Republican President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has crept up a bit in Utah, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.
But Trump, who got just 45 percent of the vote here in 2016, is still below 50 percent – the breakpoint most incumbents want to see in their approval ratings from voters.
A new survey by Dan Jones & Associates finds that 48 percent of Utahns “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the job Trump is doing as president.
But half (50 percent) disapprove of Trump, including 40% who “strongly disapprove” of the president.
Only 1 percent say they don’t have an opinion.
Trump’s popularity among Utahns will play into an interesting debate now happening in the Republican-heavy Utah Legislature.
Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, is trying to get his GOP colleagues (Democrats aren’t voting for this one) to name some south-central scenic highways after Trump.
But Noel, who at one time sought a job in the Trump administration, is getting some interesting blow-back.
Noel had to delay his bill after House Democrats threatened to try to substitute his Trump-scenic-highway-naming resolution with one that would name the same roads after Jon Huntsman Sr.
Huntsman Sr., father of former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., recently passed away.
Huntsman Sr. is world-known for his hefty donations to the Huntsman Cancer Research Center and Hospital at the University of Utah.
The House and Senate passed a resolution honoring Huntsman earlier this session, and many GOP lawmakers praised the billionaire/philanthropist in glowing terms.
Faced with voting for Trump – not so popular here – or Huntsman Sr. puts Noel and his Trump-backers in a bind.
Not only this.
But Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City – should the Trump resolution pass the House – will move to name the freeway on- and off-ramps near the Trump Highway in honor of Stormy Daniels – the adult-movie star reportedly to have had an affair to the married Trump several years ago. Daniels filed suit against Trump on Tuesday, claiming a non-disclosure she signed about the alleged affair was not valid because Trump failed to sign the document.
Of course, Dabakis’ amendment would not pass.
But it’s already gaining national news attention, and further embarrassing the president, Utah Republicans, and Trump-backers.
Anyway, the new Jones poll finds:
Trump has problems with Utah women: 52 percent of men approve of the president, but only 46 percent of women do. While 53 percent of women disapprove of him, while 47 percent of men do.
Younger Utahns don’t like Trump; their parents do.
Those 18-24 years old disapprove of Trump, 63-36 percent.
While those 55-64 years old are split, 49 percent approve of him, 49 percent disapprove.
Republican Utahns really like their president, 75-24 percent. Still, a quarter of all Republicans disapprove of him.
Democrats hate the guy. Only 2 percent approve of him, 98 percent disapprove.
Political independents disapprove of Trump, 66-33 percent.
As you might expect, 87 percent of those who told Jones they are “very conservative” approve of the president, while 13 percent disapprove.
Fifty-nine percent of those who are “somewhat conservative” approve of the job Trump is doing, while 38 percent disapprove.
Moderates disapprove of Trump, 67-32 percent.
Liberals really dislike him: 95-5 percent for those who are “somewhat liberal,” while the “very liberals” are against him, 97-2 percent.
Trump had problems with Utah Mormons during the 2016 election.
But many “very active” Mormons have come around since: 57 percent of them now approve of Trump, while 42 percent disapprove of him.
Those in other religions disapprove of Trump by large majorities.
While those who told Jones they have no religion really don’t like him, 81-19 percent.
Finally, it will be interesting to see how U.S. Rep. Mia Love deals with the president’s popularity – or not – in her re-election.
She is being challenged by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who is popular in the county.
In the 4th District, 47 percent approve of Trump, while 52 percent disapprove of him.
The election will be close; Love holds a slight lead over McAdams in recent UtahPolicy.com polling.
Trump has never crossed the 50% mark in Utah. In the 2016 election, he garnered 45.5% of the vote, and subsequent polls from UtahPolicy.com and Dan Jones & Associates shows he continues to hover around that number. The latest poll, with a 48% approval from Utahns, is his highest showing since the 2016 election.
Jones sampled 609 adults from Feb. 9-16. The survey has a margin of error statewide of plus or minus 4 percent.