Poll: Trump approval rating in Utah ticks above 50 percent thanks to strong GOP backing

Majority of independents and nine of 10 Democrats give thumbs down.<br>

President Donald Trump speaks to the 2017 Value Voters Summit, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Washington • President Donald Trump’s approval rating among Utahns has ticked up slightly in the past month, with some 52 percent of voters giving him good marks, according to a new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.

The new survey is consistent with other Utah polls this year finding about half of Utahns approve of Trump, though the president appears to be tracking higher than last month, when a Utah Policy poll showed him with good standing among 46 percent of voters in the state.

Trump still earns strong reviews from Republicans — 72 percent approve — but most unaffiliated voters (55 percent) say they disapprove of the president’s job performance. Democrats are highly critical, with 94 percent saying they don’t like the job he’s doing, including 89 percent who strongly disapprove.

Utah GOP Chairman Rob Anderson says Utahns want the president to be more of a statesman and are looking for Trump to act presidential.

His thumbs get him in trouble with Utahns,” said Anderson, referring to Trump’s daily Twitter rants.

That said, Anderson believes the poll numbers will go up when Trump and the GOP-led Congress start fulfilling some promises they’ve made to voters.

He’s breaking above even so I think his approval rating is going up a bit,” Anderson said. “But I think the thing that worries me ... if they don’t start passing things like health-care reform and tax legislation, people are starting to talk about with the Republican Party that we might take a beating in the midterm elections.”

While Trump has used executive orders to dismantle policies from President Barack Obama’s tenure, Congress hasn’t passed any meaningful legislation that was at the heart of Trump’s rise to the Oval Office, including a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

The Tribune-Hinckley Institute poll shows that more men than women give Trump good marks while the president does considerably better with older voters.

Trump carried 45 percent of Utah’s vote in last November’s general election to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 27 percent and independent Evan McMullin’s 21 percent.

Nationally, voters are unhappy with Trump’s presidency, with his approval rating around 39 percent with 56 percent disapproving, according to an average of recent surveys by Real Clear Politics.

In Utah, some 46 percent of voters in January approved of Trump, with that number increasing to 54 percent in March before sliding to 48 percent in July.

The latest Tribune-Hinckley Institute poll, conducted among 605 registered voters by Dan Jones & Associates Oct. 10-13, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percentage points.