Iowa Poll: Trumps approval rating is underwater with Iowans

| February 17, 2017
CLOSE Skip in Skip x Embed x Share Forty-two percent of Iowans approve of the job the newly inaugurated Republican is doing as president, while 49 percent disapprove, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. Wochit Buy Photo Gov. Terry Branstad joins Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on stage along side Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Steve King during the second annual Roast and Ride at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in 2016. (Photo: Michael Zamora/The Register)Buy Photo 2306 CONNECTTWEET 7 LINKEDIN 238 COMMENTEMAILMORE © COPYRIGHT 2017, DES MOINES REGISTER AND TRIBUNE COMPANY Donald Trump is starting his presidency underwater with Iowans. Forty-two percent of Iowans approve of the job the newly inaugurated Republican is doing as president, while 49 percent disapprove, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. Trump won Iowa on his way to the White House by 9 percentage points in November, his widest victory among states believed by many to be swing states. Iowa Republicans overwhelmingly approve of Trump’s early actions, with 82 percent saying they approve of his job performance. But Democrats register nearly the opposite reaction, with 86 percent disapproving of his performance. The numbers underscore the state’s deeply polarized political environment, and stand as an outlier compared to polling from when previous presidents first took office. The poll of 802 Iowans was conducted Feb. 6-9 by Selzer & Co. and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Independents are leaning against the new president: 50 percent disapprove of his handling of the presidency while 39 percent approve. “He scares me every time he tweets,” said poll respondent Clarissa Gadient, a political independent from Davenport. “I mean, really and truly, it’s about security, and I don’t feel it at all.” Gadient, 58, a caregiver who’s been unemployed since last fall, said Trump’s early actions in office have left her “fatigued” and deeply uncertain about his readiness for the presidency. Trump’s supporters, meanwhile, see a president who’s moving to enact the promises he made on the campaign trail. “He’s doing everything he promised,” said Cody Marsh, 32, a power-line worker from rural Tabor in far southwest Iowa. “He hasn’t done any more or any less.” Marsh, an independent who voted for Trump, noted his executive orders seeking to restrict immigration and refugee resettlement and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in particular, as well as his nomination of a conservative justice to the Supreme Court. RELATED: Iowa Poll: Majority of Iowans disagree with Trump’s immigration order Iowa Poll: 77 percent back Planned Parenthood funding for non-abortion services Iowa Poll: Majority support sales tax hike for cleaner water, outdoor recreation FacebookTwitter Google+ LinkedIn Photos: Donald Trump’s campaign in Iowa  Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump blows a kiss after speaking at his caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in West Des Moines.  Associated Press Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, at a campaign rally at McGrath Amphitheatre in Cedar Rapids.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Gov. Terry Branstad joins Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on stage along side Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Steve King during the second annual Roast and Ride at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in 2016.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Mid-American Center on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Council Bluffs.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 following his speech at a rally at the 7 Flags Events Center in Clive, Iowa.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 27, 2016 in Des Moines.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Des Moines Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register Fullscreen Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a campaign stop at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa, Thursday July 28, 2016.  Rodney White, Rodney White/USA Today Network Fullscreen Supporters take pictures as Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks at his caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in West Des Moines.  Associated Press Fullscreen Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by, from second from left, wife Melania, daughter Ivanka her husband Jared Kushner, speaks during a campaign event, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 in Waterloo, Iowa.  AP Fullscreen Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center left, pauses for a selfie while greeting supporters at a rally Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  AP Fullscreen President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at Clinton Middle School in Clinton, Iowa, on Jan. 30, 2016.  Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press Fullscreen Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves as he arrives on his plane at a campaign event at Dubuque Regional Airport, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 in Dubuque, Iowa.  Paul Sancya/Associated Press Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters after as event at Drake Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop in Marshalltown, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.   Rachel Mummey/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Presidential candidate Donald Trump makes a point during a stump speech at the Wright Place in Norwalk on Jan. 20.  MICHAEL ROLANDS/RECORD-HERALD Fullscreen Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets members of the audience after speaking at a rally at Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016.  AP Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to a gathering of students and supporters at Central College on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Pella, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a guest speaker to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Barbara Williams of Norwalk gets her photo taken with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he greets supporters Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at a campaign stop in Norwalk.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to supporters at Living History Farms on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Urbandale.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at West Gym on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Cedar Falls.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after he spoke at West Gym on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Cedar Falls.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at The Surf Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Clear Lake.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to supporters during a townhall-style meeting on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, at the Varied Industries building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to supporters during a townhall-style meeting on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, at the Varied Industries building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to supporters during a townhall-style meeting on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, at the Varied Industries building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to supporters during a townhall-style meeting on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, at the Varied Industries building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump signs autographs Thursday after a town hall in Newton, Iowa.  Kathie Obradovich/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks at Urbandale High School on Sept. 19. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of people outside of Urbandale High School on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Trump was invited by a group of students who, as a class activity, set out to get a presidential candidate to visit their school during homecoming.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Brian Powers/The Register Donald Trump warned Saturday in Des Moines that Christianity is under attack. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalition Dinner at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 during the Faith & Freedom Coalition fall dinner at the Paul Knapp Center in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a Bible Sept. 19 during the Faith & Freedom Coalition fall dinner at the Paul Knapp Center in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 during the Faith & Freedom Coalition fall dinner at the Paul Knapp Center in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up his confirmation photo Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 during the Faith & Freedom Coalition fall dinner at the Paul Knapp Center in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump greets fairgoers during a visit to the Iowa State Fair.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, August 15, 2015.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets fairgoers during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks with the media and gives children rides on his helicopter from the parking lot of a baseball field on Saturday, August 15, 2015 in Des Moines.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks with the media and gives children rides on his helicopter from the parking lot of a baseball field on Saturday, August 15, 2015 in Des Moines.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responds to media about comments he made about Sen. John McCain’s hero status during the Family Leader Summit on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to a barrage of questions about comments he made about Sen. John McCain’s hero status during the Family Leader Summit on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks with Frank Luntz during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames on Saturday, July 18, 2015.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responds to media about comments he made about Sen. John McCain’s hero status during the Family Leader Summit on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks with Frank Luntz during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames on Saturday, July 18, 2015.  Brian Powers/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives at the John Wayne Museum during a campaign stop in Winterset, Iowa, on Saturday, June 27, 2015.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up literature as he speaks to supporters from a cafeteria at the Winterset High School during a campaign stop on Saturday, June 27, 2015.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes a photo with supporter Sharon Coleman of Winterset at the John Wayne Museum on Saturday, June 27, 2015.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes a photo with Madison County Sheriff Jason Barnes at the John Wayne Museum on Saturday, June 27, 2015.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump waits to enter the Hoyt Sherman Place theater on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Des Moines before the start of his town hall event. Trump announced that he has decided to run for president just hours earlier in New York before coming to Iowa this evening.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of people in Hoyt Sherman Place on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Des Moines. Trump announced that he has decided to run for president just hours earlier in New York before coming to Iowa this evening.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump talks to a crowd in Hoyt Sherman Place on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Des Moines. Trump announced that he has decided to run for president just hours earlier in New York before coming to Iowa this evening.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican Donald Trump speaks Saturday, May 16, 2015, during the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican Donald Trump speaks Saturday, May 16, 2015, during the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Republican Donald Trump leavs the stage Saturday, May 16, 2015, during the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump visits with supporters on Saturday, May 16, 2015, during the 2015 Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks to the media during a news conference on his Boeing 757 airplane on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 before traveling to Indianola to speak at Simpson College.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump speaks to the media during a news conference on his Boeing 757 airplane on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 before traveling to Indianola to speak at Simpson College.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump walks from his plane to a car taking him to his next speaking engagement on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Trump made several stops in Iowa today.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump walks from his plane to a car taking him to his next speaking engagement on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Trump made several stops in Iowa today.  Kelsey Kremer/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo New York businessman and entertainer Donald Trump spoke during the Freedom Summit on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at Hoyt Sherman in Des Moines, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave, The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump talks to the crowd Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Possible Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about Shawn Johnson’s performance on his reality television show, Celebrity Apprentice, while speaking with media during the Freedom Summit on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at Hoyt Sherman in Des Moines, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave, The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo Donald Trump talks with the crowd Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines.  