One year after Donald Trump’s historic presidential victory in Arkansas, where he garnered 60.5% of the state’s vote, President Trump now finds himself below majority support in his job performance.
The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll of 784 statewide voters finds that Trump has a thin margin of approval versus disapproval. In the survey conducted on Monday, October 23, voters were asked:
Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Donald Trump is doing?
7% Don’t know
“It’s been a rough first year for President Trump,” said TB&P Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock. “I think these numbers and the precipitous decline we’ve seen in his job ranking among Arkansans is a reflection of the lack of political victories, the chaos and dysfunction at the national level, and the multiple self-inflicted mistakes that this first-year president has made.”
In previous polling, Trump’s job approval rating has declined from 60-35% in February to 53-39% in April to 50-47% in July to October’s 47.5-45.5% rating.
While there are a variety of national and international issues to quiz voters on regarding President Trump’s performance, the most threatening one for world stability involves a potential nuclear showdown with North Korea.
Q. Do you trust President Trump to appropriately handle the growing conflict with North Korea or are you concerned with how he might handle it?
5.5% Don’t know
“This is just one example that highlights the deep divide over Trump’s job performance,” Brock added. “When layered within the context of our right track/wrong track poll numbers and several results to be released on Monday, there’s a very clear picture emerging among Arkansas voters of discontent as we head into the 2018 election cycle.”
Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, helped craft and analyze the poll. He offered this analysis:
“We continue our examination of attitudes toward the President in our most recent polling. In July, we shifted this question on Donald Trump to gauge intensity of support. Half of respondents were approving (39% strongly and 11% “somewhat” approving), while 47% were disapproving (40% strongly and 7% “somewhat”). Here, we return to our more traditional way of asking the job approval question. Trump continues to show some melt in Arkansas and for the first time falls below majority support.
“The President continues to perform exceptionally well with Republicans in Arkansas with just at eight in ten (79%) approving of the President’s job performance. An even larger percentage of Democrats (83%) disapprove of the President’s work, showing his polarizing power in the state. Independents are evenly split (46-44%) on the President’s performance.
“While there is relatively little variation in Trump’s support across age groups, African-Americans and other non-white voters, women, and central Arkansas voters (2nd Congressional District) view his performance more negatively. He is “under water” with all of those groups while continuing to perform more solidly with whites, men, and voters in other congressional districts (particularly the 3rd Congressional District, where he has 54% approval).
“We followed up with a separate question on President Trump’s performance related to the ongoing conflict with North Korea. A similar division is shown there with just at half of the electorate indicating concern about President Trump’s handling of that crisis. In contrast, 45% of the Arkansas sample trusts Trump in that arena.
“In examining the crosstabs, patterns similar to Trump’s overall job approval ratings emerge although the youngest set of voters (those under 30) show exceptionally deep concern about Trump’s ability to manage the crisis successfully. In addition, an even larger gender gap shows itself with men confident in Trump’s ability to manage the conflict and women disproportionately concerned.”
This survey was conducted on Monday, October 23, 2017. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-3.5%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 784 Arkansas voters statewide. Age and gender were weighted.
12% Under the age of 30
24% Between the ages of 30 and 44
39% Between the ages of 45 and 64
24% 65 or older
78% Caucasian or White