After the failures of Trumpcare and eleven months of legislative failures and broken promises, it seems like finally the Trump regime honeymoon may be over for Ohio.
Outside the Morgan County fair in McConnelsville, in a rural swath of Ohio that fervently backed U.S. President Donald Trump in last year’s election, ticket seller John Wilson quietly counts off a handful of disappointments with the man he helped elect.
The 70-year-old retired banker said he is unhappy with infighting and turnover in the White House. He does not like Trump’s penchant for traveling to his personal golf resorts. He wishes the president would do more to fix the healthcare system, and he worries that Trump might back down from his promise to force illegal immigrants out of the country.
“Every president makes mistakes,” Wilson said. “But if you add one on top of one, on top of another one, on top of another, there’s just a limit.”
Trump, who inspired millions of supporters last year in places like Morgan County, has been losing his grip on rural America.
According to the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll, the Republican president’s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities where 15 percent of the country’s population lives. The poll of more than 15,000 adults in “non-metro” areas shows that they are now as likely to disapprove of Trump as they are to approve of him.
In September, 47 percent of people in non-metro areas approved of Trump while 47 percent disapproved. That is down from Trump’s first four weeks in office, when 55 percent said they approved of the president while 39 percent disapproved.
The poll found that Trump has lost support in rural areas among men, whites and people who never went to college. He lost support with rural Republicans and rural voters who supported him on Election Day.
And while Trump still gets relatively high marks in the poll for his handling of the economy and national security, rural Americans are increasingly unhappy with Trump’s record on immigration, a central part of his presidential campaign.
Forty-seven percent of rural Americans said in September they approved of the president’s handling of immigration, down from 56 percent during his first month in office.
Morgan County is in southeast Ohio, just west of where Interstate 77 comes up from West Virginia into Cleveland. There's nothing there, whole county has maybe 16,000 people on a good day. Trump won the county by 41 points last year.
For Trump now to be reduced to breaking even here is saying something. I know, they're mad at him for not building the wall yet and for not conducting mass deportations, for not destroying Obamacare and for not keeping his promises. He hasn't gone far enough, he hasn't gotten things done, and he's running out of time.
There's no real danger of these folks suddenly turning out for Bernie or Kamala Harris or Liz Warren, but there is danger of them not showing up in 2018. I'm okay with that.
But it also makes me very worried about what Trump will do in order to keep power.