Nation & World

6 of 10 Obama-Trump voters still back president

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while addressing a joint news conference with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while addressing a joint news conference with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump still holds a majority of the voters in three Midwest congressional districts that flipped to supporting him in 2016 after backing President Obama four years earlier, according to a new poll.

But the poll, which measured support among these voters in congressional districts in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, could point to trouble for the president in 2020.

The survey said 63 percent of Obama-Trump voters still back the president in Iowa’s 1st congressional district, 61 percent in Wisconsin’s 3rd district and 68 percent in the 8th district in Minnesota.

“If the decline in support is consistent statewide, Minnesota, which President Trump lost by just 1.5 percent in 2016, will be out of reach and Wisconsin, where he won by 1 percent, could flip back to the Democrats,” said Robin Johnson, coordinator of the poll and a political science lecturer at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.

Trump won Iowa by a much wider margin, Johnson noted, saying he’d likely hold on to the state.

The conversion of Obama voters to Trump has been a much-analyzed aspect of the 2016 presidential race. And the three districts were selected for this poll because they had relatively high concentrations of counties that flipped from one to the other.

The surveys were conducted by Remington Research Group from April 21-23. A total of 336 Minnesotans, 329 Iowans and 302 Wisconsin residents participated in the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points for the first two districts and 5.3 percent for the last.

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The Minnesota and Iowa congressional districts are considered among the most competitive in the 2018 election cycle.

The poll said 51 percent of Obama-Trump voters plan to support the Republican candidate for Congress this fall in Iowa’s 1st District, where Rep. Rod Blum, a Republican, is seeking re-election.

Support for the Democratic congressional candidates in the three districts ranges from 20 to 25 percent, the poll said.

The poll also said roughly half of the Obama-Trump voters in the three districts haven’t changed their opinions about the president as a result of accusations about his personal life.

The remainder are split between those whose opinions have improved and those whose opinions have worsened.

Meanwhile, the poll also said a plurality of Iowa voters, 47 percent, believe protecting the agriculture economy was more important than seeking to strengthen the manufacturing economy through tariffs. Thirty seven percent felt the other way.

Trade tensions have heightened recently, as the White House and China have traded threats about imposing tariffs on one another. The prospective Chinese targets include soybeans and other agricultural products.

The poll said voters supporting manufacturing over agriculture had a greater tendency to support Trump.

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