Poll: Utahns nearly evenly divided on Trump’s job performance

Half of Utahns say they disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance in a new UtahPolicy.com poll.

The survey, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates finds 50% of Utahns say they disapprove of Trump’s job performance (38% “strongly” disapprove). 46% say they approve of the job Trump is doing, while 4% say they don’t know.

Those numbers are eerily similar to the 2016 election where Trump carried Utah with just 45.5% of the vote, suggesting that Utahns are not warming to Trump in the White House at all, but they’re not souring on him either.

How Utahns view Trump has remained remarkably consistent since the 2016 election. 

Utah State University political science professor Damon Cann says he’s not too shocked by the numbers, given how Trump has conducted himself in the eight months since he took office.

“This is not all that surprising,” said Cann. “Trump has not been all that different as president than he was as a candidate.”


Nationally, Trump’s job approval rating is mired in the low 40’s to mid 30’s. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows 39.7% of Americans support Trump’s performance as president while 55.8% disapprove.

Cann says it’s unusual that Trump’s numbers in Utah have remained so consistent since the trend is for presidential approval ratings to drop during their first year in office.

“As presidents shift from campaign mode to governing mode, you see things decline,” he said. “Presidents are no longer dealing in the world of campaign promises, and they shift to the world where they’re expected to deliver.”

Trump has not produced much so far during his first year in office. He has no major legislative victories, and his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare crashed and burned spectacularly.

Trump continues to court controversy as president. He is coming off of a rough August where he threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea if they continued testing their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. He also took heat for insisting that “both sides” were responsible for violence at a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville that left one dead and dozens injured.

Men approve of Trump’s job performance more than women according to these latest numbers.

  • 50% of men say Trump is doing a good job while 46% say he’s not.
  • Just 42% of women approve of Trump’s job performance while 55% are not fans.

Education level also plays a significant factor in how Utahns see Trump. Basically, the more educated someone is, the less they like Trump’s job performance.

  • Those who just have a high school education approve of Trump’s job performance 56-41%.
  • Half of Utahns who hold a two-year associate’s degree approve of Trump while 44% disapprove.
  • Utahns with a bachelor’s degree disapprove of Trump 54-43%.
  • Among those with a post-graduate degree, it’s not even close, with 60% saying they disapprove of Trump’s job performance, while 37% disapprove.

Utah Republicans think Trump is doing a great job in the Oval Office, while Democrats and independent voters aren’t impressed.

  • 70% of Utah Republicans say they favor Trump’s performance while 25% don’t.
  • 96% of Utah Democrats don’t like how Trump is handling his job.
  • 66% of unaffiliated voters oppose how Trump is performing as president while 31% approve.

Cann says these numbers demonstrate that Trump’s base of voters is sticking with him, even in Utah.

“I really believe there’s a core set of Trump supporters, not sure how many there are. This poll number reflects what that base is. It’s not a trivial number of people, but it’s not a majority either,” he said.