Poll: Approval rating for President Trump in West Virginia falls to 51%

CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE) – A new poll by Orion Strategies surveys the opinions of historic likely voters in West Virginia on a number of current topics as well as national issues in the news.

President Trump holds a 51% approval rating with 48% disapproval (1% were unsure).  One year ago, the President’s net approval spread was 21 points (58/37) after securing one of the largest victory margins in the country.

The President’s central campaign promise to the Mountain State was to bring back the coal industry.  When asked if West Virginia voters believe that the President is bringing those jobs to the levels he promised during his campaign, 49% do not with 41% believing that he is.

“In our February 2016 poll, a slim majority, within the margin of error, believed that the coal industry would be no better once President Obama left office – 44% to 43%,” explained pollster Graham Godwin.   “This time in 2017, 58% of voters believed that the coal industry would rebound under the then-new Trump administration.”

Other national issues polled include the recently passed tax reform bill signed into law last month.  When asked if it would benefit average West Virginians, 38% said it would help, 27% said it would hurt, 19% said it would have no effect and 16% were unsure.

The poll tested a number of questions regarding sexual misconduct in light of the many stories that have broken on a national level.  Key findings include:

Ø  22% of respondents report they have experienced sexual harassment

Ø  45% of respondents said they new someone who has experienced sexual harassment

Ø  46% responded that they knew someone who has experienced sexual assault

Ø  When asked if men understood the issue of sexual harassment, a plurality of 48% said they did, with 42% responded they did not and 10% uncertain.

“Over the past 45 years, there have been annual national assessments of confidence in institutions such as the church, labor, business, schools, higher education and others,” said Godwin.  “We decided to test the level of confidence that historic likely voters in West Virginia had in these same institutions.”

Key findings include (each with combined confidence of “Great Deal” and “Quite a Lot” and compared to similar polling on a national level conducted by Gallup’s most recent survey):

Institution                                                                           West Virginia                     National

Church or Organized Religion                                      73%                                        41%

Organized Labor                                                               43%                                        28%

Big Business                                                                       33%                                        21%

Public Schools                                                                    53%                                        36%

Higher Education                                                              74%                                        n/a

Newspapers                                                                      36%                                        27%

Medical System                                                66%                                        37%

Television News                                                               36%                                        24%

Criminal Justice System                                 39%                                        27%

Small Business                                                                  88%                                        70%

News on the Internet                                                     12%                                        16%

“Interestingly, West Virginia has a great deal more confidence across the board on every issue except news on the Internet according to national polls on the subjects,” said Godwin.

Tomorrow, results will be released regarding numerous issues before the West Virginia Legislature, the state’s direction and the opioid addiction problem in the state.

The live-interview telephone survey was conducted among historic, likely voters in West Virginia.   A total of 365 respondents completed the entire survey – giving the poll a 5.1 +/- margin of error with a 95 percent confidence rate.  The sample was proportionate to each of the three congressional districts in the state, age and gender.   Both cell phones and landline telephones were called in all 55 counties.  Partisan registration among respondents was 46 percent Democratic, 34 percent Republican and 20 percent Independents.  The poll was conducted January 12-15 2018.


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