It might not come as a surprise to learn that the president is a polarizing figure: You either love him or you hate him. And based on a new report released by Morning Consult, this seems to hold true in polling. Donald Trump's approval rating by state, revealed in the report, is telling of how the country feels about the president in each of the fifty states.
This latest Morning Consult report shows how each state's approval and disapproval ratings have changed over the first year of Trump's presidency. The data are based on surveys with over 800,000 registered voters in every state and the District of Columbia, between October 2017 and January 2018. (The report spanning January to September 2017 was released last fall.) You can see Trump's full report card in each state here.
Here are the states with the most extreme ratings for Trump.
Unfortunately, Trump's new home is far from his biggest fanbase. In fact, he's pretty unpopular for a new kid on the D.C. block. As of January 2018, the District of Columbia had both the highest disapproval rating and lowest approval rating of them all, with 80 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
Alabama came in with the highest approval rating for Trump last month at 63 percent, as well as the lowest disapproval at 33 percent.
Comparing those figures to the year prior, we get a slightly different picture. While the percentages are fairly similar, the states that gave Trump the highest ratings have changed.
In January 2017, Wyoming gave Trump the highest marks in the country as he embarked on his first year in office. The state had the highest approval rating, at 63 percent, and the lowest disapproval rating, at 23 percent.
On the extreme opposite end, D.C. had the harshest ratings for Trump, with an all-country low approval rating of 30 percent and the highest disapproval rating of 61 percent.
Looking at the national picture over the last year, the story gets even more interesting.
January 2017 - Inauguration
Trump didn't start off his presidency on great footing. In fact, upon taking office, he was the most unpopular newly inaugurated president in modern history.
Still, going into 2017, Trump had a net positive approval rating in 38 states, according to the report. As the maps show, red tones represent negative net ratings, while green represent net positive. Only a few states, at the start of Trump's presidency, had a net negative rating. At this point in the game, the nationwide net approval rating for Trump was 10 percent.
Keep in mind: Net approval rating is the approval rating minus the disapproval rating, so a negative net rating means that more people disapprove than approve, and vice versa for a positive rating. In practice, this means that even if someone is hugely unpopular among some voters, they just have to be popular enough among others to reach the positive threshold. In other words: A president can be massively liked and massively disliked at the same time.
Let's do a little comparison. Take a look at the southwestern states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. They were all green (positive) as of January 2017. The same was true for the Midwestern cluster of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. All of these states were positive as of Trump's first month.
July 2017 - The Six-Month Benchmark
Let's check in on those two groups of green states. As of July 2017, the Midwest states had all flipped to red, while the Southwest region was basically a wash, hanging pretty close to neutral — still a significant shift from what it was six months prior.
Trump's approval rating had taken a nosedive by his first summer, with a six-month approval rating that was lower than any president in 70 years, breaking the 1975 record from President Gerald Ford. For comparison: Trump's two immediate predecessors, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, both hit the six-month mark with a 59 percent approval rating.
There were other points along that way that led Trump's approval ratings to plummet or peak. For example, following the tax bill's passage in December 2017, Trump's approval rating saw an uptick. But after the Charlottesville attack in August, his approval and disapproval ratings both hit new negative records at the time, with 34 percent and 61 percent, respectively.
January 2018 — One Year In
An NBC News poll, published on Jan. 19, shows that Trump's record-breaking continues. As of that date, his approval rating was the lowest of any modern president one year into office. And looking at our net approval ratings, as of Feb. 1, only 19 states gave Trump a positive rating, while 27 states gave him a net positive one. (The tally includes D.C.) And as for that national net approval rating? That figure tanked 17 points, ending at — 7 percent overall as of January 2018.
Let's look back at those same five states we mentioned earlier: All of them, one year later, have flipped to the red, meaning they went from net positive to net negative. The same was true for that Midwest cluster: All except Indiana switched to red.
At least the first lady has fared better with Americans; Melania Trump, in fact, is the most popular member of the Trump family. But the numbers tell a different story for the president, and if the changes over the first year in office are an indication, 2018 may be another record-setting one for Trump.