Trump's Economic Approval Drops Five Percent From Last Year, Poll Shows

Approval of President Donald Trump's handling of the economy has dropped five percent since the same time last year, according to a poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Thursday.

On Trump's overall approval, the survey showed the partisan split that has defined Trump's reception while in office. Only 36 percent of Americans approve of the president's job performance, with 62 percent saying they disapprove, according to data from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Almost 80 percent of Republicans approve of Trump, while 94 percent of Democrats oppose him.

But, in addition to the expected results in overall approval, the survey also indicated areas that could cause concern for Trump's chances for re-election. Only 46 percent of Americans approve of Trump's handling of the economy, while 51 percent disapprove of his economic stances.

Trump has staked his appeal on his ability to handle the economy, but indicators are warning that the country could be headed toward a recession.

An economic downturn wouldn't sway the opinions of Trump's core supporters, Will Marshall, the president of the Progressive Policy Institute, told Newsweek.

In spite of Trump's appeals to his economic prowess, "his most passionate, most ardent supporters like him because he is their champion against liberal elites. It's not a question of them believing he's going to bring factory jobs back," Marshall said.

But the more moderate Republican voters and independents who helped shift key swing states and provide Trump an electoral college victory, like some voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, are those who have the capacity to determine Trump's re-election. If a recession comes, they could turn against him.

"The voters that will be affected by recession are the same ones who helped turn the midterms to Democrats," Marshall said. "Ten years of economic expansion has until recently been the top economic story of the country. If that story turns into recession brought on, in part, at least, by trade wars, then the story becomes 'is this guy competent enough to become president?'"

In recent weeks, economic indicators, like an inverted yield curve and slowing growth, have flashed a spate of signs warning of a possible economic downturn. On Thursday, preliminary manufacturing figures from IHS Markit indicated another concerning sign; manufacturing activity contracted for the first time since 2009, according to the purchasing managers' index, a key measure of manufacturing activity.

"Manufacturing companies continued to feel the impact of slowing global economic conditions," Tim Moore, the economics associate director at IHS Markit, said in a statement. "August's survey data provides a clear signal that economic growth has continued to soften in the third quarter."

President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on August 21. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images