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WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans feel U.S. relations have a better chance at improving in the year ahead with traditionally hostile nations such as North Korea and Russia than they do with allies such as Britain and Canada, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Nearly half of Americans — 46 percent — expect relationships with the country’s traditional allies to get worse over the next year, while just 20 percent expect them to get better. At the same time, more expect relationships with traditionally hostile nations to get better than to get worse, 40 percent to 26 percent.

In general, Americans are more pessimistic than optimistic about the U.S. standing in the world. Nearly half expect that to get worse in the next year, while only about a quarter expect improvement.

Here are some things to know about Americans’ outlook on Trump and the direction of the country:



Overall, 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 57 percent disapprove. That approval rating has held steady since March.

The poll shows that negotiations with North Korea are a particular strength for Trump, with 55 percent of Americans saying they approve of his diplomatic efforts. On the other hand, 43 percent approve of how he’s handling relationships with U.S. allies and of how he’s handling trade. That’s similar to his approval rating overall.

The new AP-NORC survey was conducted after Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a contentious back-and-forth with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over trade policy. Questions were also asked as the Trump administration doubled down on its controversial policy of separating children from parents when families are caught crossing the border illegally.



Nearly 6 in 10 Americans think the country is on the wrong track, the poll shows, and nearly half — 45 percent — expect the way things are going to get worse in the next year. Just 30 percent expect things to get better.

Americans are slightly more likely to think the economy will improve than worsen in the next year, 36 percent to 31 percent, and they’re significantly more likely to be optimistic than pessimistic about their personal financial situations, 37 percent to 17 percent.



There are significant divisions along party lines on how Americans think things will go in the next year. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans expect the way things are going in the country to improve, while 69 percent of Democrats expect them to get worse.

That extends to foreign policy, too: Fifty-seven percent of Republicans expect the U.S. standing in the world to improve in the next year, but 75 percent of Democrats think it will get worse.

Partisan divisions even extend to expectations for personal finances — 52 percent of Republicans expect theirs to improve, but just 29 percent of Democrats say the same.

When it comes to relationships with allies, most Democrats expect them to get worse, but Republicans have more mixed opinions — 40 percent expect them to get better, but another 44 percent expect them to stay about the same.

On relationships with traditionally hostile nations, most Republicans expect them to get better, while it’s Democrats who have mixed opinions. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats expect them to worsen and 40 percent expect them to stay about the same.


The AP-NORC poll of 1,109 adults was conducted June 13-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.



AP-NORC Center: