Almost three-quarters of Americans say that the economy has improved since President Donald Trump took office, according to a June survey conducted by Hart Research Associates for The Wall Street Journal.
The number of people giving Trump credit for the improvement is rising as well—44 percent, compared to 38 percent last year.
The survey also reported that the number of people who are “very satisfied” with the economy is soaring. Just 6 percent said so in 2015. Three months after Trump took office in 2017, that number rose to 8 percent. In January this year, a whopping 21 percent said they’re “very satisfied.” The number has held at that level since, registering at 20 percent in the June survey.
In the meantime, the number of Americans who say they are “very dissatisfied” with the economy is declining rapidly. Twelve percent of respondents in the June survey said they are “very dissatisfied,” compared to 29 percent who said so two years ago.
The stellar outlook is a surprise to many forecasters, who didn’t think Trump had a chance of changing Americans’ perceptions several years into a recovery cycle.
The total number of Americans who think the economy is better under Trump grew to 71 percent in the Wall Street Journal poll, up from 64 percent in July 2016. The number of people who don’t think the economy improved dropped from 36 percent in July 2016 to 25 percent in June 2018.
More Americans refuse to give Trump credit compared to President Barack Obama. In 2016, 15 percent said that the economy improved but refused to give Obama credit. In 2018, 27 percent refused to give Trump credit despite saying the economy had improved, up from 22 percent last year.
Trump has performed relatively well in opinion polls despite overwhelmingly negative media coverage.
A Pew Research Center analysis of more than 3,000 stories during the first 100 days of his presidency across 24 different media organizations found that reporting on Trump had been the most negative compared to other presidents over the past 25 years.
Compared to the three previous presidents, Trump earned his approval rating in a particularly hostile media environment. Coverage of Trump during his first 60 days in office was three times more negative than of Obama and twice as negative as coverage of presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, according to the Pew Research Center.
A survey by the Media Research Center showed that news coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC was more than 90 percent negative in September, October, and November last year.
Despite the negative coverage, Trump’s overall approval rating has surpassed that of Obama at the same time in his term in nearly every daily Rasmussen poll conducted since early February this year. Rasmussen is the only nationally recognized poll tracking presidential approval rating on a daily basis.
Positive economic indicators are in line with people’s perceptions of the economy. The latest jobs report tracked unemployment at 3.8 percent, the lowest level since the turn of the century. For the first time on record, the Labor Department reported this month that there are more open jobs in America than there are job seekers.