Unemployment in Iowa, under 4 percent when President Donald Trump won the state in 2016, fell to 3 percent. Iowa’s Republican congressional delegation voted for the GOP tax reform bill with no protests from their constituents. After all, Iowans subtract their federal income taxes from their state income taxes, a tax bonus they share with only five other states.
But despite the favorable results for Iowans, the end-of-year Iowa Poll found President Trump garnering only 35 percent approval in the state. The poll conducted by Selzer and Company at the end of the year, showed only 34 percent of Iowans said they plan to vote Republican for Congress in 2018. Meanwhile, 61 percent said politics in general sickens them.
The disconnect between seeming economic prosperity and Iowan’s distaste for Trump baffled both parties. Why Iowa turned against Trump and Republicans after 2016 is a puzzle both parties want solved before the 2018 midterm elections.
Republicans took legislative control in Iowa in 2016. They advanced the actions they promised voters during the campaign process. Iowa’s legislature pushed through tax cuts, passed labor rules requiring unions to hold fresh elections and maintained a privatized version of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.
Conservative groups saw it as a strong start to their Iowa agenda. They suggest polling that reflects a souring of moods towards Republicans will fade as the effect of the policies becomes apparent.
“You’ve got record consumer activity. The market is high. Job growth numbers are impressive,” said Drew Klein, Iowa director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
Now, if you ask somebody, ‘Is this something you feel?,’ they might say no. But this is stuff that affects them down the line.”
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