It’s no stretch to say that, on the whole, Utahns don’t like Barack Obama. But, they’re not too keen on the man who is replacing him, Donald Trump.
A new UtahPolicy.com poll shows only 41% of Utahns have a favorable view of Barack Obama as he is set to leave office Friday. The same survey gives Donald Trump a 47% approval rating. 57% of Utahns have an unfavorable view of Obama, while 49% have an unfavorable view of Trump. Put those numbers together, and Obama has a net negative rating in Utah of -6, while Trump’s net negative score is -2.
The survey was taken before President Barack Obama created the new Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, so it’s unclear how that move will impact his approval ratings in Utah.
The approval rating is a mirror image of Trump’s performance in the Utah presidential election where he pulled in 46% of the vote. Since he jumped into the presidential race in 2015, Trump has not been the most popular public figure in the Beehive State. The LDS Church-owned Deseret News publicly excoriated his call to temporarily shut down immigration for those coming from predominantly Muslim countries. Additionally, many Utah Republicans either backed away from Trump or called for him to exit the race when lurid videotapes of him bragging about sexually assaulting women surfaced. Trump also came in third in the March GOP presidential vote, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was the winner.
Trump enters office with many Americans holding an unfavorable view of him. A Quinnipiac poll from earlier in January showed just 37% of Americans thought of him favorably while 51% of Americans viewed him unfavorably. That’s not surprising given that Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. The same Quinnipiac poll gave President Obama a 55% job approval to just 39% who disapproved.
Back in Utah, there are absolutely no surprises in how partisan voters view the two men.
Utah Republicans despise President Obama. 83% view him unfavorably (including 62% who say “very unfavorable”). Democrats adore Obama, giving him 96% approval (including 80% who responded “very unfavorable”).
Despite their distaste for Trump during the presidential election, Utah Republicans see Trump in a positive light. 71% view him favorably, while just 26% hold an unfavorable opinion of the President-elect. A whopping 95% of Utah Democrats view Trump unfavorably.
Political independents have a much more favorable view of Obama than Trump. 57% of unaffiliated voters in Utah view Obama favorably while 63% of that group have an unfavorable view of Trump.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted December 8-12, 2016 among 615 registered Utah voters with a margin of error of 3.95%.