Less than a quarter of Americans think Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises, poll finds

Only half of people who support his own Republican Party think he has made good on his pledges

Chris Baynes
Saturday 16 December 2017 10:37
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Just three in 10 Americans said the US was heading in the right direction, and 52 per cent said the nation was worse off since Mr Trump became President
Just three in 10 Americans said the US was heading in the right direction, and 52 per cent said the nation was worse off since Mr Trump became President

Less than a quarter of Americans think Donald Trump has delivered on promises he made during his presidential election campaign, according to a new poll.

The US leader’s campaign included promises to overhaul Barack Obamas healthcare legislation, withdraw from a nuclear accord with Iran, and invest millions in new projects to fix the nation’s ageing infrastructure – none of which have been delivered.

Only half of people who support his own Republican Party think has made good on his pledges to voters in the almost year since he entered the White House.

Just three in 10 Americans said the US was heading in the right direction, and 52 per cent said the nation was worse off since Mr Trump became President, according to the survey by the Associated Press (AP) NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.

Only 23 per cent think Mr Trump has kept his promises. 30 per cent say he has tried and failed, but 45 per cent believe he has simply not stuck to his word.

“Everything has stalled out,” said Mark Krowski, 37, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who leans towards the Republican Party but did not vote for Mr Trump last year.

In a second AP-NORC poll conducted this month, the President’s job approval rating sits at just 32 per cent, making him the least popular first-year President on record. A quarter of Republicans were among those who disapprove of the President.

The only relative bright spot for Mr Trump was the improving economy. With a soaring stock market and unemployment hovering around 4 per cent, some 40 per cent of Americans approved of his handling of the economy.

That’s higher than the three in 10 Americans that approved of the President’s handling of healthcare, foreign policy or taxes.

Mr Trump has boasted that his first months in office outshine those of his predecessors, but his low ratings and failure to fulfil his promises will undoubtedly worry some of his party as they head into a mid-term election year, in which control of Congress will be at stake.

There is little doubt that 2017 has been devoid of any significant legislative accomplishments, though Republicans are urgently trying to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax system. The package would give generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and more modest tax cuts to low- and middle-income families.

“We’re very, very close to a historic legislative victory, the likes of which rarely has this country seen,” Mr Trump said during a meeting with politicians earlier this week.

Republicans are banking on the tax overhaul being enough to carry them through next year’s House and Senate contests, elections that will largely be a referendum on Trump’s first two years in office and the GOP’s stewardship as the majority party on Capitol Hill.

But with the legislation rushed through Congress and negotiated largely in private, the President and lawmakers may have more work to do to sell the public on its benefits.

“There’s so much back and forth and so many adjustments being made. It’s just so uncertain,” Edward Hale, a 72-year-old who was surveyed, said of tax legislation.

The retired federal government employee from Clarion, Pennsylvania, added: “It definitely favours Mr Trump and his wealthy friends.”

The poll results suggest that with or without a tax overhaul, Mr Trump has work to do in convincing the public that his presidency is benefiting them. Just 25 per cent of Americans think the country is better off since the Republican took office, and only 20 per cent say they personally are doing better.

By contrast, an AP-NORC poll conducted a year ago found that Americans were more likely to think the country had become better off over the course of Mr Obama’s presidency than worse off: by 46 per cent to 33 per cent.

Only nine per cent think the country has become more united as a result of Trump’s presidency, while 67 per cent think the country is more divided. That’s far higher than the 44 per cent of Americans who said in a poll one year ago that Mr Obama’s presidency had served to divide the country.

Even Republicans are more likely to say Mr Trump has divided America than united it, by 41 per cent to 17 per cent.

Notably, the deep-seated pessimism about the President and national politics doesn’t extend to local communities. Overall, about half of Americans said they feel optimistic about their local communities.

And that feeling is shared across the political spectrum; 55 per cent of Democrats and 50 per cent of Republicans feel optimistic about the way things are going locally.

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