Poll say President Trump has accomplished more than other Presidents during their first two months in office, while the majority (54%) say he's accomplished either about the same or less. As for predictions, only one in five say Trump has accomplished more than they expected.
The defeat of the GOP American Health Care Act may have affected these opinions. The share of US adults who currently think Obamacare repeal is definitely going to happen with this Administration has been cut in half since January, from 36% to 17%.
Although a majority of Republicans think Trump has accomplished more than what the typical president does during his initial months in office, they want to see compromise. Last May, Americans said they preferred that their member of Congress compromise to get things done rather than stick to his or her principles. Republicans, however, were less sure, and a majority of conservatives rejected compromise. Republicans now control both houses of Congress and the Presidency, and that may be making GOP-identifiers more willing to believe in compromise than they were a year ago. At present, majorities of Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, and liberals favor compromise.
Divisions within the GOP Congressional majority were part of the reason for the AHCA’s failure. Two in three Republicans want the President to compromise with conservative Republicans in Congress, and the same percentage think he should compromise with moderate members of the GOP. More than half think he should compromise with House Speaker Paul Ryan.
But there isn’t much hope that any compromise between Congressional Republicans and Congressional Democrats will ever happen. Nearly two-thirds are pessimistic about that taking place, including 70% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans. Only 16%, overall, believe the current Congress will accomplish more than the typical Congress. Even though Republicans are in control, less than a third of Republicans think this Congress will get more done than usual.
The President now must deal with Congressional investigations into his associates’ contact with Russian officials prior to the Inauguration in January — an investigation Americans want to see happen. Republicans, who one month ago opposed a Congressional investigation into those dealings, are now nearly as likely to want an investigation as to oppose one.
By two to one, however, Republicans oppose having a Special Prosecutor investigate the charges, and by nearly three to one, Republicans believe President Obama did in fact order wiretaps on the incoming Administration (something the public overall does not).
The President’s job approval rating remains at 40% in the poll. 48% disapprove. Looking ahead, a majority of Republicans continue to believe that Donald Trump will be either an outstanding or above average President, but that belief has dropped 10 points since January, and not just among Republicans. Just 28% of the public overall thinks President Trump will be outstanding or above average. More expect history will judge him to be a poor President.
In January, Americans were narrowly optimistic about the next four years with Trump as President. Although Republicans still are, the rest of the public is not. By eight points, the public is now pessimistic. This shift is particularly striking when looking at political independents. In January, just after Trump’s Inauguration, independents were more optimistic about the next four years by 12 points. Now they are more pessimistic by the same margin.