When President Trump signed a spending agreement at the end of January to reopen the government, the consensus seemed to be that the face-off with Democrats in Congress would politically damage him. Once again, his critics were wrong.
Today, Trump’s job approval ratings are back to pre-shutdown levels, only two or three points below a level that would make him the favorite to win reelection. He initiated the shutdown in comparatively good political shape, with average approval ratings at 42.5 percent when the shutdown began on Dec. 22, 2018, according to Real Clear Politics (RCP). His ratings dipped while it was occurring, hitting a low of 40.9 percent during the crisis.
His ratings quickly rebounded, however, immediately after his Feb. 5 State of the Union address. By March 3, they stood at 44.4 percent, near his high-water mark since the early days of his presidency. Today, they stand at 43.5 percent, a point higher than when the shutdown started and well within the range he has sat at for most of the past year.