Michael Zamora/The Register Fullscreen Buy Photo New York businessman and entertainer Donald Trump spoke during the Freedom Summit on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at Hoyt Sherman in Des Moines, Iowa.  Bryon Houlgrave, The Register Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 66 2 of 66 3 of 66 4 of 66 5 of 66 6 of 66 7 of 66 8 of 66 9 of 66 10 of 66 11 of 66 12 of 66 13 of 66 14 of 66 15 of 66 16 of 66 17 of 66 18 of 66 19 of 66 20 of 66 21 of 66 22 of 66 23 of 66 24 of 66 25 of 66 26 of 66 27 of 66 28 of 66 29 of 66 30 of 66 31 of 66 32 of 66 33 of 66 34 of 66 35 of 66 36 of 66 37 of 66 38 of 66 39 of 66 40 of 66 41 of 66 42 of 66 43 of 66 44 of 66 45 of 66 46 of 66 47 of 66 48 of 66 49 of 66 50 of 66 51 of 66 52 of 66 53 of 66 54 of 66 55 of 66 56 of 66 57 of 66 58 of 66 59 of 66 60 of 66 61 of 66 62 of 66 63 of 66 64 of 66 65 of 66 66 of 66 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Prior presidential approval ratings It’s unprecedented in the history of the Iowa Poll to see a president begin his first term with such low approval ratings. Since The Des Moines Register began asking about presidential job approval in February 1964, no president in the early weeks of his first term has ever before seen more Iowans disapproving than approving. The first Iowa Poll of Democrat Barack Obama’s presidency in 2009 put his approval rating at 68 percent. For Republican George Bush, it was 54 percent in 2001. For Democrat Bill Clinton, it was 73 percent in 1993 and for Republican Ronald Reagan, it was 54 percent in 1981. (The Register did not poll on presidential approval ratings early on in Republican George H.W. Bush’s term.) Trump’s job approval does roughly match Obama’s outgoing rating, however. Last October, 52 percent of Iowans disapproved of his performance, while 43 percent approved. So where is Trump strong? Beyond his wide support among Republicans, Trump enjoys strong approval ratings from rural voters (64 percent), evangelical Christians (60 percent), residents of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District (55 percent), Iowans ages 35-54 (51 percent) and men (50 percent). Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, is viewed positively by a plurality of Iowans. Forty-eight percent approve of the job he’s doing compared to 38 percent who disapprove. Buy PhotoRepublican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence speaks during a rally on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Prole. (Photo: Brian Powers/The Register) On the right track? With Trump as president, most Iowans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction: 51 percent of Iowa Poll respondents say the nation is on the wrong track, compared with 36 percent who say it’s headed in the right direction. But that’s not necessarily bad news. Those numbers are sharply improved from last fall and match public sentiment from the early weeks of Obama’s two terms. The latest figures are the best since February 2013, just after Obama was inaugurated for his second term, and basically match Iowans’ feelings from January 2009, when Obama first took office. Just four months ago, 71 percent of Iowans said the U.S. was on the wrong track, and just 21 percent said it was going in the right direction. That’s a 20-point decline in the percentage of people with negative feelings on the country’s direction and a 15-point improvement in those with a positive view. That rapid change of perception is attributable largely to self-identified Republicans. In October, 88 percent of Republicans said the country was on the wrong track, compared with just 7 percent who said it was headed in the right direction. Now, their views have virtually flipped: 71 percent of Republicans now say the nation is on the right track and just 15 percent say it’s going in the wrong direction. It’s a similar, if less dramatic, story with independents. A narrow, 51-percent majority of independents say the country is on the wrong track, while 33 percent say it’s headed in the right direction. In October, 76 percent saw the country on the wrong track against 15 percent who thought it was headed in the right direction. Democrats four months ago were evenly split on the question; now 84 percent say the country’s on the wrong track against 9 percent who say it’s headed in the right direction. .oembed-asset-photo-image { width: 100%; } Views on the state of Iowa’s direction, meanwhile, have ticked downward. Forty-two percent of Iowans say the state is headed in the right direction, while 41 percent say the state is on the wrong track. That right-track reading is down from 48 percent last October, and is the lowest measure of confidence since February 2011. The wrong-track figure is up slightly from October. Part of the decline can be attributed to younger Iowans, who have grown substantially more pessimistic in recent months. A 45-percent plurality of respondents under 35 said the state was on the right track last October — now just 36 percent hold that view. These young Iowans’ optimism is down 19 percentage points from a year ago. Democrats, too, are registering skepticism with where the state is headed. Four months ago, 46 percent said they believed things were moving in the right direction. Now that number is down more than half, at 21 percent. These lower numbers offset an improvement in the state’s rating among Republicans, 68 percent of whom now say things are headed in the right direction compared with 60 percent in the October poll. About the poll The Iowa Poll, conducted Feb. 6-9 for The Des Moines Register and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 802 Iowans ages 18 or older. Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted households with randomly selected landline and cellphone numbers supplied by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were administered in English. Responses were adjusted by age and sex to reflect the general population based on recent census data. Questions based on the sample of 802 Iowa adults have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the percentages shown here by more than plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Results based on smaller samples of respondents — such as by gender or age — have a larger margin of error. Poll methodology is available here . Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register and Mediacom is prohibited. 2306 CONNECTTWEET 7 LINKEDIN 238 COMMENTEMAILMORE Read or Share this story: http://dmreg.co/2lNJNxV

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