This week, a new set of state polls from Gallup showed President Donald Trump’s job approval numbers are very uneven and hold some deep challenges, but a deeper look at the numbers reveals clues about potential shifts in the electorate.
On the most basic level the Gallup data, based on daily tracking polls from Jan. 20 through June 30, show Trump’s job approval is “underwater” (with higher “disapprove” than “approve” numbers) in 31 of the 50 states. His approval number is only 50 percent or higher in 17 states.
But going deeper than Trump’s broad struggles, the numbers in specific states show how the president’s first six months seem to have locked down support in some places and perhaps changed the landscape in others.
Rock-Solid Trump Country — There are three states in the Gallup polling that stand apart from the rest for their Trump support: North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming. In each state, the president’s job approval is 20 points or more above his job disapproval.
What do those states have in common, beyond a huge vote for Trump in November (he captured more than 60 percent of the vote in each)? Several things: All are rural. And all are big on fossil fuel production and not big on racial and ethnic diversity. The three are more than 84 percent white and non-Hispanic. Wyoming and West Virginia are first and second in terms of coal production. And North Dakota is the number two state in terms of crude oil production.