Donald Trump received high marks from observers for his speech before Congress this week – but will that speech change anyone’s mind about the president or his policies?

Typically, presidents get a (temporary) bounce in the polls after their annual State of the Union speeches. Trump’s speech bore the same trappings of a State of the Union (though technically it wasn’t), so ordinarily we’d expect him to see a bounce in the polls too.

But Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen says he doesn’t expect that to happen – because public opinion is so entrenched that very few people are open to changing their minds on Trump either way.

Get the results of PPP’s latest national survey.

Jensen says there’s been little change in Trump’s approval rating since he took office: about 45 percent of Americans support him, give or take, and about 48 percent disapprove. Not everyone supports or opposes Trump with the same fervor, Jensen says, but those numbers haven’t significantly changed in months: nearly everyone who voted for Trump last November still supports him now, and nearly everyone who voted against him still opposes him. (41 percent support impeachment, according to PPP’s latest national survey.)

Tom Jensen spoke Thursday with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.


Jensen says there are a couple issues that could hurt Trump in the long term, though. The still-developing Russia scandal is one – and Trump and the GOP may also suffer in the polls if they continue working to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Jensen says there’s now a majority of Americans that support the ACA, “for the first time ever in our polling”: 50 percent support the ACA, with only 38 percent opposed, and 61 percent of Americans want to see Obamacare preserved and ‘tweaked’ (if need be) rather than repealed outright.