Trump's Approval Rating Stands Below 40 Percent in Three Key Midwest States
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guests during a campaign stop at the Central Wisconsin Convention & expo Center on April 2, 2016 in Rothschild, Wisconsin. fileScott Olson / Getty Images file
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in three key states that helped propel him to the White House — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — stands below 40 percent, according to a trio of NBC News/Marist polls.
In addition, Democrats enjoy double-digit leads in Michigan and Pennsylvania on the question of which party voters prefer to control Congress after the 2018 midterms, and they hold an 8-point advantage in Wisconsin.
In all three states, more than six in 10 voters say Trump’s conduct as president has embarrassed them, compared to just a quarter who have said it’s made them proud.
These three NBC/Marist polls were conducted August 13-17 — after the Aug. 12 unrest and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in the midst of Trump’s multiple responses to the events.
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In Michigan, 36 percent of voters approve of Trump’s job performance (including 19 percent who strongly approve), while 55 percent disapprove (including 40 percent who strongly do).
In Pennsylvania, 35 percent give the president’s job a thumbs up (17 percent strongly), versus 54 percent who disapprove (41 percent strongly).
And in Wisconsin, 34 percent of voters approve of Trump (17 percent strongly), compared with 56 percent who disapprove (42 percent strongly).
In 2016’s general election, Trump won all three states by a combined 80,000 votes, becoming the first Republican to carry these states since the 1980s.
Asked if Trump’s conduct as president made them proud or embarrassed them, 64 percent of voters in Michigan and Wisconsin say they’ve been embarrassed, while 63 percent say that in Pennsylvania.
Yet Trump gets higher marks on the economy in all three states.
In Michigan, voters by a 42-to-39 percent margin say the U.S. economy has been strengthened by Trump’s decisions as president. In Pennsylvania, it’s 45 percent to 38 percent. And in Wisconsin, it’s dead even at 41 percent each.
But the president’s standing is much lower when it comes to international affairs: Six in 10 voters in all three states believe the United States’ role on the world stage has been weakened under Trump.
Ahead of next year’s midterm elections, the polls show that 48 percent of Michigan voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 35 percent who prefer a Republican-controlled one.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats hold a 10-point advantage on congressional preference, 47 percent to 37 percent. And in Wisconsin, they have an 8-point edge, 46 percent to 38 percent.
The NBC/Marist polls were conducted August 13-17 of 795 voters in Michigan (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points), 773 voters in Pennsylvania (plus-minus 3.5 percentage points) and 801 voters in Wisconsin (plus-minus 3.5 percentage points).
Mark Murray is a senior political editor at NBC News.