As Americans get ready to place ballots that will likely have a significant impact on the future of Donald Trump’s presidency, those in rural areas show growing support for the president.
Fifty-five percent of the nearly 1,500 farmers and ranchers polled in the latest Farm Journal Pulse survey said they have a “favorable” view of President Trump. That’s up four points from when the same survey was taken with a pool of 2,400 respondents in August of this year.
That strengthening support does not appear to come from recent successes on the trade front according to the data. Only 30% said their opinion of President Trump is “more favorable” now than it was prior to the trade wars. Thirty-six percent said their opinion is now “less favorable” following heightened trade tensions.
That confidence in the president may pay off at the polls on Tuesday. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said that their sentiment towards Mr. Trump will impact their decisions in the Nov. 6 election “a lot.”
The polling shows that President Trump has done an effective job of energizing Republican voters, according to Pro Farmer Washington analyst Jim Wiesemeyer.
“Democrats had a clear enthusiasm gap and ever since the Kavanaugh hearings and other things…immigration, the caravan, that enthusiasm gap has narrowed,” Wiesemeyer explains. “Now to be fair, the Democrat enthusiasm (against President Trump) couldn't go much higher than it already is.”
High voter enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle is making the midterm races hard to call for pollsters and political prognosticators, according to Wiesemeyer.
Support for the president remains fairly steady across age groups, but there is a significant gender gap in rural America. More than half of the women surveyed (51%) reported an unfavorable view of President Trump. His “favorable” rating polled at 45% among women. Of the women surveyed, 53% said they would not vote to re-elect the president.
Those leaving comments on the poll reflect the broad spectrum of views on the first two years of the president’s term. While responses ranged from “bully” to “best president ever,” many reflected on what they viewed as policy progress from the administration.
According to one respondent, “I’m not always a fan of how President Trump does things, but I am a real fan of the stances and positions he takes.”
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