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8:03 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

AP Poll: 52 percent say America is worse off with Trump

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump frequently casts his first year in office as a string of successes and campaign promises fulfilled. But less than one-fourth of Americans think Trump has made good on the pledges he made to voters while running for president, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Among Republicans, just half say Trump has kept his promises, which included vows to overhaul his predecessor’s health care law, withdraw the United States from a nuclear accord with Iran and invest millions in new projects to fix the nation’s aging infrastructure. Those steps have not been taken or accomplished.

“Everything has stalled out,” said Mark Krowski, 37, an independent from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who leans Republican but didn’t vote for Trump last year.

As 2017 comes to a close, the majority of Americans painted a broadly pessimistic view of Trump’s presidency, the nation’s politics and the overall direction of the country. Just three in 10 Americans said the United States is heading in the right direction, and 52 percent said the country is worse off since Trump became president — worrisome signs both for the White House and Republicans heading into a midterm election year where control of Congress will be at stake.

Along with the 23 percent who think Trump has kept his promises, another 30 percent think he has tried and failed and 45 percent think he hasn’t kept his promises at all.

In a second AP-NORC poll conducted this month, Trump’s job approval rating sits at 32 percent, making him the least popular first-year president on record. A quarter of Republicans say they’re among those who disapprove of the president.

One relative bright spot for Trump? The improving economy.

With a soaring stock market and unemployment hovering around 4 percent, 40 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s handling of the economy. That’s higher than the three in 10 Americans that approved of the president’s handling of health care, foreign policy or taxes.

Still, Trump continues to talk about his presidency with lofty rhetorical flourishes, declaring that his first months in office outshine those of his predecessors. But there’s no doubt that 2017 has been devoid of any significant legislative accomplishments, though Republicans are urgently working to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax system. The package would give generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and modest tax cuts to low- and middle-income families.

“We’re very, very close to a historic legislative victory, the likes of which rarely has this country seen,” Trump said during a meeting with lawmakers earlier this week.