Part of the current conventional wisdom is that the president’s popularity, and his party’s midterm prospects, have been steadily improving of late. To some extent, new state-by-state surveys from Morning Consult (taken last month) reinforce that narrative, showing Trump’s national net approval rating improving since November by four points, with particularly notable recent gains in Nevada, Michigan, and Florida. And as is always the case (Morning Consult gave Trump an overall approval ratio of 49/39 in January of 2017, far better than any other pollster this side of Rasmussen), this firm showed Trump in better shape in more states than a recent 2017 state-by-state survey from Gallup.
At present, Morning Consult shows Trump’s net approval rating as positive in 21 states (not including any carried by Hillary Clinton), negative in 28 states (including 8 Trump carried), and even in 1 state. But to be clear about it, even this relatively sunny poll shows Trump losing ground in popularity during the course of his presidency. Comparing his approval ratings in all 50 states between January 2017 and January 2018, Morning Consult shows the positive number dropping in 49 states — all but Alabama (where it rose from 62 percent to 63 percent). In terms of net approval ratings, Alabama joins the rest of the union in showing erosion for Trump between the Januaries. Notably dramatic drops in net approval ratings occurred in Arizona (plus 20 to minus 3), Illinois (plus 9 to minus 21), Montana (plus 24 to even), New York (plus 8 to minus 18), and Ohio (plus 14 to minus 4).
The bottom line is that if you look selectively at polling data, you can show pretty much any trend you want, including one that looks very good for Trump and his party. But it’s his entire presidency that voters will be judging in November and two years after that, and Trump has a long way to go to get back to where he was when he first took office. And even then, he was less popular than any newly inaugurated president in the history of polling.