Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Looking at the Morning Consult state-by-state poll numbers, there are a few interesting things to observe from the Electoral College perspective. Here are some of them:

Trump has a lower approval number in Michigan (a state he won by 10,000 votes), than he does in Colorado (which he lost by 136,000).

He’s polling worse in Arizona (+91,000) than he is in Pennsylvania (-44,000).

The results in Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Virginia are all about the same, despite the wide variance in the results in those states last November. Iowa is the outlier here, since Trump won the state decisively.

While he’s still net positive, he’s below 50 percent approval in Missouri, Montana, Indiana, Nebraska, Georgia and Florida.

His five best states are Wyoming, West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, in that order.

The six states with the closest approval/disapproval numbers are Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia. It’s hard to see much distinction between them, but he’s near parity in the three formerly Confederate states. He’s barely negative in North Carolina and barely positive in Georgia and Florida.

There’s nothing too surprising in the results, but if I were Trump I would be concerned about why Iowa doesn’t look better, and also about the prospect that Arizona might be slipping into the blue camp. Other than that, I’d worry that Georgia could be headed into true toss-up territory, since it looks just like Florida. And Florida is so close that an influx of a hundred thousand justifiably angry Puerto Rican refugees might tip the balance to the Democrats. Finally, he needs to take a close look at Michigan and Wisconsin, because they are seeing a little more slippage than Ohio or Pennsylvania.

These numbers are all from September which was, on the whole, a decent month for Trump that saw some uptick in many of his poll results. That’s why I’m less interested in the absolute numbers than in how the states compare to each other and differ from what we’d anticipate considering the election results. While I’ve identified a few states where Trump’s approval looks lower (relative to other states) than I’d expect, what I didn’t find were places where his approval is inexplicably higher. I guess the closest I can come to that is South Carolina, where he’s doing better than in Kansas and Nebraska. I have no real explanation for that, but it might help explain why Lindsey Graham went golfing with Trump yesterday.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at