By Jim Ellis
Jan. 9, 2020 — The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy company surveyed the Georgia electorate to test President Donald Trump’s approval rating after being impeached in the House and, as in several other places, his Peach State standing appears slightly better today than it was in the previous year.
Georgia is a critical part of the Trump coalition and one of five base states that must support him if he is to have the necessary vote footing to again win an Electoral College majority. Arizona, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina are the other four entities that voted for the president in close margins back in 2016, are clearly politically competitive today, and must go his way again in 2020.
The Mason-Dixon poll (Dec. 19-23; 625 registered Georgia voters; live interviews) finds the president’s approval ratio within the Georgia respondent group to be 50:46 percent favorable to unfavorable despite being his impeachment. The last time M-D conducted a similar poll, in February of 2018, Trump’s approval index stood at 50:50 percent.
To put his Georgia numbers in perspective, the president’s job approval rating nationally is habitually upside-down. Such is the case today, as the latest daily job approval scores post the president at 40:55 percent (Morning Consult; Jan. 6-7; 2,038 US adults), 48:50 percent (Rasmussen Reports; Jan. 2-6; 1,500 likely US voters), and 44:54 percent (YouGov; Jan. 4-6; 731 registered US voters) positive to negative.
The encouraging Georgia statistical news for Trump is even more significant when considering that the state’s African-American population has outpaced the national black growth rate. It is well known that the African-American segment is the Democratic bedrock vote with near unanimous levels of support for the party’s candidates. The fact that Trump has improved in the face of impeachment and a growing black population means that his standing in Georgia is about as strong as could reasonably be expected considering the tall obstacles before him.
Nationally, the non-Hispanic black population grew 13.1 percent during the period from April 1, 2010 to the latest Census estimate numbers being released last week with an ending period of July 1, 2019. In Georgia, however, the non-Hispanic black number rose 16.4 percent during the same time segment. Overall, the non-Hispanic black population segment figure nationally stands at 13.4 percent. Turning to Georgia, the non-Hispanic black share has increased to 32.4 percent. The state’s black population ranks second in the country in raw number and third in population percentage.
Mason-Dixon then asked the respondents if they favored removing President Trump from office since he has been impeached. By a 41:54 percent majority (yes vs. no), the Georgia sampling universe opposes removal.
From an electoral standpoint, the removal question totals again put the president in good position. Geographically, he breaks even (47:47 percent) on the removal issue in his weakest region, the Atlanta Metro area. He is strongest in North Georgia where the removal opposition ratio is a whopping 29:67 percent. The question scores 34:61 percent in Central Georgia and 37:60 percent against removal in South Georgia.
There is also a large discrepancy between men and women on this question. Women oppose removal in only a 46:49 percent ratio while men are overwhelmingly opposed, 35:60 percent. The black/white responses to the removal query are virtually reversed. Blacks support removal from office in a 78:18 percent clip, while white respondents oppose, 23:72 percent.
This poll obviously does not test President Trump against any particular Democratic presidential candidate, nor does it test the generic party response. While it is much too early for polling numbers to be a legitimate predictor as to how individuals will eventually vote in the November presidential election, this particular Georgia poll gives the president and the Trump campaign staff some welcome positive news.