Iowa Poll: President Trump’s popularity sky-high among registered Republicans

President Donald Trump enjoys widespread popularity among registered Republicans in Iowa, the first state that will cast preference votes in the 2020 presidential race, a new Iowa Poll shows.

The president’s popularity has never been higher among registered Republicans who don’t plan to attend the Democratic caucuses, the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll found.

His overall job approval is up 4 percentage points from March to 85%. The percentage of those who say they will definitely vote to reelect him is up 9 percentage points to 76%.

“I think he’s doing a tremendous job, really, as far as I’m concerned,” said Wayne Sparker, 82, a Lake Mills resident and poll respondent. “I’ve been a Democrat all my life, but when he ran for office, when I could see what he was standing up for – for the borders and the different solutions he brought forth – I felt that I definitely needed to vote for him.”.

Iowa Poll:Republicans and Democrats each see advantage in impeachment inquiry.

The poll of 502 registered Iowa Republicans who do not plan to attend the Democratic caucuses in 2020 was conducted Nov. 8-13 by Selzer & Co. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The findings come as the U.S. House of Representatives advances its impeachment inquiry into the president, an ongoing trade dispute with China and conflict over the way the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates biofuels.

It also comes as a wave of Democratic presidential candidates floods the state – some seeking to convert disaffected Republicans and independents.

But these Republicans are sticking with the president, poll results show.

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“A majority of every demographic group say they will definitely vote to reelect the president, with the exception of moderates (47%),” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co. “All other groups stand with President Trump with strong majorities, not surprising given it is 76% overall.”.

Amy Potter, a 32-year-old Gilbert resident and poll respondent, said she doesn’t pay attention to the daily ins and outs of politics, but she is a lifelong conservative and appreciates the thriving economy.

“The way the housing market is and the way there are so many jobs available, I really do not believe America could be in a better place at all,” she said.

Registered Republicans are confident of Trump victory

Unlike Democratic caucusgoers surveyed, who show concern about the ability of their top-polling candidates to defeat the president, these Republicans are much more assured of their victory. Asked about a potential match-up with each of the four leading Democratic presidential candidates, a majority of respondents say they are “almost certain” Trump will win in each case.

They are most confident in defeating Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, with 62% saying they are almost certain Trump would win. Fifty-nine percent are almost certain Trump would defeat Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and 58% say the same about former Vice President Joe Biden.

They are least sure that Trump could defeat South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; 56% say they are certain the president would win. But Buttigieg is the largest unknown for the group, with 15% saying they are unsure how that match-up would turn out.

Buttigieg leads the field of Democratic presidential candidates by 9 percentage points among likely caucusgoers, the Iowa Poll shows.

Sparker, the poll respondent from Lake Mills, is among those who say Trump is “almost certain” to win reelection, even with the possibility of an impeachment trial ahead.

“When it gets done and when he’s reelected in 2020, he’ll be one of the presidents people are going to remember most,” he said. “He’s done a lot for this country. If he does as much in the next four years as he’s done in the past, we are going to have come a long ways.”.

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About one in three poll respondents say they will definitely or probably attend the Republican caucuses on Feb. 3, 2020. The Republican Party of Iowa has said it plans to hold its traditional straw poll at its caucuses, though Republican parties in some other states have said they will forgo their early contests in a show of solidarity with the president.

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for president, has fallen from grace among these Iowa Republicans.

The senator is occasionally critical of the president, and though he has publicly ruled out a run, he’s among the Republicans some consider able to mount a serious bid against Trump. In December 2018, Romney had a more than 3-to-1 favorable-to-unfavorable rating of 65% to 21%. Today, that has fallen to 36% favorable to 46% unfavorable.

In a show of how deeply their support for the president runs, 41% of these registered Republicans say they feel more allegiance to Trump than to the Republican Party. Forty-three percent say they feel more allegiance to the party, and 16% are unsure.

Those younger than 35 tend to align more with the party (49%) than the president (36%). The same is true for those with a college degree (51%-37%), those reporting incomes of $100,000 or more (52%-39%), residents of the 4th Congressional District (49%-39%) and moderates (55%-31%).

More likely to align with the president than the party are those who describe themselves as very conservative (52%-34%). And 46% of evangelicals feel more allegiance to the president, while 41% are more committed to the party.

Vice President Mike Pence is nearly as popular as the president: He is viewed favorably by 82% of these registered Republicans.

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About this poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted November 8-13, 2019, for The Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. Of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 500 registered voters in Iowa who say they will definitely or probably attend the 2020 Democratic caucuses and 502 registered Republicans who are not planning to participate in the Democratic caucuses.

Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted 2,012 randomly selected active voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list by telephone. The sample was supplemented with additional phone number lookups. Interviews were administered in English. Responses for all contacts were adjusted by age and congressional district to reflect their proportions among active voters in the list. For the registered Republican sample, responses for the 533 registered Republican contacts were adjusted by age and congressional district to reflect their proportions among active registered Republicans in the voter registration list.

Questions based on the sample of 500 voters likely to attend the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, as does the sample of 502 registered Republicans. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the true population value by more than plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. Results based on smaller samples of respondents — such as by gender or age — have a larger margin of error.

Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom is prohibited.

© Copyright 2019, Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.

Read our methodology

Des Moines Register reporter Robin Opsahl contributed to this report.

Brianne Pfannenstiel is the chief politics reporter for the Register. Reach her at [email protected] or 515-284-8244. Follow her on Twitter at @brianneDMR.

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