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Poll: Trump Finds Approval Only In His Hardcore Republican Base

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Poll: Trump Finds Approval Only In His Hardcore Republican Base


Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


Voters who are standing by Donald Trump, led by three-quarters of Republicans, are a defiant but shrinking minority of a national electorate that increasingly sees Trump as a failing political and moral leader, and an untrustworthy and unstable individual.

That’s the takeaway from a national poll of 1,514 people by Quinnipiac University taken after Trump’s embrace of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. The findings are a stunning indictment of a president who cannot readily be removed from office despite deep national misgivings.

“To sum up, the overwhelming majority of Americans thinks he is a lying, divisive hothead who is making race relations much worse,” Jennifer Rubin, a conservative Washington Post columnist, wrote about the survey’s findings. “Trump barely has majority support (52 percent) among his most loyal segment of the electorate (whites with no college education). He has managed to turn off just about everyone else. He knows how to feed his base red meat but not how to earn the respect and confidence of everyone else. Several thousand people in an auditorium in Phoenix [where he held a rally Tuesday], it turns out, bear little resemblance to the country as a whole.”

The fine print in Quinnipiac’s poll reveals not just a stunning indictment of a failing president, but a nation with seemingly irreconcilable divides, where a majority of voters now scorn a president and party backed by a minority of the electorate. Trump (and the GOP) holds the reins of power over a nation where majorities say he’s a disaster.

To start, only 35 percent of voters approve of him—a declining number—while 59 percent disapprove, Quinnipiac found. “Every party, gender, education, age and racial group disapproves except Republicans, who approve 77-to-14 percent; white voters with no college, approving 52-to-40 percent, and white men, who approve by a narrow 50-to-46 percent.”

Virtually everyone outside a silo of Trump supporters disapproves of the president, and Quinnipiac cites why.

“Elected on his strength as a deal-maker, but now overwhelmingly considered a divider, President Donald Trump has a big negative job approval rating and low scores on handling racial issues,” said Tim Malloy, the poll’s assistant director, in its summary.

Here are the numbers:

  • Sixty percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s response to Charlottesville.
  • Fifty-nine percent say his decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacists. (Sixty-four percent say white supremacists pose a threat to the country.)
  • Sixty-five percent say the level of hatred and prejudice have increased under Trump.
  • Sixty-three percent disapprove of the way Trump is handling race relations.
  • Sixty percent say he doesn’t care about minorities (including 52 percent of whites).
  • Sixty-one percent say he is not honest.
  • Sixty-one percent say he does not have good leadership skills.
  • Fifty-seven percent say he does not care about average Americans.
  • Sixty-eight percent say he is not level headed.
  • Sixty-three percent say he does not share their values.
  • Sixty-nine percent say he should stop tweeting from his personal account.

The Quinnipiac poll had some intriguing contrasts, comparing, for example, the media coverage of Trump and his hypercritical view of most media.

“American voters disapprove 55-to-40 percent of the way the news media covers Trump, and disapprove 62-to-35 percent of the way the president talks about the media,” the summary said. “Voters trust the media more than Trump 54-to-36 percent ‘to tell you the truth about important issues.’”

Another partisan comparison pitted the progressive concern of combating racial injustice with the right-wing concern of combating what it calls political correctness. “There is too much prejudice in the nation today, 55 percent of American voters say, while 40 percent say there is too much political correctness, the widest margin for prejudice since the question first was asked in June 2016,” the poll summary said.

In contrast, the percentage of voters taking pro-Trump positions, or rejecting negative characterizations, was in low-to-mid 30s. Quinnipiac’s report began, “President Donald Trump is doing more to divide the country, 62 percent of voters say, while 31 percent say he is doing more to unite the country, his worst score on this question.”

“The Quinnipiac poll confirms that most Americans haven’t lost their minds or their consciences,” WaPo’s Rubin writes. “Trump cannot operate off script without losing his cool and revealing his ignorance; his moments of restraint never last long. When he reads other people’s words and expresses sentiments not his own his delivery is flat and stilted. Only when he is in full rage-mode does he become animated. He must distract and attack lest the focus fall on him and his lack of accomplishments.”

She concludes, “Don’t expect him to improve. Failure begets more rage, which begets greater rejection by the public. It would be pathetic if it were not petrifying.”

Where does Quinnipiac’s national snapshot and analyses like Rubin’s leave the country? Speaking broadly, in volatile, uncharted waters. More concretely, the U.S. is led by a president and a party that does not have the support of a majority of Americans. And there’s no quick way to remedy this situation, as Trump’s supporters circle their proverbial wagons while the rest of America looks on with disgust and disappointment.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).



  1. idamag August 26, 2017

    The dumbing down of America was accelerated by social media, cable television and making education harder to obtain. The driving force behind the entire thing is love of money. When the FCC was deregulated to allow lies to be broadcast as “freedom of speech.” and Fair and Balanced was scrapped, it produced a new breed of politician, such as trump. Money, the driving force can pay for huge ads and lies. The Bible says, one cannot worship God and mammon. Yet, they sit in their mega churches that cost billions and take their religion to be watered once or twice a week. They only know one or two things that might be in the Bible. They left that church on Sunday and voted for a man, who was amoral on Tuesday.

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 26, 2017

      Like you, I find the hypocrisy of those who go to church and act in a manner opposite the Teachings of Jesus, troubling. It strains every ounce of credulity that the same people who dutifully, like robots, will attend church w/o missing a beat, then leave that very same Sunday and root for Trump, and approve of racism, as was the norm in the 50’s, 60’s, up to the present.

