With countries like North Korea, Iran, and Israel in the news, we surveyed 1,000 Americans from May 22 to 25 for their views of recent Trump administration foreign policy moves and other issues. While the president’s overall approval rating continues to be underwater (39–48 percent, amongst registered voters), foreign policy is a bright spot for the Administration.
On North Korea, American adults approve of President Trump’s handling of the situation by a margin of 44 percent to 32 percent. While the survey was largely taken before the cancellation of the June 12th summit, news coverage since has focused on efforts to reschedule the summit. In the survey, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was viewed favorably by 9 percent of Americans and unfavorably by 64 percent.
Net approval of recent Trump administration foreign policy moves extends to approval of the U.S. withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal (37 percent approve to 31 percent disapprove) and the U.S. moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (32 percent approve to 27 percent disapprove).
When it comes to the best strategy for dealing with potential nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea, the public favors an approach evenly balanced between military leverage and diplomacy. We asked, “What do you think is more likely to persuade countries like Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons programs — the fear of U.S. military action, or diplomacy?” 21 percent said the fear of U.S. military action, 20 percent said diplomacy, and 39 percent said both equally.
New Numbers on the Russia Collusion Investigation and Trump Scandal Figures
We asked the public of their view of Russian intervention in the 2016 election. A 42 percent plurality of respondents believe Russia tried to intervene with the cooperation of the Trump campaign, whereas 21 percent said tried to intervene without the Trump campaign’s involvement. 10 percent say that Russia did not try to interfere in the election. A solid 78 percent of Clinton voters believe Russia colluded with the Trump campaign while Trump voters are more split: 45 percent say Russia tried to interfere without help from the campaign, 19 percent say Russia did not try to intervene, 14 percent said there was cooperation, and 21 percent are unsure (nearly the double the 11 percent amongst Clinton voters).
The main figures in the latest scandal coverage are unpopular with Americans. This includes Stormy Daniels (20 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable) and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen (13 percent favorable to 34 percent unfavorable). Opinions of Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti were less well defined, with 16 percent viewing him favorably, 20 percent unfavorably, 29 percent saying they had never heard of him, and 34 percent neutral.
Opinions of Robert Mueller (28/26) and James Comey (25/29) were more evenly split.
Democrats Lead Generic Congressional Ballot by 7 Points
Amongst registered voters, Democrats hold a 7 point edge in the generic Congressional ballot (leading 46 to 39 percent). The Democratic advantage is due to leads amongst independents and gaps in party identification rather than any softness in the Republican ranks. While just 66 percent of Republicans who identify primarily as supporters of the party and not of Donald Trump approve of his job performance, a generic Republican candidate gets 91 percent support amongst these Republicans.