Monmouth poll: Support for Trump and GOP soars, approval of tax bill now even

This is pre-SOTU, by the way. It’s possible that he’s still on his way up, although SOTU bounces are infamously fleeting.

Do you realize that if he put his phone away and mastered the sporadic urge to act like a jackhole on Twitter, he might be north of 50 percent approval?

These aren’t the best numbers of his presidency but the *trend*, both for him and for the GOP, may be the most encouraging since he took office.

Pres. Trump’s job rating now stands at 42% approve and 50% disapprove. While his net rating continues to dwell in negative territory, this is an improvement from his December low of 32% approve and 56% disapprove. The current results mark a return to the ratings he received in the late summer and early fall of 2017. Positive signs for Trump include an uptick in public opinion that he has been successful in moving his agenda through Congress and increasing support for the recently enacted tax reform plan…

Opinion is currently divided on the landmark tax reform plan – 44% approve and 44% disapprove. But this marks a significant increase in public support from December, when just 26% approved of the bill and 47% disapproved. Perhaps more importantly, fewer Americans (36%) believe that their own federal taxes will go up under the plan than felt the same when the bill was in its final legislative stages last month (50%).

The news is even better than that excerpt suggests. The 42/50 split is among all adults; among registered voters, he’s at 44/48. To put that in perspective, from June 2017 all the way through December, Trump hit 44 percent in a poll tracked by RCP exactly … once. One time. Now he’s at 44 percent in Monmouth — but not just Monmouth. Check this out.

He’s at 44 — or better — in four of the last five national polls taken. If there was any lingering doubt that passing tax cuts has brightened the country’s mood about him, that should end it. Six weeks ago he was a failed president who had no major achievements to his name. Today he has a major tax bill under his belt, terrific economic numbers, and splashy headlines about corporations sending cash back to the U.S. and paying bonuses. Makes me wonder what would happen if, against all odds, he wrangled a DREAM deal or a major infrastructure package out of Democrats. So much of the public’s perception of Trump is a reaction to his persona, a problem compounded by his Twitter habit, that a big-ticket compromise might not matter. But I’d like to see that tested. We’re closer than some might think, I suspect, to a new CW about Trump that he’s undisciplined and prone to impulses that might prove self-destructive if unchecked (ahem) but also more effective than anyone might have expected at advancing his agenda. Fifty percent isn’t out of the question. Or at least, it wouldn’t be if he wasn’t about to embark on a war against his own Justice Department that’ll almost certainly hurt him more than it’ll hurt them.

There’s more good news, though. Here’s the real “wow” in the data:

In a look ahead to 2018, Democrats currently hold a negligible edge on the generic Congress ballot. If the election for House of Representatives were held today, 47% of registered voters say they would vote for or lean toward voting for the Democratic candidate in their district compared to 45% who would support the Republican. This marks a dramatic shift from last month, when Democrats held a 15 point advantage on the generic ballot (51% to 36%).

A 15-point lead on the generic ballot suggests nuclear cataclysm for the GOP in the midterms. A two-point lead is a fart in the wind. To make up a margin that wide so soon would be like trailing by 25 points late in the third quarter of the Super Bowl and coming back to win in OT. It couldn’t possibly happen, and yet it has. The power of tax cuts. Of note, though: Unlike the upward drift in Trump’s polling that’s been detected by multiple surveys, Monmouth’s numbers on the generic ballot are an outlier compared to other recent data. They’re the only outfit that has the race as close as two points. YouGov recently pegged the Democratic lead at five, which is solid although not overwhelming. Other pollsters have placed that lead at eight points or better, which is landslide-ish. Any way you slice it the GOP has improved from the apocalyptic generic ballot numbers of mid-December but it’s not quite a jump ball in the midterms yet.

Here’s Trump alum Sean Spicer applauding him for last night’s SOTU and wondering why, oh why, he wants to have a fight over the Nunes memo now when he’s got some Americans giving him a second look over taxes and economic growth. Oh well.