President Trump is steadily losing the support of his rural base, with just 47 percent of people in "non-metro" areas approving of the president in September, and 47 percent more disapproving. Those numbers are down from his first four weeks in office, when 55 percent of rural voters supported Trump and 39 percent disapproved, a Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll shows. In the election, rural Americans supported Trump over Hillary Clinton by 26 points.
"Every president makes mistakes," said one of the poll's respondents, John Wilson, 70. "But if you add one on top of one, on top of another one, on top of another, there's just a limit."
Reuters finds several causes for rural voters' disappointment:
Rural Americans were increasingly unhappy with Trump's handling of health care in March and April after he lobbied for a Republican plan to overhaul ObamaCare and cut coverage for millions of Americans.
In May and June, they were more critical of Trump's ability to carry out U.S. foreign policy, and they gave him lower marks for "the way he treats people like me."
In August, they were increasingly unhappy with "the effort he's making to unify the country" after he blamed "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a suspected white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators. [Reuters]
"Rural people are more cynical about the federal government than people in general are," explained Karl Stauber, the owner of an economic development agency in Virginia. "They've heard so many promises, and they've not seen much done."
Reuters combined rural respondents' results over a four-week period in September, with between 1,300 and 2,000 responses per poll, each with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points. Read the full results here.