These counties proved critical to Donald Trump’s victory in November 2016, giving him a collective 57% of the vote in the 2016 presidential election—a 20-point margin over Hillary Clinton. Yet a year later, his approval rating is slightly underwater in these Trump Counties and down a few ticks from the initial Trump County benchmark survey in July. Trump County residents also are divided on his personal ratings. At the same time, both Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders are viewed more positively than negatively and thus are in better standing than Donald Trump in these counties. A majority of Trump County voters say that they are satisfied with how Trump is handling the economy, but a majority also say that Trump does not have a clear agenda on what he is proposing to do on major issues facing the country. And Trump County America also is more likely to say that the country is worse off rather than better off compared with when Trump first became president. Indeed, three in five Trump County residents say that they are dissatisfied with his handling of uniting the country and nearly three in four agree with the statement, “I am worried that America is being divided by hate and intolerance.” On policy measures, Trump’s tax plan starts off nearly dead even in these critical counties, with many not yet forming an opinion. Yet, these Trump County residents believe that they are more likely to pay more in taxes if the plan becomes law, and they are much more likely to believe that wealthy Americans will pay less.
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