Monday, July 24, 2017

What's Trump's Approval Rating in Your State?

Every once in a while Gallup puts out these state by state roundups of key indicators like partisanship, ideology and, today, Presidential approval. Gallup is able to do this because it conducts many interviews every month that include these indicators and is able to pool them over time to get reasonable sample sizes for every state. In this case, Gallup combined 81,000 interviews over the last five months.

Gallup pegs Trump's national approval rating at about 40 percent, a tick above 538's current estimate of 39 percent. But the really interesting thing here is the state by state variation of course. Unsurprisingly, his highest ratings are in Appalachian, southern, plains and mountain west states, topped by his 60 percent rating in West Virginia. The other side of the coin is very low ratings in New England, the mid-Atlantic, the west coast and some scattered midwest and southwest states.

Notably, his ratings in the rustbelt troika of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin (42-43 percent) are very close to his poor overall national rating of 40 percent.

Does this matter? Yes, it does. Countless political science studies show that the President's approval rating is highly relevant to outcomes in midterm elections. Along these lines, Harry Enten of 538 notes that Dems are now running a 10 point lead in their congressional ballot tracker, a very good margin for the Democrats. Further, recent Survey Monkey polls show Democrats beating Republicans by 75 points among those who disapprove of Trump's job performance, exactly the kind of margin they need to have success in 2018.

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