Poll: Trump support remains strong among all but richest, poorest Oklahoma voters
A month into his term, President Donald Trump's popularity remains strong among all but the poorest and richest Oklahomans, according to a job approval poll released this week.
While more voters at every income level said they held a favorable view of Trump than said they held an unfavorable view, Trump's approval ratings were weakest among the highest and lowest earners.
The poll of 500 Oklahoma registered voters was conducted from Feb. 14-17 by Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates, an Oklahoma City-based polling firm. The poll carries a margin of error of 4.3 percent.
According to the poll, 57 percent of voters overall told pollsters they held a favorable view of Trump, while 36 percent said they held an unfavorable view of the president. Among voters earning between $25,000 and $150,000 annually, Trump's approval rating hovered at about 60 percent.
But among voters earning over $150,000 per year, the president's approval rating dipped to 55 percent, while 43 percent said they held an unfavorable view of the president. His approval rating was even lower among voters earning less than $25,000 per year. Just 48 percent of those voters said they held a favorable view of Trump, with 43 percent saying they held an unfavorable view.
Pollster Pat McFerron said it's unusual for a Republican president to poll so poorly among upper-income voters. McFerron said that difference may have to do with Trump's style of governing.
"There are a small number of upper-income Republicans who have a negative reaction to Trump's brashness," he said.
Although Trump remains popular in Oklahoma, his job approval ratings nationwide have been lackluster. In a poll released Thursday by CBS News, 39 percent of respondents said they held a favorable view of Trump, while 51 percent said they held an unfavorable view of the president.
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Trump's popularity was strongest in rural Oklahoma and weakest in Tulsa and central Oklahoma, which includes Oklahoma City. Trump held a 47 percent job approval rating in Tulsa and a 48 percent rating in Oklahoma City. In every geographic area of the state, more voters said they approved of Trump than disapproved.
That a Republican president posts lackluster numbers among Oklahoma's wealthiest voters may be a surprise. But that a Republican president remains popular in blood-red Oklahoma is not, said Jeanette Mendez, professor and head of the political science department at Oklahoma State University.
Before the November presidential election, polls suggested many Oklahoma voters who planned to support Trump did so mostly out of a dislike for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. But since then, that support has solidified behind Trump.
Mendez said she suspects many of those voters were more enthusiastic about Trump than they were willing to say at the time. After the election, those voters may have been more comfortable expressing that support, she said.
Trump's relatively low approval ratings nationwide are likely tied to a few polarizing issues, including the president's immigration ban. But voters in Oklahoma are more likely to support those initiatives, Mendez said.
“He hasn’t done anything that he didn’t say he was going to do," Mendez said. "He’s been very true to his campaign promises. He’s been very true to the character that he was during the campaign.”
Questions pollsters asked respondents
• Have you heard of Donald Trump?
• Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Trump?
• Would you say you have a strongly favorable or unfavorable impression of Trump?
Source: Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates