Winthrop Poll: Trump’s approval numbers more than twice as high as Congress

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

ROCK HILL, SC – President Donald Trump’s approval rating of 43 percent has remained steady in South Carolina for the past two months, according to the latest Winthrop Poll.

The poll also says his approval numbers in South Carolina continue to be a few points higher than his national average.

The 45th president has a disapproval rating of 47 percent among Palmetto State citizens. An earlier Winthrop Poll in February showed similar ratings.

Trump has strong support within his own party; the president has support from 79 percent of residents who identify GOP or lean Republican.

Trump’s support is more than two and a quarter times higher than that of Congress. Only 19 percent of South Carolina residents approve of the way Congress is handling its job.


Nearly 60 percent of Winthrop Poll respondents said our country is headed in the wrong direction. Yet two thirds of South Carolina residents said our country’s economy is very good or fairly good.

More than half (54 percent) think South Carolina is moving in a positive direction, while 67 percent think the condition of the state’s economy is either very or fairly good. Nearly 54 percent described their own financial situation as good or excellent.

S.C. residents said the most important problem facing our country is politicians/government, followed by racism, jobs/unemployment, then immigration/refugees. Those surveyed said the most important issues facing the Palmetto State are roads/bridges/infrastructure, education, jobs or unemployment, and racism.

When asked if state services, including highway troopers, social workers, mental health experts, and schools, have kept pace with the growth of the Palmetto State, 62% of poll respondents said they somewhat or strongly felt that these services have not kept pace. Only 11% said that they strongly felt that services have kept pace with growth.


S.C. Governor Henry McMaster’s approval rating in South Carolina stands at 47%. However, his approval rating is 25 points higher than his disapproval rating, putting him very much “above water.” McMaster has announced plans to run for governor next year. Elected as the lieutenant governor in 2014, McMaster took over as governor on Jan. 24 after Trump tapped S.C. Governor Nikki Haley to be the United Nations ambassador.

The S.C. General Assembly got an approval nod from 47% of those polled while 38% disapprove of the job they’re doing.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s approval is nearly evenly split among all South Carolinians. He has a 45% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating. His approval among Republicans, and those who lean Republican, stands at just under 50%. The state’s junior senator, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, is much more highly rated among the Republican base. He has a strong 82% approval rating among the GOP. Scott’s popularity among the general public remains high as well, with  60% reporting approval of the job he is doing.

For this latest Winthrop Poll, callers surveyed 878 South Carolina residents by landline and cell phones between April 2-11. Results which use all respondents have a margin of error margin of error of approximately +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence level.


The Winthrop Poll is paid for by Winthrop University with additional support from The West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop University.