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Trump Gains Ground Among Key Voting Bloc

Favorability Evenly Split Among Those Surveyed
October 24, 2018


RALEIGH, N.C. – In an early release of Civitas’ pre-election statewide poll, President Trump’s job approval rating has improved since September. When respondents were asked what they thought about the job Donald Trump is doing as president, 48 percent stated they approve, while 47 percent disapprove, and 4 percent were unsure or refused.

10/21/18 9/7/18
Strongly approve 37% 31%
Somewhat approve 11% 14%
Somewhat disapprove 9% 8%
Strongly disapprove 38% 45%
Unsure/Refused 4% 2%
Total Approve 48% 45%
Total Disapprove 47% 53%

“President Trump has said that the 2018 midterm elections are a referendum on him, and that might be true,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “However, if this year’s elections are a referendum on the Trump presidency, then numbers are breaking at the right time for Republicans as President Trump’s job approval among Republicans is higher than disapproval among Democrats. More tellingly, unaffiliated voters have shifted from a net disapproval in our August and September polls, to a net approval of nearly 17 percent.”

Likely voters were also asked about their opinion of the president. The results revealed an even split among those surveyed. Three percent were unsure or refused.

Very favorable 36%
Somewhat favorable 10%
Very unfavorable 40%
Somewhat unfavorable 6%
Heard of him, but have no opinion 5%
Never heard of him 0%
Unsure/Refused 3%
Total Favorable 46%
Total Unfavorable 46%

Bryson continued, “To be clear, the President’s favorability and job approval ratings are not a net positive.  However, they aren’t a net negative either, and a nationalized negative referendum on the Trump Presidency is critical to a blue wave on November 6.”

Nationwide public opinion about the president has largely been underwater for most of his presidency. However, according to RealClearPolitics, the favorable/unfavorable gap started closing in February and has remained relatively steady since. Trump carried North Carolina by 3.6 percent in the 2016 election and according to a June publication in FiveThirtyEight his net approval in the state has remained above water, although only slightly.

The sample size for the survey is 500 likely voters in North Carolina and the margin of error is +/- 4.4%. Responses were gathered via landline and mobile telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. The survey was conducted October 18-21, 2018 by Harper Polling. The total percentages of responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.

For questions, or to arrange an interview, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

Civitas has conducted live-caller voting in North Carolina since May 2005, and we are the only public policy organization offering statewide independent, nonpartisan data on a regular basis. Our polls have provided vital insights on what North Carolina voters think of the leaders and issues facing the state and nation.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization committed to advancing conservative ideas and shrinking the size of government. Civitas fights to eliminate government barriers to freedom so that North Carolinians can live a better life.

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