About 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s overall job performance, according to a new poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which finds some support for the president’s handling of the U.S. economy but gives him weak marks on other major issues. Just 36% of Americans approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president; 62% disapprove. The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing reelection in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent. Trump’s approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. No other president has stayed within so narrow a band. Since Gallup began measuring presidential approval, Trump is the only president whose rating has never been above 50%. Still, several — Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — logged ratings worse than Trump’s lowest rating so far at some point during their time in office. Trump’s poor grades in the AP-NORC poll extend to his handling of several key issues: immigration, health care, foreign policy and guns. Views of the Republican president’s handling of the economy remain a relative bright spot despite fears of a potential recession, but at least 60% of Americans disapprove of his performance on other issues. The consistency suggests the president’s weak standing with the American people is calcified after two years of near-constant political crises and divisive rhetoric at the White House.
Democratic voters appear to be reassessing their approach to health care, a pragmatic shift on their party’s top 2020 issue. “Medicare for All” remains hugely popular, but majorities say they’d prefer building on “Obamacare” to expand coverage instead of a new government program that replaces America’s mix of private and public insurance. Highlighted by a recent national poll, shifting views are echoed in interviews with voters and the evolving positions of Democratic presidential candidates on a proposal that months ago seemed to have growing momentum within their party. Several have endorsed an incremental approach — rather than a government-run plan backed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It could mean trouble for Sanders and his supporters, signaling a limit to how far Democratic voters are willing to move to the left and an underlying skepticism that Americans will back such a dramatic change to their health care. “We hear Medicare for All, but I’m not absolutely certain what that means and what that would then mean for me,” said Democrat Terrie Dietrich, who lives near Las Vegas. “Does it mean that private insurance is gone forever?” Dietrich, 74, has Medicare and supplements that with private insurance, an arrangement she said she’s pretty comfortable with. She thinks it’s important that everyone has health care, not just those who can afford it. She said she would support Medicare for All if it was the only way to achieve that. But “I don’t think we can ever get it passed,” Dietrich added.
President Donald Trump’s branding of American Jews who vote for Democrats as “disloyal” to their religion and Israel prompted alarms of anti-Semitism. But his ultimate aim appears to be dividing Democrats, peeling off Jewish support and shoring up his white evangelical Christian base. Digging in Wednesday despite widespread criticism, Trump repeated his controversial assertion about Jews who support the Democratic Party. “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel,” Donald Trump told reporters. “And only weak people would say anything other than that.” The comment — which appeared to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Jews’ supposed loyalty to Israel — added a sharper edge to Trump’s appeals to another largely Democratic constituency: black voters, whom he challenged to support him in 2016 by asking: “What do you have to lose?” This time, Trump and his allies are trying to lure Jewish voters who they think could be turned off by liberal Democrats’ growing willingness to criticize the Israeli government. In a razor-close election, picking up a few thousand votes in key counties in states such as Florida and Pennsylvania could make a difference, they argue. Trump has focused on four first-term Democratic congresswomen of color who have voiced misgivings about U.S. policy toward Israel, trying to brand them the “face” of their party. It’s part of a larger effort by Trump and his team to try to paint Democrats as radical and outside the mainstream,
Democrats still shaken by the 2010 tea party wave that netted Republicans six governors’ offices, flipped 21 statehouse chambers and drove nearly 700 Democratic state legislators from office are mounting a comeback, pouring millions of dollars into state level races. In a longtime Republican district covering a wealthy enclave of Dallas, Democratic challenger Shawn Terry has raised $235,000, an eye-popping amount for a statehouse race that’s more than a year away. In Virginia, where the GOP holds a slim majority, Democrats have outraised Republicans for the first time in years. Democrats are even putting some money in deeply Republican Louisiana. The cash deluge shows how the consequences of next year’s elections run far deeper than President Donald Trump’s political fate. The party that controls state legislatures will take a leading role in the once-in-a-decade redistricting process that redraws congressional maps. Newly empowered Republicans used that process to their favor following the tea party victories, and Democrats want to use the same playbook. “There is, especially for this cycle, a very strong focus on redistricting,” Terry said. The stakes are particularly high following a recent Supreme Court ruling that decided federal courts have no business policing political boundary disputes in many cases. The ruling doesn’t apply to districts gerrymandered along racial lines but otherwise gives states wide latitude to draw maps with little concern for an eventual judicial rebuke. “Everybody knows everything is at stake,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of the group EMILY’s List, which recruits and trains women to run
