President Donald Trump got a ratings boost in the latest Harvard-Harris Poll, marking a three-point rise over last month, The Hill reported exclusively Friday.
The poll results showed 48 percent of respondents approved of the job the president was doing, versus 52 percent who said they disapproved. The poll surveyed 2,237 registered voters and was conducted between June 19-21, during which time Republican candidate Karen Handel won over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in Georgia's hotly contested congressional 6th District special election June 20.
When broken down by political party, the number of people polled was 35 percent Democrat, 29 percent Republican, 30 percent Independent, and 6 percent other.
Mark Penn, co-creator of the survey, maintained polls have been underestimating Trump's support by five to six points because they sample all adults rather than just those who voted in the past election.
"The actual [special] elections suggest little has changed from Election Day," Penn said. "It appears that a return to substance rather than wall-to-wall hearings enabled the administration to find some footing and recover somewhat in its ratings."
The Georgia special election, combined with Republican victories in three other recent special elections in Montana, Kansas, and South Carolina has drawn attention away from months of hearings in Congress and a special counsel investigating charges Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and claims of Trump campaign collusion with Russian officials.
"The findings suggest that it is puzzling as to why Republicans in Congress would keep holding public Russia hearings, especially since there is an independent counsel on the case," Penn said.
Trump got his highest marks for fighting terrorism and job growth in the economy, but lagged in foreign affairs and his ability to administer the government.
The Harvard-Harris survey rated the president higher than recent polls conducted by RealClearPolitics, CBS News, Reuters-Ipsos, and Rasmussen. The Harvard-Harris poll also showed Trump's approval was higher than either the Republican or Democratic parties.
"With 52 percent not approving of the administration and over 60 percent disapproving of both the Democratic and Republican parties, there are no winners here until they start to make progress on major legislation," Penn noted.
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