Speed Reads

Poll Watch

Trump's approval rating matches Obama's and Reagan's at this point. That's pretty ominous for Republicans.

President Trump's job approval rating has risen to 44 percent in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll — a 4-point rise from April and the same rating as former Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan at this point in their presidencies — but Obama and Reagan went on to see heavy losses for their parties in the 2010 and 1982 midterm elections, respectively. And while voters are bullish on the economy and more likely to give Trump credit for it, they want the next Congress to act as a check on Trump by a 25-point margin, the poll found.

More than half of registered voters in competitive states and districts, and 48 percent of all registered voters, say they would support a congressional candidate who would act as a check on Trump; 23 percent say they would be less likely to support such a candidate. And 53 percent of voters said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who supports Trump on most issues, while 31 percent were more likely to vote for such a candidate. Democrats are more interested in the midterms — 63 percent said their interest was a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale versus 47 percent of Republicans — and 50 percent of voters said they want Democrats to control Congress versus 40 percent who want Republicans to keep control.

"The polling data points to a repudiation of Donald Trump and to the benefit of Democrats," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the survey with GOP pollster Bill McInturff. McInturff said the numbers have been "bouncing around" so much it's hard to know where voters will land. The poll surveyed 900 registered voters by phone June 1-4, and it has an overall margin of error of ±3.3 percentage points.