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New poll: Trump's job approval drops to 39 percent in Minnesota

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President Trump's approval has slipped in Minnesota
In what could be an ominous sign for Minnesota Republicans on the November ballot, President Trump's job approval here has slipped, according to the latest MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.
Evan Vucci | AP

A majority of Minnesotans are unhappy with President Donald Trump's performance in office and think he's untruthful, according to a new MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

Of 800 likely voters in Minnesota, 39 percent said they approve of his job performance while 56 percent said they disapprove; 5 percent were unsure of how the president is doing at his job.

That's a drop from a Minnesota Poll in January 2018 that showed 45 percent of Minnesotans approved of the president's performance compared to 47 percent who disapproved, with 8 percent unsure.

Fewer voters approve of the President's job performance
Compared to the January Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, fewer voters approve of the President's job performance.
William Lager | MPR News

The latest numbers show stark political polarization over the president: more than 85 percent of the people who voted for Trump in 2016 think he's doing a good job, while 95 percent of people who voted for Hillary Clinton disapprove of the job he's doing.

Sixty-six percent of self-described independent voters did not approve of his job performance.

Barb Crigler, 69, who lives north of Duluth in Saginaw, Minn., didn't hold anything back assessing the commander in chief's job performance.

"It sucks," she said. "I'm sorry. I dislike the man."

She called Trump arrogant, unprofessional and a national embarrassment. "He's shameful. He's just a disgrace to the United States," she said. "The other countries are laughing at us."

Trump's approval ratings were lowest among younger voters, women and residents of Hennepin and Ramsey counties, the state's two most populous counties.

Nearly 60% of voters think President Trump doesn't tell the truth
Nearly 60 percent of voters think President Trump doesn't generally speak the truth.
William Lager | MPR News

Another 59 percent of respondents said Trump generally does not speak the truth, while one-third of those polled felt he does speak truthfully. The rest of respondents were not sure.

"I don't think he knows what truth is," Crigler said. "In his eyes he probably thinks so, but no."

Theresa Rakos, 54, of Andover said she doesn't agree with most of the decisions he's made, but that's just the start of what she doesn't like about him. "The list could go on and on," she said.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy from Sept. 10 to Sept. 12, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, meaning that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if all adults were surveyed.

In what could be an ominous sign for Minnesota Republicans on the November ballot, the numbers show disapproval of a president who nearly won the state two years ago.

Trump did particularly well in northern Minnesota in 2016, a long bastion of DFL support that backed Trump over Clinton by 15 percentage points. 

According to the poll, Trump is maintaining support in the region on the issue of the economy, where mining is one of the top industries. The steel tariffs are popular among miners.

Slightly more voters approve of the handling of the economy
Slightly more voters approve of the handling of the economy by President Trump.
William Lager | MPR News

Fifty-five percent of northern Minnesota residents polled approve of his handling of the economy.

In general, more poll respondents approve than disapprove — 48 percent to 45 percent — of his handling of jobs and the economy. In addition to northern Minnesota, suburban residents and older Minnesotans were more likely to approve of his handling of the economy.

Poll respondent Lee Monk is a retired resident of Clearwater in central Minnesota. Monk, 78, likes what Trump is doing overall, including his handling of the economy.  He's pleased with the performance of his investments and the low unemployment rate.

"I think there's more people at work right now and that's always encouraging," he said.

As for Trump's trade wars, Monk said no one knows how they'll shake out or whether they'll ultimately help or hurt America.

"That horse is still in the barn. I don't know that we'll exactly know right away," Monk said. "He seems to have a good plan going but sometimes plans don't always work out."

Monk said he thinks Trump has been truthful but conceded the president has taken liberties with the facts. 

He said he does think the president could benefit from softening his tone. "I think that he could use a little more decorum."

Marvel Caouette, 83, of Brainerd is also among the 39 percent of Minnesotans who approve of Trump's job performance.

"He's a hell of a lot better than Obama was," she said. "He's delivered on his promises — most of them."