A new poll by Middle Tennessee State University shows that a narrow majority of Tennessee voters approve of the job being done by newly-elected President Donald Trump.
The poll sampling size was 600 registered voters and was conducted February 12-16, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points according to the MTSU website.
Trump won 61% of Tennessee voters in the November 2016 Presidential election.
When respondents were asked “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president?” the poll found that 51 percent approve, 32 percent disapprove, and 17 percent don’t know or don’t answer.
The spring 2009 MTSU Poll, conducted shortly after Barack Obama took office, asked whether respondents approved of the job he was doing as president and found that 53 percent approved, 27 percent disapproved, and 20 percent didn’t know or didn’t answer.
Obama lost the state of Tennessee with only 42 percent of the vote in 2008. Trump won the state with 61 percent of the vote in 2016.
“New presidents often enjoy a so-called honeymoon shortly after winning their first election, when unifying inaugural addresses and a public that hopes for the best contribute to even greater support and job approval than their winning vote totals,” said Jason Reineke, Ph.D., associate director of the poll. “But that doesn’t appear to be the case for Trump.”
“The numbers are very similar, but they represent more of a hangover for Trump, whose job approval at the outset of his presidency is actually worse than his winning vote total in the state,” Reineke said.
MTSU also conducted a poll on Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's proposed gas tax and found that few respondents didn't know much about the plan.
Tennessee voters were asked about the governor’s “proposal to pay for road projects by raising taxes on gas and diesel fuel while cutting other taxes, including taxes on groceries, 38 percent expressed support, 28 percent were opposed – a significantly smaller proportion – and 33 percent said they weren’t sure. The remaining 1 percent declined to answer.