After losing Minnesota by a slender 1.5 percent in 2016, President Donald Trump has bragged loud and hard that he'll carry our fair state next year. Unfortunately for him, the more Minnesotans get to know him, the more they dislike him.
That's the finding of Morning Consult, which does monthly surveys of presidential approval rates across the country. Since his inauguration, polling now shows that Trump's standing in Minnesota has plunged by 18 percent. If an election were held today, he'd lose in a landslide.
The poll doesn't go into why people feel this way, so one can only speculate why his fandom among independents and moderate Republicans is diving.
Perhaps the best theory is that a uniquely loathsome man, left to his own devices, is bound to drive people away the more they witness him in action. After two and a half years in office, even the most superficial voters can't help but see the dysfunction and ineptitude.
Then come the issues more pertinent to Minnesota, like his repeated attacks on immigrants, women, and congress members of color. As Vox noted during his assaults on Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, “race-baiting doesn't particularly play well in Minnesota.”
An even bigger problem may be Trump's trade war with China, which is delivering misery upon his greatest devotees in farm country. Though he's tried to claim China is paying for the tariffs, they're actually just a tax on imported goods, in which the average American family is expected to pay an additional $831 this year.
Even worse for farmers: China has retaliated by saying it will no longer import American ag products, meaning Trump has driven away their biggest customer, which accounted for $9.2 billion in sales last year.
He's tried to remedy the pain with a series of giant welfare packages, but most of that has gone to large corporate farmers, as you may have guessed.
The resulting animus is clear in our more farm-driven neighbors. In North Dakota, Trump's support is down 18 percent since his inauguration. In South Dakota and Iowa: -11 percent.
He's also plunging in states like Pennsylvania (-8 percent) and Michigan (-11 percent). Even in Wisconsin, which threatened to go full Mississippi not long ago, the president has dropped by 14 percent.
Polling is obviously imperfect. During the last election, Trump's support was hidden by people unwilling to publicly admit they'd vote for him. And with the vote more than a year away, Americans are fickle enough to elect Kid Rock as our new leading man by 2020.
But for the time being, the president is tanking.