Fox News Poll: Fewer voters feeling nervous about the economy

As economic worries wane, approval of President Trump’s job performance remains just two points shy of his record, according to the latest Fox News Poll. Still, a majority disapproves.

Forty-six percent approve of the job Trump is doing, while 51 percent disapprove. He received his best ratings, 48-47 percent, in February 2017, just after he took office.

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Almost all 2016 Trump voters (92 percent), Republicans (89 percent), and very conservatives (86 percent) approve of the president.

Plus, his approval hit high points among some groups that aren’t typically his biggest fans, such as women (43 percent), college graduates (46 percent), and suburban voters (46 percent).

A key number in the poll is the spread between those who are nervous about the economy and those who are confident. It was 31 percentage points in March 2016 when 61 percent felt nervous and 30 percent were confident.

The poll released Sunday finds more voters feel nervous (43 percent) than confident (37 percent) about the economy by just six points. A year ago, that gap was seven points. At the same time, those having “mixed” feelings about the economy went from 6 percent in 2016 to 11 percent last year to 17 percent today.

In addition, the 43 percent feeling nervous is a new low. The question was first asked in September 2010 and, at that time, 70 percent felt nervous.

President Trump receives his only net positive job rating on the economy, as 50 percent of voters approve, while 42 percent disapprove.

Outside the economy, the news isn’t as good.

Approval of how Trump is handling North Korea dropped four points to 42 percent after his recent Vietnam summit with Kim Jong Un, down from 46 percent in February. Forty-four percent disapprove.

By a narrow margin, voters think North Korea is farther (27 percent) from giving up its nuclear weapons program since Trump took office rather than closer (24 percent) to giving it up, with the largest number, 41 percent, feeling things are unchanged.

Support for the border wall ticked down a couple points, as 44 percent favor building it, while 51 percent oppose it. In February, it was 46-50.

Meanwhile, more than half disapprove (59 percent) of the president declaring a national emergency on the southern border as a way to bypass Congress and fund the wall, while 36 percent approve.

About 9 in 10 Democrats oppose the emergency declaration, while about 7 in 10 Republicans favor it. Republicans (86 percent) are more than 12 times as likely as Democrats (7 percent) to favor the wall.

A dozen Senate Republicans sided with Senate Democrats March 14 in voting for a resolution to end the president’s border-wall emergency declaration. Trump vetoed the bill, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled a March 26 vote in the House to try to override the veto.

Forty-one percent of voters approve of how Trump is handling immigration, while 54 percent disapprove. That is mostly unchanged since January, when it was 42-54 percent.

Pollpourri

After news of the college bribery scandal, the poll shows twice as many voters see the admissions process as rigged as consider it fair: 49 percent rigged vs. 25 percent fair.

Those with a college degree and those without a degree are equally likely to call the process rigged (both 49 percent). Black voters (65 percent) are more likely than Hispanics (49 percent) and whites (47 percent) to feel that way.

In general, 56 percent feel things in the country are rigged to favor the wealthy, while 40 percent believe -- if they work hard -- they have a fair shot at getting ahead. The admissions scandal does not seem to be changing minds, as a Fox News poll last September found almost exactly the same results.

Republicans (70 percent) think people who work hard can get ahead, while Democrats (82 percent) and independents (62 percent) say things are rigged.

The Fox News Poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,002 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) (formerly named Anderson Robbins Research) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from March 17-20, 2019. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.