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Trump’s Electoral College problem

Trump's Electoral College problem

by digby

This is the first poll I've seen recently showing trump's approval in individual states. It's not good news for him:

Trump’s base remained fairly solid, with 83 percent of Republicans approving of the president. But that share of support among Republicans was its lowest since September, when Washington was roiled by the Supreme Court confirmation proceedings for Brett Kavanaugh.

The poor national marks were reflected at the state level.

A majority of voters in just 12 states approved of Trump’s job performance, all of which were red enclaves spanning from Wyoming to Alabama. The president retained support from a plurality of voters in five other states he easily carried during the 2016 election: Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Montana and North Dakota. But another state that Trump won, Nebraska, was split.

Trump’s net approval rating was underwater in 32 states, including 15 that experts said were worth keeping an eye on ahead of 2020.

A majority of voters in 27 states disapproved of Trump’s job performance in January, including Pennsylvania (53 percent disapprove), Michigan (55 percent disapprove) and Wisconsin (56 percent disapprove), all of which were pivotal to his Electoral College victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A plurality of voters disapproved of the president in four states, including perennial swing-state Florida (50 percent disapprove) and Georgia (49 percent disapprove), where Democrats have grown more competitive in recent years amid shifting demographics and the growth of the Atlanta metro area. Without rounding, Trump was 1 point in the red in Texas, another state that has proven kinder to Democrats in the past two election cycles, as well.

The president is also underwater by double digits in Colorado (minus 18 points), Iowa (minus 14 points) and Maine (minus 11 points), states that could prove stiff competition for Trump and Senate Republicans next year.

In all, the January data shows Trump’s net approval declined in 43 states and increased in four: Idaho, Louisiana, Georgia and New Mexico.

The biggest slide came in New Hampshire, the traditional holder of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Nearly six in 10 Granite Staters (58 percent) disapproved of Trump in January – up 6 points since December – while 39 percent approved, down 4 points since the prior month.


Fox news likes to point out that Ronald Reagan was in similar shape in 1982. But they conveniently leave out the fact that the country was just starting to emerge from a deep recession for which Reagan would get the credit two years later. Trump has been riding on a long recovery (which they juiced with big tax cuts that are losing their potency) that has little room to improve.

This should not breed complacency. Presidential elections are between two people and voters have to choose between them. Trump and the Republicans are good at destroying their enemies (and Democrats are often too willing to help them) so this polling in a vacuum
that doesn't tell us much. But it's not where any incumbent president wants to be.