Since before he became president on Jan. 20, Donald Trump’s approval ratings have been low, to say the least: Trump has consistently registered lower than any president in recent history, even when comparing his performance with predecessors dealing with especially difficult circumstances (the Great Recession, for instance).
As of April 18,—88 days into his term—Trump’s approval rating is 39% according to the Marist Poll, 41% per Gallup, and 40% per a CBS News poll. Low as these numbers may be, there are good news for the president, significantly up from the end of March, when at 35% according to Gallup, Trump had its worst rating ever.
The trend has flipped upward for Trump. And it’s not because his record on keeping electoral promises has significantly improved. No, something else looks to be the cause of his increase in popularity—war, or the threat of it.
Since April 6, the president has turned his attention to military actions. He hit Bashar al-Assad with a Tomahawk-missile strike after the Syrian dictator unleashed a chemical attack on his own people; he threatened North Korea (and its leader—whoever that may be); his air force dropped a huge bomb on ISIL in Afghanistan, and he sent dozens of troops to Somalia to help the fight against al Shabaab.
The Syria bombing in particular, news of which Trump shared with his Chinese counterpart over a “beautiful chocolate cake,” gained Trump a new wave of respect from political commentators, especially many otherwise critical of his administration. They rushed to declare his action “presidential” and praise his noble intentions in the Syria…
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