Poll: Approval of economy, security rise after Trump’s first year

Americans have a rosier outlook on the economy and national security than they did a year ago.

The annual Gallup Mood of the Nation poll measured the strongest increases in how Americans feel about military strength, the nation's security from terrorism and the state of the economy over those same issues at the beginning of 2017.

Nearly 8 in 10 – 78 percent – say they are satisfied with the nation's military strength and preparedness, an increase of 12 points from last year. Satisfaction with how secure the country is from terrorism rose a similar 13 percentage points, from 50 percent to 63 percent.

On the economy, 58 percent of Americans say they are satisfied at the end of President Donald Trump's first year in office, up 12 points from 46 percent in the last days of President Barack Obama's administration.

RELATED: Campaign promises that Trump kept in 2017

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Campaign promises that Trump kept in 2017
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Campaign promises that Trump kept in 2017

Nominate replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

After congressional Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama nominee Merrick Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February 2016, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the empty Supreme Court seat soon after taking office in January. At the time, he said, “I made a promise to the American people, if I were elected president I would find the very best judge in the country for the Supreme Court.”

Photo by REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Move U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Trump announced in December that he planned to recognize Israel’s claim to a city at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict by moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

That would fulfill a 2016 campaign pledge, although he has offered no timeline for the embassy relocation and recently signed a waiver officially delaying any move for six months.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions

One of the first major uproars from the left during Trump’s presidency came after he signed an executive order suspending immigration from several Muslim-majority countries during his first week in office.

After a series of drawn-out court battles, the Supreme Court allowed the third version of the travel ban to go into full effect on December 4. The action meant people cannot enter the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad – fulfilling a promise from a campaign speech that singled out Libya and Syria as two places from which he would suspend immigration.

Photo credit: Genaro Molina / LA Times via Getty Images

Enact lifetime ban on White House officials from lobbying for foreign governments and five-year ban on lobbying their own agency after leaving the administration

The former businessman came into the Oval Office eager to craft an image of someone yearning to prevent politicians from being bound to business interests. So in his quest to “drain the swamp,” Trump enacted an executive order in January meant to limit the sort of lucrative, ethically questionable jobs that former presidential aides have occasionally attained soon after leaving the White House.

Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trump formally withdrew from the TPP directly after inauguration weekend on the first Monday of his term. It was no surprise he was in such a hurry to pull the United States out of the pact after railing on the Obama-negotiated agreement throughout his campaign, alleging the trade deal took jobs away from Americans.

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Make a rule that for every federal regulation enacted, two must be removed

President Trump issued an executive order on January 30 that sought to dramatically reduce federal regulations across the board. The order requires all agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new one introduced, a campaign promise that hailed to his capitalist businessman roots.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Clear the way for energy infrastructure deals, including Keystone Pipeline XL

Within a week of taking office, the president signed two executive orders to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, rolling back the Obama administration’s environmental policies in order to increase domestic energy production and bolster the industry’s infrastructure. Obama had famously rejected the $6.1 billion Keystone XL project in 2015.

(Photo by Aydin Palabiyikoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Keep Guantanamo Bay prison open

In a sort of parallel opposition to president Barack Obama, who repeatedly claimed that he’d close Guantanamo Bay but ultimately never followed though, President Trump promised to keep the maximum-security prison in Cuba open and “load it up with bad dudes.” As of January 2017, 41 detainees remained there, and Trump has made no indication he’ll shut down Gitmo.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Randall Mikkelsen

Implement hiring freeze on federal employees

Trump initiated a 90-day federal hiring freeze almost immediately after entering the Oval Office, putting a halt to the rush of hires by the Obama administration before Inauguration Day in an attempt to fill the ranks with Democrats. Trump framed it as a measure that would “clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, D.C.”

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Severely cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget

As a skeptic of human-induced climate change, Trump targeted the EPA as an agency that could drastically reduce costs. Trump appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the agency the former Oklahoma attorney general had criticized for years over its alleged strict regulations.

Though Congress seems unlikely to pass the 31 percent budget reduction proposed by Trump and Pruitt, the president certainly can’t be accused of not trying to significantly downsize it.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Pull out of Paris climate accord

Trump declared in June that he would withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris agreement that was supported by Barack Obama in an effort to halt climate change. He decried “draconian” financial and economic burdens it puts on American workers. However, he added that he was open to re-entering the accord “on terms that are fair to the United States.”

Photo credit: REUTERS/How Hwee Young/Pool

Lower the business tax rate from 35 percent

Though Trump couldn’t manage to convince Congress to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent as he’d proposed, the 21 percent rate presented in the tax bill passed by Congress right before the holidays still represents a significant decrease from the previous 35 percent rate.

Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM,SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Eliminate the individual health care mandate established by Obamacare

Less than an hour after the Senate passed the massive GOP tax reform bill in the wee hours of December 20, Trump celebrated the demise of the individual mandate, which was attached to the legislation, on Twitter. The president had been ripping Obamacare for years, in particular, the requirement that punished Americans if they decided to go without health insurance.

However, the mandate won’t be abolished until 2019 since the legislation was passed too late in time for 2018.

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The improving economic picture is reflected in other indexes that find consumer confidence near a 17-year high, a continuation of a strong rising trend going back to 2011, buoyed by soaring stock markets and improving sentiment surrounding the Republicans' tax cut bill that passed in December.

The results showed swings in partisan satisfaction: Approval on the economy among Republicans increased 57 points from last year while dropping 14 points among Democrats. Republican approval also rose 31 points on terrorism and 30 points on military preparedness.

In other, areas, however, Americans are less satisfied than they were when Obama departed.

The percentage of people who are satisfied with the availability of affordable health care dropped 8 points, from 39 percent in 2017 to 31 percent this month.

Americans have also become less satisfied with the quality of the environment, falling 7 points from 52 percent to 45 percent. And approval of America's standing in the world has similarly dropped 7 percentage points, from 45 percent to 38 percent.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 2-7 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

RELATED: Trump delivering speeches through the years

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Trump delivering speeches through the years
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Trump delivering speeches through the years
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech on tax reform legislation at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Utah State Capitol, where he announced big cuts to Utah's sprawling wilderness national monuments, in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his speech as he and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lee Jin-man/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech on tax reform in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump turns his back to the crowd during his speech at a rally for Senator Luther Strange at the Von Braun Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S., September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
US. President Donald Trump gives a public speech at Krasinski Square, in Warsaw, Poland July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech on US-Cuba relations at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver a speech on US-Cuba relations at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 16, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S., December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump speaks at event at Carrier HVAC plant in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Bergin
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. President elect Donald Trump speaks at election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President elect Donald Trump speaks at election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at his final campaign event at the Devos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump rallies with supporters in a cargo hangar at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida, U.S. November 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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