President Donald Trump saw his approval ratings increase slightly with his trip overseas, but that has all evaporated, just as another poll shows his support dwindling in military communities that have long been a bastion of Republican strength.
NBC News reported that an analysis of Gallup polling for President Donald Trump‘s first 100 days in office was compared to the month of May and military communities show some growing concerns about the president and the job he is doing.
From the NBC News report: “…Trump’s job approval in military counties dropped sharply in the last month — from an average 51 percent approval and 41 percent disapproval in the first 100 days to 43 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval for May.”
That is a 16-point swing, from a positive of net seven points in the his first 100 days to a negative of net nine points in May. Although the data is not definitive, the numbers suggest that there is a major shift taking place in military communities.
But that is not all NBC News found in their analysis of the Gallup poll data. According to their findings, President Trump’s job approval in exurban communities — notable because of their wealthy conservative population — took a 12-point dive and also dropped into negative territory.
Dante Chinni, writing for NBC News, noted that the “decline in military communities would be especially noteworthy if it holds in future polls.”
But why such a swing (if the swing holds to be accurate) among conservatives, especially those areas associated with the military? President Trump has been in constant confrontation mode with his intelligence agencies since taking office, but there has been antagonism between the Trump administration with regard to the reported investigations into Trump advisers and administration officials being in contact with Russian operatives (with some of connections considered as perhaps pertaining to the suspected Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election). Then there was the firing of FBI Director James Comey, which some saw as a poor move on Trump’s part and a blow to his credibility, especially after the president admitted publicly that he took into consideration “this Russian thing” (the FBI’s investigation into Trump officials and their alleged Russian connections) before firing the director.
But the most likely factor in the military communities’ turnaround, according to Chinni, is the proposed Trump budget, which calls for military base closures. According to The Hill, these base closings would take place in 2021. The closures would save $2 billion by 2027, according to the budget documents.
Base closings would be extremely detrimental to areas whose economies are dependent on said bases.
Such a drop among a core Republican constituency could be problematic for President Trump’s future plans. His presidency is already experiencing historic lows in job approval ratings.
Gallup daily polling — which tracks the president’s job approval rating day by day by a survey of roughly 1,500 participants — saw Trump’s numbers rise slightly last week during his trip overseas. However, as of Sunday, his job approval rating dropped again to a 37 percent approval rating (which is not his lowest — he scored a 35 percent approval rating on March 28), falling from a 48 percent approval rating (a climb of 11 points from Sunday, May 21) on May 28, the day after his 9-day trip abroad.
NPR has noted that, given that President Trump began his presidency with a lower approval rating than other presidents, his overall slide in the polls has not been that much, no matter who is doing the polling. The report pointed out that the difference between the start of his presidency to the present is divided by single-digit numbers and contends that “there is only so low you can go.”
President Trump’s disapproval rating for Sunday, June 4, was 58 percent, one point short of his worst disapproval rating of 59 percent, also recorded on March 28.
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