More than half of American voters say U.S. President Donald Trump's recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reduced the likelihood of nuclear war, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The poll, administered by Quinnipiac University, found that 54 percent of voters thought the summit, which took place June 12 in Singapore, reduced the risk of war. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they felt it did not reduce the chance.
"American voters say President Donald Trump deserves a pat on the back for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll.
Fifty percent of voters, however, said they did not think the summit would lead to peace between the two nations, and seven out of 10 disagreed with Trump's June 13 claim that North Korea was "no longer a nuclear threat," the poll found.
During the summit, Trump and Kim signed a document pledging both countries would "work to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," and attempt to establish "new U.S.-DPRK relations."
North Korea, however, has made several pledges to denuclearize in the past to no avail. In 2016, during the Obama administration, the North "signal[ed] a willingness to resume negotiations on denuclearization," according to arms control advocacy group the Arms Control Association.
No to Nobel Prize
According to the poll, 66 percent of voters disagreed with the notion that Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. In May, 18 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to formally nominate him. The committee is in charge of awarding the prize.
"Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons program and bring peace to the region," the letter read.
Overall, 52 percent of voters said they disapproved with Trump's performance as president, whereas 43 percent said they approved. The last Quinnipiac poll, released June 6, also found more voters disapproved than approved of the president's performance by a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent.
Trust in media
Fifty-three percent of those polled said they trusted the news media more than Trump, while 65 percent believed that the media is an important part of democracy.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press. Trump, however, has often attacked leading news outlets such as CNN and The New York Times, often claiming that they are biased against him. In February 2017, Trump called the media "the enemy of the American People" in a tweet.
Ahead of this November's midterm elections, in which all 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election, the poll found American voters wanted Democrats to take control of both Republican-held chambers of Congress. Voters favored Democrats over Republicans 49-43 in the House, and 49-44 in the Senate. Democrats need to gain two seats to take control of the Senate, and 24 to take control of the House.
J. Miles Coleman, an electoral analyst for American election calling group Decision Desk HQ, told VOA while Trump's approval numbers appear to be stable, Democratic incumbents are doing better than he would expect at this time.
On Wednesday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who was first elected to office as a Republican before becoming an Independent in 2007, announced he would be pledging $80 million toward helping Democratic candidates in the elections.
Source: Voice of America