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Jim Mattis is the highest-approved member of Trump’s cabinet: poll

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
March 23, 2018

The Washington Examiner reported this week that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis holds the distinction as the most-approved-of member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet members, according to a new survey.

More than one-third of registered voters, or 35 percent, approve of the retired Marine Corps general, while just 19 percent disapprove. The results come from a Morning Consult and Politico survey conducted March 15 to 19.

The Defense Secretary has spent the last month traveling and conversing with many international leaders in an ongoing effort to strengthen relations and promote peace. Last week, Mattis described his Middle East trip as “successful,” adding that collaboration, the spirit of shared understanding and unity were what he took away from his official meetings with heads of state and military and diplomatic leaders.

During his trip, Mattis met with Bahraini leaders and even made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, where he expressed confidence following peace talks with the Taliban.

“We’ve had some groups of Taliban – small groups – who have either started to come over or expressed an interest” in peace talks, he said at the time.

Mattis has also been heavily involved with international leaders’ visits to the United States.

Earlier this month, Mattis was on-hand at the Pentagon to welcome Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik, where he praised Estonia’s cyber defense capabilities and emphasized the close Estonian-U.S. security partnership. This week, he also met with Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen at the Pentagon to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Norway.

While Mattis has seen great success during his term so far and appears to be well-liked among registered voters, other Trump Administration cabinet members have earned less-than-favorable approval ratings in the polls. The survey found that eight out of 18 current cabinet members have disapproval ratings that are higher than their favorable ratings.

Among those who polled negatively, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions tied at 38 percent for the highest disapproval rating. Sessions’ approval rating was 29 percent, while Devos’ came in at just 23 percent.

Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Energy Secretary Rick Perry both polled unfavorably at 27 percent.

Among those with higher approval ratings, U.N. Ambassador for the U.S. Nikki Haley and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson both yielded 34 percent approval ratings in the poll. However, Carson’s disapproval rating was listed at 32 percent, with Haley’s coming in at just 20 percent.

The online survey involved 1,994 registered voters and had a 2-percentage point margin of error.