Balance of Power: Economy Up, Trump Down

Americans are on their way to feeling great again. But it’s got little to do with Donald Trump.

That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg poll showing just 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he’s doing — despite the fact that they are feeling better about their own economic prospects.

While 58 percent said they’re moving closer to realizing their own career and financial aspirations, 55 percent view Trump unfavorably. That’s up 12 points since December.

Other key findings reveal that 61 percent of respondents say America is on the wrong path — up 12 points since December. And less than half approve of Trump’s performance on the economy.

The results are at odds with conventional political wisdom that says approval ratings are closely tied to how voters feel about their own financial wellbeing.

Don’t expect Trump to take the results to heart, of course, especially given his track record of confounding pollsters. He brushed off an ABC/Washington Post poll over the weekend showing his approval rating down at 36 percent. “Almost 40 percent is not bad at this time,” he tweeted.

In polls, as in so many other things, Donald Trump is breaking the mold.

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Global Headlines

Global stocks hit a new high | Trump likes to say that Beijing isn’t doing enough on North Korea. But there’s one area where he’s is getting a lot of help from China: the market. Global equities rose to a new record today after data showed that China’s economy kept up its momentum and grew 6.9 percent in the second quarter.

Drama jolts China’s political chessboard | A rising star in the Communist Party was unexpectedly ousted over the weekend for allegedly violating party regulations, as President Xi Jinping tightens his grip before an upcoming leadership reshuffle. Sun Zhengcai — once seen as a contender for the top echelon of power — was replaced on Saturday as Chongqing party chief by Chen Miner, whose association with Xi goes back at least 15 years. 

Staff shuffle amid Russia probe | Trump is planning to shake up his legal team — and potentiality also his communications shop — amid the accelerating FBI and congressional investigations into his campaign’s possible ties to the Kremlin, Bloomberg’s Washington bureau reports. Look for long time Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz to be eased into a less prominent role following the White House’s announcement it was hiring veteran Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to oversee its Russia response.

Obamacare vote delayed (again) | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scrapped plans to hold a vote this week on Republicans’ latest health care bill because of Republican John McCain’s surgery to remove a blood clot. Yet it’s unclear McConnell would have had enough support even with McCain. The delay came as the Bloomberg poll found 64 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of healthcare, an issue that topped unemployment, terrorism and immigration as the nation’s most pressing challenge.

Who hacked Qatar? | U.S. intelligence agencies say the United Arab Emirates was behind the hacking of Qatari news websites in May that sparked the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf in decades, the Washington Post reports. U.A.E. officials reject the claims, which surfaced after a week of U.S. diplomacy failed to end the impasse.

Venezuelans say “no” in mock vote | Millions of Venezuelans lined up yesterday to take part in an unofficial referendum organized by the opposition to protest Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the constitution. The poll carries no legal authority but the turnout, which was largely peaceful despite months of violent protests, will increase pressure on Maduro to withdraw a charter that would grant him even more power. 

May’s mutiny | Prime Minister Theresa May’s government risks being ripped apart by infighting as key players jockey for power before another round of Brexit talks this week. A cabinet minister accused her Chancellor of the Exchequer of treating pro-Brexit colleagues like pirates, the Daily Telegraph reported. A Sunday Times cartoon showed Conservative rivals all pointing pistols at each other. And the prime minister? She took a break from it all this weekend by going to the Men’s Final at Wimbledon.

And finally… Are you a frazzled British bureaucrat desperate for a drink after a long day of Brexit negotiations in Brussels? Or a lobbyist flown in from D.C. or Tokyo looking for a nice dinner to take the edge off your jet lag? Look no further than Ian Wishart and Richard Vines’s guide to the best cafes, bars and restaurants in the EU’s capital. Whether you’re looking for mussels and frites, foie gras or just a good Belgian beer, they’ve got you covered. 

Photographer: Bloomberg