Where is Trump’s support the strongest?
Much like the Bush 43 years, the media tirelessly covers Trump’s national approval ratings. Six months into his presidency and nationally, Trump has an approval rating hovering around 40%.
But how do Trump supporters think he’s faring?
A poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found the president’s approval rating at 50% in “Trump counties” or counties he carried in the 2016 election.
Fifty percent of adults in these counties — consisting of Republicans, Democrats and independents — approve of the president’s job performance (including 29 percent who strongly approve), while 46 percent disapprove (including 35 percent who do so strongly).
By comparison, last month’s national NBC/WSJ poll had Trump’s overall approval rating at 40 percent.
The poll’s sample was taken from 439 counties in 16 states — Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — that either flipped from Barack Obama to Trump, or where Trump greatly outpaced Mitt Romney’s performance in 2012.
The polling also compared “flip” counties (counties that supported Obama but then supported Trump) against “surge” counties (counties where Trump significantly outperformed Romney) and found that in “flip” counties, Trump has a 56% approval rating compared to 44% in surge counties. Both significantly ahead of the national average.
But there’s a significant difference in Trump’s approval rating in the these two kinds of Trump counties.
In the Trump “surge counties” (for example: Carbon, Pa., where Trump won 65 percent to 31 percent, versus Romney’s 53-45 percent margin) — 56 percent of residents approve of the president’s job performance.
Trump beat Hillary Clinton in these “surge” areas nationwide by a combined 65 percent-to-29 percent margin in 2016.
According to the Real Clear Politics average, Trump’s approval rating has hovered around 40% since taking office.
And this is what national approval polls fail to consider — the very support that helped catapult Trump into the White House remains strong and much stronger than national averages conducted either at random or from coastal populations.
Less than stellar national polling might make for good headlines for media looking for “see, TRUMP IS THE WORST” readings in the tea leaves, but it’s certainly not the whole story, nor is it the most relevant.
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