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Expand chart
Data: Survey Monkey online poll conducted Oct. 30–Nov. 1, 2018 among 2,323 U.S. adults. Total margin of error is ±3.0 percentage points. Modeled error estimates: African-American women ±10.0, age 18 to 34 ±6.0, White suburban women ±7.5, Never Hillary Independent voters ±11.5.0, Rural voters ±6.0, Republicans ±4.5, Democrats ±4.5, Independents ±8.0; Poll methodology; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

A majority of Americans approve of President Trump's handling of the economy — the issue that's mattered most to them all year — but it won't be enough to give Republicans a clear advantage in today's midterm elections, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: It shows that the economy is one of Trump's strongest issues with the public. So if Republicans don't do well tonight, it will raise new questions about whether they would have done better if Trump had stayed on message and talked about the economy more.

  • Unlike other issues we've tested in previous Axios/SurveyMonkey polls, Trump's rating on the economy and jobs (53%) is higher than his overall approval rating (46%). That's a sign that he gets at least some credit from people who don't support his other policies — but also that his other policies may be dragging him down.

By the numbers:

  • Independents are most likely to approve of Trump on the economy even if they don't like his job performance (50% approval on the economy vs. 35% overall). He also wins over white suburban women and #NeverHillary independents, two key voter groups we're tracking in the elections.
  • But the public is evenly split on whether congressional Republicans or congressional Democrats would do best on the economy and jobs. Rural voters and #NeverHillary independents prefer the Republicans, while millennials and African American women side with the Democrats.
  • The economy wouldn't help Trump in 2020. Only 45% say he'd be the best for the economy when he runs for re-election — while 51% prefer an unnamed Democrat.

The bottom line: When a president is presiding over an economy this strong — and the public says that's what matters most to them — it's unusual for the president's party not to get a bigger bounce out of it.

Methodology: This analysis is based on SurveyMonkey online surveys conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 1 among 2,323 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sample sizes and modeled error estimates for the subgroups are as follows:

African-American Women (n=125 +/-  10%), Millennials Age 18 - 34  (n=448 +/- 6%), White Suburban Women  (n=417 +/-  7.5%), NeverHillary/Independent voters  (n=125 +/- 11.5%), Rural  (n=515 +/-  6%). Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. More information about our methodology here. Crosstabs available here.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pennsylvania. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the United States.

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.