NEW YORK: US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump’s appr­o­val rating before the Nov­ember elections has jum­p­ed to a higher level than former president Obama’s ahead of the 2010 midterms, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll found Trump’s approval rating at its highest level for that poll yet, at 47 per cent. Obama’s appro­val rating was 45 per cent aro­­und the same time in 2010, according to a similar NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken in late October 2010.

It is a cause for concern for the Democrats who want to take the control of the Senate and the House of Representatives from the Republicans.

Trump is the most unpopular president, but his swing through red (Republican) states is giving him an unexpected bounce. Rec­e­nt polls have put him at around a 90 per cent approval rating among Republicans. Many see the midterm elections as a referendum on the current president.

Republicans and Demo­crats are facing a particularly tough election year, with vulnerable Democra­tic senators seeking to re­­t­a­­in their seats in states Tru­mp won by double digits in 2016 as Republicans deal with widespread Trump dis­­­approval among suburban women and other groups.

The new NBC News/WSJ poll found voters more energised than they have been for years, with 72 per cent of Democrats telling pollsters they are very interested in the upcoming election as 68 per cent of Republicans said the same.

“Midterms are about mobilisation, and we are headed into the stretch run with unprecedented enthusiasm among both parties,” Democratic pollster Fred Yang told NBC News.

Overall, the poll found Democrats with a nine-point lead over Republicans in the battle for congressional control. Fifty per cent of likely voters said they want Congress to flip to the Democrats while 41 per cent said they want Republicans to retain majorities.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018

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