More Americans disapprove of the way President Trump is handling immigration policy than of his presidency as a whole, a new poll finds.
Most Americans — 59 percent — don’t approve of the President’s handling of immigration, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released on July 6, while 39 percent approve. Of that 59 percent, 44 percent strongly disapprove, and 15 percent only somewhat disapprove. Of those who approved of Trump’s immigration policies, only 19 percent did so strongly.
Trump’s approval rating was nearly as low on international trade following the spate of recent tariffs his administration has imposed on Mexico, China, Europe and Canada. About 41 percent approved of his international trade policy, and 57 percent disapproved, according to the poll. His overall approval rating stood at 43 percent.
The economy was the only area where Trump hit a 50 percent approval rating, according to the poll.
The Washington Post-Schar School poll was conducted from June 27 to July 2, one week after the White House found itself besieged by a publicity crisis over the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, a direct result of its zero tolerance policy. There were 1,473 adults surveyed for the poll, including 865 who live in Congressional districts classified as battlegrounds in the upcoming November elections. The margin of error is five percentage points.
The majority of voters in both battleground and non-battleground districts — 72 and 75 percent respectively — said they were “bothered” by stories of families separated at the border. About 40 percent of those in battleground districts thought the U.S. has gone “too far” in welcoming immigrants, and support building a wall along the border with Mexico. But 82 percent approve of a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the country if they passed a background check. In non-battleground districts, a smaller percentage — 32 percent — thought the U.S. had gone too far in welcoming immigrants, and 42 percent supported a wall with Mexico.
But, ultimately, Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration may not even matter as much as other issues in November. Immigration came in third when registered voters were asked what they deemed the most important issues this election cycle. Although it trailed the economy and jobs and health care, it did outrank taxes and international trade.
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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com