      1. idamag August 26, 2017

        They sit in church and sing “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow and it doesn’t bother them that trump bragged about assaulting women. It doesn’t bother them that he stepped out on two of his wives and probably the third. It doesn’t bother them that he took out bankruptcy 6 times to get out of paying those who did work for him. Those, he cheated, still had to pay the people that worked for them and pay for materials. It doesn’t bother them that he has been in several lawsuits and settled out of court. It doesn’t bother them that, with the help of Russia and Brietbart, he tried to rig the election. The only thing that seems to bother them is Gay Marriage and abortions and if they were to find out trump is Gay and planning on marrying pence as soon as their divorces are final, Gay marriage wouldn’t bother them anymore. If they found out trump paid for several abortions, they would accept that, too. Whenever anyone brags about being a Christian I don’t believe they even know who Christ is.

        1. Independent1 August 26, 2017

          If only more of those fake christians you’re describing could see this cartoon by Toles which puts into pictures a lot of what you were saying; and really have them understand what the cartoon is saying, so they would take fully to heart just where their acceptance of Trump and the GOP is setting them up to go – to an eternity in Hell.


        2. dtgraham August 27, 2017

          This one and your earlier post. Two of the better ones that I’ve ever read — from anyone.

        3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 27, 2017

          You understand all too well the mass hypocrisy which has defined Trump supporters—clerics and lay people alike.
          This, as you well discern, is the Achilles Heel of Conservatives, of Trump, and his base. We need to exploit this weakness in a calm and deliberate manner, using convincing logic and with respect for those who, as Jesus lamented on the Cross, “…know not what they do”, or say.

    2. plc97477 August 28, 2017

      I would like to add air and water pollution has also helped in the dumbing down of America.

      1. idamag August 28, 2017

        Studies on lead in water would bear that out.

  2. Lynda Groom August 26, 2017

    Hero worship is never a good idea, and in particular the worship of political figures. The cult of Trump will continue up too and until the worshippers begin to feel the pain of Trump’s policies.

  3. FireBaron August 26, 2017

    Of course, if he heard those numbers he would go on a Twitter rant to denounce QU as a fake institution holding fake polls.

    1. RLRPrior August 27, 2017

      Google “Various approval & opinion polls” – & you will denounce the President’s strong approval rating – despite the fact that 45% of respondents were WaPo readers.

  4. yabbed August 27, 2017

    Trump is in harmony with the racist haters, the misogynists, the white supremacists. They are who he is.

  5. Richard Prescott August 27, 2017

    He claimed the Dems were bussing people in and paying them at “attend” stuff, like protests.
    Well just look who seems to be always behind him at his “rallies”. Pretty much the same people, and I would be they were paid to be there as they cheer him on no matter what he says.
    He is so narcissistic he would speak to a set of mirrors and claim the hugest crowds ever.

  6. Peter Dagreat August 27, 2017

    I think we are neglecting to acknowledge the real issue: white disenfranchisement.
    Lots of these folks who are now disapproving of Trump are doing so because they no longer believe him capable of delivering the goods. But they still believe in his divisionist, supremacist ideology. If a more astute, more conniving figure were to rise he/she would get the same amount of support, perhaps even more so.

    We haven’t turned the corner on Jim Crow yet. Until the baby boomer generation goes away it is a problem we will have to face.

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 27, 2017

      Unfortunately, those baby-boomers who’ve wholeheartedly endorsed racialist ideology have passed on this “genetic” degenerate component to their offspring.
      Many of whom are now enlisting to become loyal subscribers to White Nationalism.
      The problem can be more effectively treated by educating these youth, and young children, of the falsehood of Race Supremacy, and interacting with them by exposing them regularly to enlighten them about humanity’s true nature.

      “O CHILDREN OF MEN! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.”

      This aphorism from Baha’u’llah’s “The Hidden Words” is descriptive of a cornerstone of His “The Baha’i Faith”, a continuation of the paradigm of “Progressive Revelation”, which was formally announced in the garden of Ridvan in Baghdad, Iraq, in April of 1863. (www.bahai.org)

    2. dpaano August 28, 2017

      Hey, I’m a baby boomer, and I have friends who are also baby boomers….we do NOT all agree with racism. I don’t think you can honestly say that one particular group is more racist than another. If so, it would be the southerners who are the most racist…..and it has nothing to do with age….it has to do with their culture in the south.

  7. Lynda Groom August 27, 2017

    Birds of a feather and all that…

  8. dpaano August 28, 2017

    Unfortunately, Trump has never realized that he was elected president to ALL of this nation….not just his small percentage of rabid followers. Until he learns that he needs to “unite” all of us rather than divide, he will never be re-elected (thanks goodness). As they say, it will take Democrats years to undo all the evil that he has unleashed on this nation!

  9. Buford2k11 August 28, 2017

    trump seems to be dragging this nation to some kind of internal strife…he is arming up the police, who seem to be a varied collection of folks…he is prodding his nazi and bigot supporters to become violent….his statements from Charlottesville was his call to arms for his nazi supporters…trump is setting up to become the violent dictator he so admires…if we get to vote in 2018, I will be surprised…I tell my democrat friends to arm up, and be ready….we are going to have to defend our democracy from this trump dictatorship…

    1. JPHALL August 28, 2017

      The American military will never stand for his fascism.


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