Support for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in the all-important battleground state of Iowa is slipping, leaving the state’s progressive leadership feeling confident entering the new year.
Despite unemployment falling from just under 4 percent to roughly 3 percent since Trump’s inauguration and the legislative momentum resulting from the recent GOP tax reform victory, fully 60 percent of Iowans disapprove of Trump’s performance, and only 34 percent said they plan to support Republicans for Congress in 2018, according to a year-end poll conducted by Des Moines-based Selzer and Co.
“If Trump were to run again, he’d be in deep trouble,” Janet Petersen, the leader of Iowa’s Senate Democrats, told The Washington Post. “A dog bites you the first time, it’s not your fault. The second time it bites you, it’s your own damn fault.”
Democratic victories in two of Iowa’s three special elections since Trump took office have compounded liberal confidence going into 2018. In perhaps the most notable victory, Democrats captured a state House seat in a southeast Iowa district that Trump won by more than 20 points. The only special state Senate election Democrats lost occurred in such a solidly red district that Democrats did not bother to run a candidate there in 2010 or 2014.
“They’ve picked good candidates, and there may have been a complacency factor on the part of Republicans,” Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann told WaPo. “I see that Senate race as a wake-up call.”
Democratic leadership in the state is confident that the recently-signed tax reform bill will drive even more Iowans into the arms of Democrats as resentment builds among working class voters over substantial tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest individuals. Republicans maintain the opposite point of view; namely, that a combination of strong economic growth and reduced taxes for people in all income brackets will give the party momentum.
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