President Trump signs an executive order on immigration at the Department of Homeland Security. C-SPAN / File Photo

Washington – A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday gave President Donald Trump the lowest approval ratings since he assumed office about a month ago, only 38 percent, but showed Americans still have confidence in his handling of the economy.

The negative 38 to 55 percent job approval rating was down from a negative 42 to 51 percent approval rating in a Feb. 7 Quinnipiac University national poll.

Vice President Mike Pence, however, was given a nearly split approval rating,  41 – 40 percent.

Trump’s negatives were worse among women, 36 to 59 percent. They were 41 to 50 percent among men, the poll found.

Forty-nine percent of the respondents said they “disapproved strongly” of the way Trump is conducting his job.

“President Donald Trump’s popularity is sinking like a rock,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“He gets slammed on honesty, empathy, levelheadedness and the ability to unite. And two of his strong points, leadership and intelligence, are sinking to new lows.  “This is a terrible survey one month in,” Malloy said.

The poll was taken from Feb. 16 – the day  Trump gave a 77-minute, rambling press conference – to Feb. 21 of 1,323 voters nationwide with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. In last week’s press conference Trump cited a competing poll by Rasmussen that gave the president a favorable approval rating of 51 to 49 percent. Most other recent polls, except for one by Fox Media, show Trump has a larger disapproval rating than approval rating, although the gap is widest in the Quinnipiac poll.

In his press conference, the president also said the polls showed that Americans trusted him to the tell the truth more than the media.

The Quinnipiac poll showed 90 percent of American voters say it is “very important” or “somewhat important” “that the news media hold public officials accountable.”

The poll showed voters disapprove 50 to 45 percent of the way the news media has covered Trump. But voters also disapprove, 61 to 35 percent, of the way Trump talks about the media.

And voters trust the media more than Trump,  52 to 37 percent, “to tell you the truth about important issues,” the poll said.

The poll also showed voters approved, 47 to 41 percent, of the way Trump is handling the economy. But they disapproved, 56 to 36 percent, of the way the president is handling foreign policy and 44 to 49 percent of the way he is handling terrorism.

As far as the hot-button issue of immigration, voters gave Trump a negative 58 to 40 percent approval rating.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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