- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2017

I’m sure you’ve already read the headlines — President Donald Trump will enter the Oval Office on Friday with less popular support than any incoming president in modern times.

But don’t be deceived.

Although Mr. Trump’s personal approval rating hovers around 40 percent according to a slew of public polling, Americans are optimistic about the future, and believe in his ability to deliver jobs, improve the economy and bring change to Washington.

Like I’ve said in this column since before Nov. 8, it’s Mr. Trump’s message that resonates, and people believe in his ability.

Since his election, small business optimism has soared to a 12-year-high, Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index rose from negative 10 to positive 10 this week, and the stock market has rallied.

According to an ABC/Washington Post poll this week, when Americans were asked what kind of job they expect Trump to do, 61 percent were positive he could deliver on the economy, 59 percent thought he could create jobs and half believed he could help the middle class and cut the deficit. This is after it found 40 percent of respondents viewed him unfavorably.

Nate Cohen, a pollster at The New York Times, suggested “that there’s something about Mr. Trump’s appeal that’s not captured in the traditional approval ratings or the character questions.”

As evidence, he offered the most recent Quinnipiac poll, where only 37 percent of registered voters viewed Mr. Trump favorably, but 45 percent believe he’ll take the nation in the right direction and 52 percent are optimistic about the next four years.

“Just about every new poll tells a similar story,” Mr. Cohen explains, citing the most recent CNN/ORC poll which has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 40 percent, but where 61 percent of the respondents said he’ll bring back well-paying jobs to economically depressed areas.

This is where Mr. Trump needs to deliver. He rode into office championing the “forgotten” man and woman, and every day he serves as president, he’ll need to work for them. The results will be measured in economic growth and job creation.

If he delivers on that, no one will care what he tweets about, or which celebrity he’s fighting with.

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