Voters’ confidence in President Donald Trump when it comes to North Korea is increasing ahead of a possible meeting next month with Kim Jong Un, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
A combined 50 percent of voters have either “a lot” or “some” confidence in Trump to handle North Korea, the poll shows. That is a slight increase from last month, when 47 percent had some measure of confidence in Trump.
There has been a steady increase in the percentage of voters who have a lot of confidence in Trump: from 24 percent in March, to 28 percent in April, to 31 percent in the new poll. At the same time, the percentage of voters who say they have “no confidence at all” in Trump ticked down — from 34 percent last month, to 30 percent in the new survey.
The poll was conducted May 10-14 — after Trump announced that he would sit down with Kim on June 12 in Singapore, but before North Korea threatened to pull out of the meeting on Tuesday, following joint military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea.
The modest confidence in Trump extends to the prospects for negotiations next month. Asked how much confidence they have that the U.S. will successfully negotiate with North Korea to stop building its nuclear weapons program, 46 percent of voters say they have “a lot” or “some” confidence, compared with 42 percent who have “not much” or “no confidence at all.”
Only 32 percent of voters say Trump should meet with Kim only if North Korea makes concessions on its nuclear weapons program beforehand, while 47 percent say Trump should meet with Kim regardless of whether North Korea gives ground before the sit-down. But 22 percent of voters don’t have an opinion.
Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer, noted that opinions of North Korea had improved amid recent diplomatic efforts from the U.S. and North Korea’s neighbors.
“The rapidly evolving state of U.S.-North Korea relations has voters taking a less adversarial posture towards the country,” Dropp said. “A March poll found 81 percent of voters consider North Korea as an enemy or unfriendly to the U.S., and that number stands at 74 percent today.”
On another foreign policy topic, voters are divided on Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a decision the president announced last month. While a majority of voters say they support the agreement — 54 percent support it, 28 percent oppose it — 37 percent say the U.S. and Trump made the right decision in withdrawing from the agreement. Slightly more, 40 percent, say Trump and the U.S. made the wrong decision.
Trump’s overall approval rating held virtually steady from last week, ticking up a point, to 43 percent from 42 percent. A majority of voters, 52 percent, disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.
But even as Trump’s approval rating holds steady, the percentage of voters who say things in the country are going in the right direction increased to 44 percent — the highest reading on this question since mid-February.
The poll also shows Democrats leading on the generic congressional ballot by 5 percentage points, 43 percent to 38 percent. That is slightly closer than Democrats’ 7-point lead in last week’s poll, 42 percent to 35 percent.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,993 registered voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.