February 8, 2017 at 7:00 am ET
While a majority of voters back President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, they’re souring on his performance in the wake of its implementation, according to a new poll.
Fifty-five percent of registered voters said they approve of the immigration order, while 38 percent disapprove, according to the national Morning Consult/POLITICO survey conducted Feb. 2 through Feb. 4. Thirty-five percent of voters strongly approve of the ban that was first implemented on Jan. 27.
Still, Trump’s approval rating is sliding.
After two weeks in office, 47 percent of voters approved of his job performance, down 2 points from the previous week. At the same time, his disapproval rating rose 5 points, to 46 percent from 41 percent.
Compared to a number of other high-profile executive orders Trump has signed since taking office on Jan. 20, the travel ban is generally popular with voters, ranking behind his order to revoke funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” and another to freeze all federal regulations until his administration can review them.
Along partisan lines, 54 percent of independents and 82 percent of Republicans back the travel ban, while 65 percent of Democrats oppose it.
The fallout from the executive order, which is being challenged in federal court and may head to the Supreme Court, has prompted a wider debate on national security. The Trump administration says the travel ban makes America safer, while defense hawks like Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and fellow committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) say it “may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”
The debate seems to be weighing on Americans’ minds, with 22 percent of voters saying national security is a top issue, up from 19 percent the previous week.