President Donald Trump is warning of an economic crash if he loses reelection, arguing that even voters who personally dislike him should base their ballots on the nation’s strong growth and low unemployment rate. But privately, Trump is growing increasingly worried the economy won’t look so good come Election Day. The financial markets signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession this week, sending a jolt of anxiety to investors, companies and consumers. That’s on top of concerns over Trump’s plans to impose punishing tariffs on goods from China and word from the United Kingdom and Germany that their economies are shrinking. Though a pre-election recession here is far from certain, a downturn would be a devastating blow to the president, who has made a strong economy his central argument for a second term. Trump advisers fear a weakened economy would hurt him with moderate Republican and independent voters who have been willing to give him a pass on some his incendiary policies and rhetoric. And White House economic advisers see few options for reversing course should the economy start to slip. Trump has taken to blaming others for the recession fears, mostly the Federal Reserve, which he is pushing for further interest rate cuts. Yet much of the uncertainty in the markets stems from his own escalation of a trade war with China, as well as weakened economies in key countries around the world. Some of Trump’s closest advisers have urged him to lower the temperature of the trade dispute,
Israel and the United Arab Emirates have been recently engaged in secret talks, arranged by the US, to share their information and coordinate their efforts against Iran, a report by the Wall Street Journal says. Quoting US officials familiar with the secret talks, the WSJ says the meetings were arranged by US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook. The first meeting was held this spring, and the second took place more recently, the report quoted a US official as saying. “The discussions among US, Israeli and Emirati officials, although still in the preliminary stages, appear to indicate those contacts have gone beyond being symbolic and exploratory to mapping coordination on specific issues,” US officials told the WSJ. According to the report, the secret talks “were intended to increase diplomatic, military and intelligence cooperation in dealing with Iran.” The report quotes people familiar with the discussions as saying that Hook has worked to bring anti-Iran elements together for secret meetings. “Hook wants help from Israel and the Emirates in getting other countries in Europe and the Middle East to take a tough stance regarding Tehran,” a former US official said. The report says “the exact dates and locations of the unpublicized meetings couldn’t be learned.” Therefore, it is not clear whether the secret talks took place before or after the recent efforts by the UAE to approach Iran and sign agreements with the Islamic Republic on the security of the Persian Gulf. Amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region, an
President Donald Trump on Thursday sought to reassure his supporters about the state of the U.S. economy despite the stock market volatility and told rallygoers in New Hampshire, a state that he hopes to capture in 2020, that their financial security depends on his reelection. “Whether you love me or hate me you have to vote for me,” Trump said. Speaking to a boisterous crowd at Southern New Hampshire University, Trump dismissed the heightened fears about the U.S. economy and a 3% drop Wednesday in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was fueled by a slowing global economy and a development in the bond market that has predicted previous recessions. Avoiding an economic slump is critical to Trump’s reelection hopes. “The United States right now has the hottest economy anywhere in the world,” Donald Trump said. Trump, who reached the White House by promising to bring about a historic economic boom, claimed, as he often does, that the markets would have crashed if he had lost his 2016 bid for the presidency. And he warned that if he is defeated in 2020, Americans’ 401(k) retirement accounts will go “down the tubes.” The president also defended his tactics on trade with China. He has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China and has threatened to hit the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese imports with 10% tariffs. He has delayed that increase on about half of those items to avoid raising prices for U.S. holiday shoppers. He said
After local Guatemalan officials burned down an environmental activist’s home, he decided to leave his village behind and flee to the United States, hoping he’d be granted asylum and his little boy, whose heart was failing, would receive lifesaving medical care. But after crossing the border into Arizona in May of last year, Border Patrol agents tore the man’s 7-year-old son from his arms and sent the father nearly 2,000 miles (3,220 kilometers) away to a detention center in Georgia. The boy, now 8, went into a U.S.-funded foster home for migrant children in New York. The foster care programs are meant to provide migrant children with care while authorities work to connect them with parents, relatives or other sponsors. But instead the boy told a counselor he was repeatedly sexually molested by other boys in the foster home. A review of 38 legal claims obtained by The Associated Press — some of which have never been made public — shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages from parents who said their children were harmed while in government custody. The father and son are among dozens of families — separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy — who are now preparing to sue the federal government, including several who say their young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care. With more than 3,000 migrant children taken from their parents at the border
When Chad Johansen voted for Donald Trump in 2016, he hoped he was picking someone who could help small-business owners compete with bigger companies. But that hasn’t happened, and now the 26-year-old owner of NH iPhone Repair feels what he calls “Trumpgret.” The Republican president has done little to address health care issues for a small employer, he said, and the Manchester man remains on edge about how Trump’s tariffs could affect his business, which employs fewer than 10 people. Beyond that, he said, unrelenting news about bigotry and racism in the Trump administration is “a turnoff.” “The president’s supposed to be the face of the United States of America,” said Johansen, who voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2012. “And supposed to make everyone be proud to be an American and stand up for everyone who is an American. And I don’t feel that President Trump’s doing that. I feel like it’s chaos.” That sentiment is concerning for Trump as he travels to New Hampshire on Thursday for a reelection rally. The state, which he lost by about 2,700 votes in 2016, is doing well economically, at least when using broad measures. But beneath the top-line data are clear signs that the prosperity is being unevenly shared, and when the tumult of the Trump presidency is added to the mix, the state’s flinty voters may not be receptive to his appeals. Trouble in the bond market on Wednesday raised fresh concerns about a recession on the horizon. An August