Four Years Out, Some Voters Look Back at Trump’s Presidency More Positively

Views of Donald J. Trump’s presidency have become more positive since he left office, bolstering his case for election and posing a risk to President Biden’s strategy of casting his opponent as unfit for the presidency, according to a new poll by The New York Times and Siena College.

While the memories of Mr. Trump’s tumultuous and chaotic administration have not significantly faded, many voters now have a rosier picture of his handling of the economy, immigration and maintaining law and order. Ahead of the 2020 election, only 39 percent of voters said that the country was better off after Mr. Trump took office. Now, looking back, nearly half say that he improved things during his time as president.

The poll’s findings underscore the way in which a segment of voters have changed their minds about the Trump era, recalling those years as a time of economic prosperity and strong national security. The shift in views about his administration comes even as Mr. Trump faces dozens of felony counts and will appear in a New York courtroom on Monday for jury selection in one of his four criminal trials.

Many voters still remember Mr. Trump as a divisive and polarizing figure, giving him low ratings on race relations and unifying the country. Yet, a larger share of voters see Mr. Trump’s term as better for the country than the current administration, with 42 percent rating the Trump presidency as mostly good for the country compared with 25 percent who say the same about Mr. Biden’s. Nearly half say the Biden years have been mostly bad for the country.

Many of Mr. Trump’s key constituencies, such as white voters without a college degree, are particularly likely to have a fond view of his time in office. But a broad swath of the country — including Hispanic voters, voters over 30 and most lower- and middle-income voters — now see Mr. Trump’s years in office as more good than bad.

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