As one Iowa voter put it succinctly: "It just seems like it’s one big mess."
Whatever siren song Donald Trump was singing to white working class voters during the 2016 campaign, it's no longer working, as shown by the steady erosion of support from his base.
Already the least popular first-year president in modern American history, Trump is now losing large chunks of white heartland voters, as indicated in a new Des Moines Register poll of Iowa voters.
Trump's approval rating in Iowa has tumbled nine points since the last Register poll was conducted in July, and now stands at a paltry 35 percent. That's an astonishing drop for somebody who has been in office less than one year, especially considering Trump won Iowa by ten points in the 2016 election.
"It just seems like it’s one big mess," said Iowa poll respondent Nick Ford, a Navy veteran and Cedar Rapids businessman who identifies himself a political independent.
Trump "seems overwhelmed by the task," Ford added.
The Register noted that "69 percent of women, 68 percent of Iowans making less than $50,000 a year, 67 percent of city-dwellers and 62 percent of independents disapprove of his performance."
The Iowa poll was taken before accused child molester Roy Moore lost his Senate race in Alabama, despite Trump's very open and enthusiastic endorsement. It was a move that was widely seen as reckless and only adding to Trump's low level of public appeal.
Nationally, the numbers are getting even uglier for Trump, as polling expert Nate Silver noted on Thursday:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 13, 2017
Part of that profound slump comes from the fact that women across the country are sprinting away from Trump. Just 25 percent of women voters approve of his performance in office.
And even some hardcore Trump followers are backing off.
According to a recent Pew poll, Trump’s approval rating among white evangelical Protestants dropped 17 percentage points from February to December, down from 78 percent to 61 percent. Last year, Trump won 81 percent of white evangelical voters.
Even Fox News viewers have cooled toward him. In January, a Suffolk University poll found that people who watched a lot of Fox News had a 90 percent favorable view of Trump. Today, that figure stands at 58 percent — a drop of 32 points.
Trump's first year in the White House has been a colossal failure, and that message is finally getting through to the voters who helped him get there.