Trump is stronger than national polls suggest

Trump’s approval rating is 45 percent, an underwater mark previously unseen for a president this early in his first term. But Trump’s image and his policies are holding up just fine among voters in Republican districts and states key to the president’s ability to drive his agenda through Congress, and his party’s success in 2018.

“The bad news for you and your colleagues is that writing about the national numbers in this environment is a useless exercise,” said David Carney, a veteran Republican operative in New Hampshire who has advised presidential candidates. “People are arguing over Super Bowl ads, the country is divided.”

While his national numbers aren’t good, Trump is much stronger in the states that could decide the outcome of the midterm elections, according to Republican operatives who have reviewed polling produced since New Year’s Day. For now, that suggests Democrats are less likely to benefit from the president’s struggles nationally than has been the case in past election cycles.