We travel to the heart of Trump country to hear what his supporters say about his performance.
President Donald Trump’s national poll numbers are taking a beating but Trump voters in southern Ohio are standing by him, though some of them wish the president would be less combative and knock off all the tweeting.
A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,987 registered voters released Wednesday shows 39 percent approve of the job Trump is doing while 56 percent disapprove, "putting him 17 points underwater — the worst net rating he's posted since taking office." For more information on the poll, click here.
But the poll also found that among Trump voters, 80 percent still back him. Interviews with voters this week in southern Ohio — a region that was a key factor in Trump’s decisive win over Democrat Hillary Clinton last November — bore out that result.
Here is what some of those voters say about the president’s performance:
John Leasure, Portsmouth: "If you look at the totality of it, if only he has dismantled some of Barack Obama's executive orders that go against the concept of a shared government, then I think he has done a lot…I really didn't expect him to get as much done as he has."
Leasure, who is on disability retirement after working for county government, supports how Trump responded to the violence in Charlottesville: “I think there was a media-induced blow up. I sat there watching the video on my television set, thinking ‘Why do both sides have helmets and clubs?’”
Richard Throckmorton, of Lucasville: "He is trying to work on Obamacare. This has really affected us financially." Throckmorton, a retired carpenter, said he has to sell produce at a local farmer's market to raise cash to pay medical expenses not covered by Medicare.
Throckmorton, though, said the president and Congress need to work harder to get along.
Amy Baise, of Chesapeake, said her advice to the president is "Stop tweeting."
Alicia Kight, of Portsmouth: "I think he's doing a good job. I don't think there has been enough time to really see yet. I think he needs a little bit more time in office. But I think he has been trying to uphold what he said in his campaign." Kight's advice? "Maybe to filter a little bit more. He likes to just say what's on his mind and I think that's good to some extent but you also don't want to offend people either."
Henry Miller, of Portsmouth: "If he succeeds in getting the tax laws passed, getting the Obamacare reversed and builds that wall and stops the immigration thing, he'll go down as one of the greatest presidents of the 21st century."
Miller said the president faces “too much flak” from every corner and he’s too thin skinned. But he defended how Trump handled Charlottesville. “First of all, there was nothing there. It was much ado about nothing. I mean, to call him a racist and anti-women and all this stuff, transgender, it’s all crap.”
Laura Bischoff is our Columbus bureau reporter and covers politics and state government. She keeps a close eye on elected leaders, public employees and taxpayer money. Bischoff tries to write stories that inform voters, hold leaders accountable and strengthen democracy.