Trump’s job approval in Utah slides into negative territory

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President Donald Trump’s approval rating with Utah voters has once again fallen into negative territory, a new Y2 Analytics survey finds.

The poll, conducted for and KUTV 2News, shows that 52 percent of Utah voters “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president. 48 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the president.

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The state’s disapproval of  Trump roughly follows national surveys: The website, which compiles a variety of national polls into a statistical average, finds 53.6 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump, while 42.6 percent approve.

Trump in Utah recently had a better approval rating than disapproval rating, Y2 found. But now most Utahns are back to disapproving of the job the president is doing.

The latest survey also found that Trump is only leading former Democratic vice president Joe Biden by 3 percentage points in Utah.

Now we see the president is also not well-liked in the Beehive State.

Of course, as we’ve seen in other polling here, there’s a very large partisan divide in how Utahns’ see the president:

  • Those who said they are “strong” Republicans believe Trump is doing a good job as president, 92-8 percent.
  • The “not so strong” Republicans approve of Trump, 67-32 percent. That a very good job approval rating, except for the fact that a third of those less-supportive Republicans disapprove of Trump, not a good sign for the incumbent among his own party members.

As you move further away from the political right, the disapproval for the president rises:

  • Among those who said they are independents; 68 percent disapprove of Trump.
  • And “not so strong” and “strong” Democrats really dislike him, 99-1 percent and 100-0 percent, respectively.

Conservatives like the president, but moderates and liberals don’t, Y2 finds.

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But here are some weaknesses in the poll numbers that should bother the Trump-backers in Utah:

It’s true that those who said they are “very active” members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints approve of the president, 58-41 percent. But Trump is losing support among 41 percent of “very active” Mormons. And Mormons nationwide have been some of the president’s strongest supporters, various surveys show.

Losing more than 40 percent of active Mormon voters in Utah can be seen as troubling.

Trump also gets good support, 60 percent, from non-Mormon “Christians” in Utah — generally seen as the conservative groups, like Southern Baptists.

But, again, 40 percent of the “Christians” group disapprove of the job Trump is doing.

Besides liberals and Democrats, where the president falls really short here is among women — a trend has seen for some time.

Sixty percent of women disapprove of Trump, with 54 percent “strongly” disapproving of him.

But 56 percent of men approve of Trump, with 35 percent “strongly” approving of him.

Overall, that is a 16 percentage-point difference between men and women in the president’s approval rating.

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Now, even though Trump is underwater in his approval ratings and only 3 percentage points ahead of Biden at this point in the presidential race, this does not mean Trump is in trouble of losing Utah.

Unless something really terrible happens with the local economy come early November, or the coronavirus infects and kills many, many more Utahns, this state will vote for Trump — as it did in 2016.

Utah hasn’t voted Democratic in a presidential race since Lyndon Johnson won it in 1964.

But Trump’s weakness here could mean danger in U.S. House, legislative, and county races for Republican Trump enthusiastic candidates down-ballot.

And some of the candidates now strongly support the president in their Republican primary races — to be decided in just five weeks — may turn moot on the president, and not want him campaigning for them when the final November election rolls around.

For example, whoever faces Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams in the 4th District may be Trump wary; in that swing district, 56 percent of voters disapprove of Trump, while only 43 percent approve of him.

That 13 percentage-point difference could well be deadly for a 4th District GOP nominee if he or she tries to tie themselves too closely to the unpopular president.

In U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart’s 2nd Congressional District — which includes large parts of Salt Lake City — voters disapprove of Trump 55-45 percent, with 51 percent “strongly” disapproving of the president.

Stewart has previously easily won re-election in the district. And Stewart is one of the U.S. House’s strongest defenders of Trump. Stewart should still be safe in the very Republican district this year — but Trump opponents in the district clearly outweigh his supporters.

Statewide, Y2 polled 1,090 voters on the president’s job approval, from May 9-15. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In the 4th District, 277 voters were polled, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points.

And in the 2nd District, 296 voters were polled, the margin of error being plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.