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Iowans disapprove of Trump, but Iowa Republicans in Congress keep voting for his policies


President Donald Trump points at the press area in the U.S. Cellular Center during one of several digs at the media. Wednesday, June 21, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

A majority of Iowans disapproved of President Trump’s actions during his first year in office, according to a new analysis by Gallup. But that didn’t stop any of the Republicans who represent the state in Congress from voting with Trump more than 90 percent of the time.

Gallup’s new report on Trump’s approval ratings was released on Tuesday, just hours before the State of the Union address. The report documented Trump’s average job approval and disapproval ratings for each state during 2017.

In Iowa, Gallup found Trump averaged a 43 percent approval rate in 2017. His average disapproval rate was 51 percent. That represents a considerable decline for Trump from the 2016 election, in which he won the state with 51.1 percent of the vote.

Although a majority of Iowans disapproved of Trump’s actions, his Iowa numbers were still above the national average. According to Gallup, Trump’s nationwide approval rating for 2017 was only 38 percent. His disapproval rate was 56 percent.

There were only 12 states that gave Trump an average approval rating of 50 percent or higher during his first year in office. In contrast, 41 states gave President Obama an average approval rating above 50 percent during his first year in office. Obama’s national average approval rating for his first year was 57 percent.

West Virginia gave Trump his highest average approval rating, 61 percent, and Vermont gave Trump his lowest among the states, 28 percent. Trump’s approval rating in the District of Columbia was even lower, 6 percent.

Despite such strong disapproval for Trump’s presidency at both the state and national levels, the Republicans in Iowa’s Congressional delegation have been among Trump’s most loyal supporters when it comes time to vote.

The data journalism site 538 has been tracking the voting patterns of members of Congress to determine how often each member votes in accordance with Trump’s stated position on piece of legislation. Rep. David Young, who represents Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, has the most pro-Trump voting record in Iowa’s D.C. delegation.

Young has voted with Trump 98.9 percent of the time. That’s even more than Rep. Steve King, one of Trump’s most vocal supporters. King has taken Trump’s position on 95.1 percent of his votes. Rep. Rod Blum, whose district includes Cedar Rapids, has a pro-Trump voting percentage of 92.2.

Only 26.6 percent of the votes cast by Iowa’s lone Democrat in the House of Representatives, Dave Loebsack, matched Trump’s positions.

In the Senate, Chuck Grassley’s pro-Trump voting percentage was 93.5. Sen. Joni Ernst’s was 91.9.

Ernst was mildly critical of Trump during a town hall meeting in Boone earlier this month. Appearing shortly after it was reported Trump called African nations “shithole countries,” Ernst told the audience, “I don’t appreciate the rhetoric.” She added, “What I can say is that I do support some of the policies that we’re working on.”

A day earlier at a town hall in her hometown of Red Oak, the audience burst into laughter when Ernst tried to convince them Trump is well-respected internationally.


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