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Politics

Trump's Approval Highest in West Virginia, Lowest in Vermont

Story Highlights

  • 12 states gave Trump majority approval in 2017
  • Job approval averaged below 40% in 18 states

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump's job approval rating averaged 38% throughout the U.S. in 2017, but at the state level it ranged from a high of 61% in West Virginia to a low of 26% in Vermont.

Trump Job Approval by State

Trump averaged 50% or higher approval in 12 states in total, primarily in the states where he received the most votes in the 2016 election. In addition to West Virginia, the states where at least half the respondents approved of Trump included several western states (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Alaska), several southern states (Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas) and two Midwestern states (North and South Dakota).

Trump earned between 40% and 49% approval -- above his national average -- in 20 states. These were predominantly in the Midwest and South, and included several of the key rustbelt states that were critical to his 2016 victory: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Fewer than 40% of respondents approved of Trump in the remaining 18 states, 14 of which are located in the East and West -- his worst performing regions in the election. In addition to Vermont, his ratings were particularly low -- below 30% -- in Massachusetts (27%), California (29%) and Hawaii (29%). Maryland, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island round out the states where fewer than one-third of the respondents approved.

These results are based on 171,469 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted nationally throughout 2017. Gallup interviewed more than 1,000 respondents in 39 states in 2017, and no fewer than 471 in any other state. Each state's sample is weighted to match U.S. Census Bureau demographic parameters for that state's adult population. The full results by state appear at the end of this article.

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Big State-Small State Divide

Altogether, Trump received approval ratings above his 38% national average in 33 states and below it in 17.

The imbalance reflects the fact that the bottom group includes some of the most populous states in the nation, particularly California, New York and Illinois. By contrast, most of the states with 50% or higher approval of Trump are among the least populous -- the exceptions being Tennessee and Kentucky.

Implications

Trump averaged the lowest first-year approval rating of any president in Gallup history, and lagged Barack Obama's 57% first-year rating by nearly 20 points. Naturally, this is reflected in Trump's state-level ratings, with only 12 states giving him 50% or higher approval, compared with 41 for Obama in 2009.

The 50% mark is an important threshold in presidential election years for presidents seeking a second term, as it correlates strongly with reelection. Popular presidents also tend to weather midterm election years with fewer party losses in Congress.

Trump's latest weekly approval rating is 38%, matching his 2017 average. Not only is the overall number not encouraging for his party heading into the 2018 midterms, but the latest state-level averages suggest Trump will be a liability for Republican candidates in far more states than he will be an asset.

Still, Trump's relatively high ratings in West Virginia, Montana and North Dakota, all states with Democrats defending Senate seats in 2017, could make the political calculus different in those races.

Explore President Trump's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted January 20-December 30, 2017, on the Gallup Daily survey, with a random sample of 171,469 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Margins of error for individual states are no greater than ±8 percentage points and are ±4 percentage points in most states. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how Gallup Daily tracking works.

President Trump's Job Approval by State, 2017
Based on adults aged 18+
Approve Disapprove No opinion Sample size
% % %
West Virginia 61 35 4 957
North Dakota 57 39 5 510
Wyoming 57 36 7 471
South Dakota 54 42 4 556
Alabama 53 42 5 2,914
Oklahoma 53 40 7 2,317
Idaho 53 42 5 1,190
Montana 52 45 3 1,019
Kentucky 51 45 5 2,384
Tennessee 50 44 5 3,915
Arkansas 50 44 6 1,781
Alaska 50 44 6 522
Nebraska 49 47 4 1,364
Louisiana 49 45 5 2,481
Kansas 48 47 5 1,684
South Carolina 48 46 6 2,681
Mississippi 48 46 6 1,571
Utah 48 47 6 2,024
Missouri 47 48 6 3,423
Ohio 45 50 5 6,011
Indiana 44 51 5 3,391
Iowa 43 52 5 2,017
Maine 42 55 3 905
New Hampshire 42 56 3 806
Pennsylvania 42 53 5 7,615
Nevada 42 53 5 1,478
Wisconsin 41 55 5 3,196
Georgia 41 53 6 5,202
Florida 41 53 7 10,575
Arizona 41 53 6 3,504
Michigan 40 55 5 5,283
North Carolina 40 54 6 5,495
Texas 39 54 7 13,468
Minnesota 37 58 4 3,291
Virginia 37 57 6 4,633
Colorado 37 59 5 3,444
Delaware 36 58 6 480
Oregon 36 59 5 3,034
New Mexico 35 59 6 1,396
New Jersey 34 61 6 4,214
Washington 34 60 5 4,449
Illinois 33 62 5 5,452
Rhode Island 32 62 6 575
Connecticut 31 63 6 1,905
New York 30 63 7 10,343
Maryland 30 65 6 3,036
California 29 65 6 17,223
Hawaii 29 60 11 691
Massachusetts 27 68 5 3,625
Vermont 26 69 5 473
District of Columbia 6 88 6 495
U.S. total 38 56 6 171,469
Gallup Daily tracking, January-December 2017
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