Saturday, September 23, 2023

Barely half of Tennesseans approve of President Trump’s job performance, MTSU poll shows


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Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Since his inauguration ceremony in January, barely half of Tennesseans approve of President Donald Trump’s performance in office according to a poll released by MTSU.

The poll was conducted via telephone between Feb. 12 and Feb. 16 with 600 registered voters across the state.

According to the poll’s press release, participants were asked whether they approve of how Trump is “handling” his position. 51 percent of voters answered yes, while 31 percent said they did not approve. 17 percent of respondents did not know or declined to answer.

The poll’s associate director Jason Reineke stated his opinion regarding the mixed responses towards Trump.

“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. But that doesn’t appear to be the case for Trump,” Reineke says in the press release.

The press release also compared the recent Trump poll to the poll that MTSU conducted in spring of 2009, approximately a month after Barack Obama was sworn into office.

The 2009 poll provided similar questions for Tennesseans, and the results showed that 53 percent of participants approved, while 27 percent disapproved. 20 percent were unsure or declined to answer.

“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 says in the press release.”

While Trump secured the state of Tennessee in the 2016 election with 61 percent of the vote, Obama lost Tennessee with only 42 percent of the vote in 2008, according to the poll.

The poll asked participants to communicate whether they approve or disapprove of Obama’s presidential run as a whole. Of the Tennesseans who answered, 39 percent stated that they approved of Obama’s presidency while 56 percent disapproved.

Many polls conducted by media outlets were shown to be incorrect when Trump was elected, including the fall 2016 MTSU poll. That poll found that 54 percent of decided voters chose Trump, despite him winning Tennessee with 61 percent of registered voters. The most recent MTSU poll addressed this issue when it questioned Tennesseans.

Participants were asked who they voted for in the 2016 election, and the responses showed that 60 percent answered Trump.

The participants were also asked when they decided to vote for the candidate they eventually chose.

52 percent stated that they chose after the respective party conventions, while 31 decided between the conventions and the debates. 14 percent of respondents decided after both the debates and the conventions.

“Although Trump had Tennessee wrapped up for some time, it appears that his ability to maintain his gains late in the race helped to increase his margin of victory in the state,” Reineke says.

For more information on this poll and other MTSU polls, visit here.

For more news, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

To contact News Editor Brinley Hineman, email

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