This week marks one year since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Compared to then, voters have more positive views of the economy, but not about the direction of the country, according to a new CBS News poll: 35% of Americans say the country is better off after one year of the Trump Presidency, while 43% say it is worse off.
CBS began tracking four groups when Mr. Trump took office: Believers (the strongest Trump supporters), Conditionals (those who support Trump with the condition he delivers on the issues they care about), Curious (those who oppose Trump but are willing to support him if he makes changes), and Resisters (those who firmly oppose Trump).
In Feb. 2017, shortly after the inauguration, 22% of Americans were Believers. Today only 18% say they are. Twenty-three percent of Americans say they are Conditionals and 18% say they are Curious. In Feb. 2017, 35% of Americans say they were Resisters, but that number has grown to 41% today. The growing number of Resisters suggests some of those willing to give the president a chance in his first year may now firmly oppose him.
It is not uncommon for views of a president to grow negative the longer he is in office. However, the disconnect between Americans’ positive views of the economy and their declining views of the country’s direction and the president should cause concern. If Americans are distracted by the president’s behavior and actions on other issues, all of the economic success achieved by the president and his party could have minimal political impact in the years to come. This would make it more difficult for Mr. Trump to acquire the political credit to spend on passing other achievements.