South still supports Trump, but base of disapproval is also steady
NBC News|SurveyMonkey polled voters and residents in 11 states across the South, but the data comes during a particularly interesting time for Mississippi, which is in the middle of a hotly contested governor’s race.
President Donald Trump arrives at a "Make America Great Again" rally at Landers Center in Southaven, Miss. on Oct. 2, 2018.Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images file
Breaking News Emails
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
That's a slight uptick from the 45 percent who disapproved of the president in the July poll. The new poll found that 52 percent approve of the president's work.
茄枝视频But support for impeachment in the region does not mirror that disapproval number. Only 44 percent said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 54 percent opposed it.
茄枝视频NBC News|SurveyMonkey polled voters and residents in 11 states across the South, but the data comes during a particularly interesting time for Mississippi, which is in the midst of a hotly contested governor’s race.
The president is to help campaign for the Republican nominee, Tate Reeves, the state's lieutenant governor. Donald Trump Jr. also joined Reeves at several events over the weekend.
茄枝视频Reeves — who has closely tied his campaign to Trump and his family — has struggled against the Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Jim Hood, in a race that would be a layup for most Republicans in the deeply red state.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
茄枝视频It’s particularly noteworthy as the current governor, Phil Bryant, a Republican, maintains an approval rating of 69 percent.
茄枝视频Nevertheless, polls throughout the race have shown Hood, the only statewide elected Democrat in Mississippi, remaining close to Reeves.
The new poll comes two weeks before the Nov. 5 election. Reeves has and holds a single-digit lead, 47 percent to Hood’s 40 percent, well outside the nearly 2-percentage-point margin of error.
茄枝视频The Reeves campaign did not respond to requests for comment. The Hood campaign declined to comment.
茄枝视频Trump’s presence could give Reeves a needed boost: Forty-one percent of Mississippians said the president’s endorsement would play an important factor in who they decide to vote for in November.
Reeves’ campaign is banking on that.
茄枝视频“There’s no doubt that conservatives are rallying behind our efforts,” Reeves said at a press event NBC News attended on Wednesday.
“Obviously, President Trump [and] Vice President Pence’s involvement in our campaign is helpful. With respect to that, we’re honored to have the president coming to Mississippi in the next 10 days.”
茄枝视频But Mississippians also hunger for policy answers at a time when the state has seen its economic growth sputter and stop at or below about 2 percent every year since the recession, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
茄枝视频On Wednesday, however, Reeves insisted that taxes were not the answer but provided few proposed solutions himself.
“We believe you know how to spend your money better than any government entity ever will,” he said next to a sign that listed the cost of Hood’s policy proposals, which includes expanding Medicaid, providing statewide pre-K and increasing teacher pay and education funding.
The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Southern Regional Poll was conducted online from Oct. 8 to Oct. 22, 2019. Results are among a regional sample of 9,050 adults aged 18 and over, including 7,905 registered voters. The regional sample includes respondents who live in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas or Virginia. The error estimate for registered voters is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.
Phil McCausland is an NBC News reporter focused on the rural-urban divide.