Trump's job approval rises to highest level in four months

He hadn’t seen 41.1 percent in the RCP poll average since May 14th. That’s not … ideal as a four-month polling high, shall we say, but it’s in the right direction. And most of the latest polls tracked by RCP have him a few points north of that. YouGov, Rasmussen, and NBC all put him at 43 percent now and Monmouth has him just six points underwater at 42/48.

What’s driving it? A good job by him and the feds on handling hurricanes, almost certainly:

Disaster relief is the least partisan major task a president is asked to handle in office. If he strikes the right tone and there are no screw-ups by underlings he’s bound to have some soft opponents look at him a bit more fondly than they have in the past. Sixty-four percent told CNN that they approve of how the administration has handled the recent storms, including 66 percent of independents. Democrats were split evenly at 44 percent, which is all but unheard of on anything Trump-related. Morning Consult has also picked up an uptick among indies:

“Trump’s post-Charlottesville plunge proved to be short-lived, and his approval has stabilized,” said Morning Consult Co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “A key driver of this movement appears to be independents. Immediately after Charlottesville, 35 percent of independent voters approved of Trump, and 58 percent disapproved. In this latest poll, that has risen to 40 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval.”…

Gallup’s weekly data more closely resemble SurveyMonkey’s findings. Trump has ticked up 2 points among both Democrats (from 7 percent to 9 percent) and Republicans (from 78 percent to 81 percent) since late August, but he jumped from 30 percent among independents in late August to 35 percent last week.

Modest gains, but gains are gains. Wisely, he’s going to try to keep the good nonpartisan vibes going by visiting Puerto Rico soon to see the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. I don’t know that his polling rise is due solely to storm management, though. This number from the new NBC/WSJ poll jumps out, not just because it’s so lopsided but because it’s the only issue of 11 that were mentioned of which a majority approves of how he handled it:

Some righties hated that deal with Pelosi and Schumer, especially the signal it sent about Trump inching towards the left, but the public loves bipartisanship in the abstract. A YouGov poll published yesterday showed 60+ percent overall and among Republicans support Trump working with Democrats on health care, on tax reform, on immigration, and on environmental protection. (Republican support was equal to or greater than overall public support for bipartisanship on every issue, in fact.) Details matter, though, and Republicans aren’t thrilled with the idea of a DREAM amnesty, although they do cautiously support it on balance — for now. It would be a grim irony if, after clawing back some support among independents lately, Trump saw his polling start to tank again because his otherwise hyper-loyal base started to peel off over his bread-and-butter issue.

In lieu of an exit question, listen below to Ann Coulter tearing him up over the wall a few days ago on the Howie Carr show. “If we are not getting a wall, we might as well have a, you know, attractive, dignified Republican there,” she said, quasi-endorsing Mike Pence. David French got to the heart of the difference between nationalists like Coulter and Trumpists here:

When Trump moves to the center on immigration, Coulter sees it as a sellout whereas core fans see it as canny maneuvering and proof of his statesmanship. “It’s the closest thing to unconditional love that I’ve ever seen in American politics,” says French. Depending on how bad the DREAM deal ends up being, we’ll see.