Morning Consult has released their latest monthly poll on President Trump’s net popularity, and the Kentucky numbers are a little surprising.
The “net popularity” number is less familiar than the straight-up “approval rating.” The net number is the difference between those who approve and those who disapprove, and the “swing” is the difference in that net number across two or more polling cycles.
So, if an elected official has 60% who approve of their performance, and 40% who disapprove, then that official has a +20-point net approval rating. If, on the other hand, we poll for that official a year later, and their approval has dropped to 45% (from 60%), and their disapproval has risen to 55%, then they have a net approval of -10 points … AND, a change or swing of 30 points (+20 to -10).
A 20-point net approval rating is pretty strong. And, a 30-point swing is pretty dramatic. So how is President Trump doing after 1.5 years in office?
His approval numbers have dropped in every state, which is not in itself surprising. Almost every president sees their approval highest at the start of their term, and then sees it fall as the term goes on. For Trump, that translates into an average net approval of +14 points at the start of his term, and a -3 point approval rating now, if you average all the states. His net approval has swung from -6 points in Louisiana to -31 point (!) in New Mexico.
Here’s the part that is interesting for Kentucky. Trump’s net approval has fallen -19 points in Kentucky. That is a greater swing than in any other southern state. And in fact, that is a greater drop in approval margin than in 35 other states.
Now, don’t misunderstand. Trump still has a net approval of +15 points in Kentucky. There are still a majority of Kentuckians who approve of the job he is doing. BUT, that number has fallen further in Kentucky than in any other state in the Old South.
Here’s a map showing the net approval point swing in each state:
And for the data geeks like myself, here are the actual numbers:
|State||Jan 17||May 18||Points Change|
We have asked for the cross-tabs for the poll. If we get them, we’ll either update this story or post a separate analysis.
Why are these numbers like this? Why Kentucky? Post your thoughts in the comments.