Democrats: Beware of Trump. Be Very Aware.
If Democrats think that President Trump’s antics and rash style are softening his support, they better think again. Likely Republican voters are today more tolerant of President Trump’s style and are willing to overlook his impulsive and disruptive behavior, that is such an affront to Democrats.
In a national study of 559 likely voters conducted by Mercury Analytics between July 18 and July 19, Trump supporters showed that they are now more accepting of Donald Trump’s unique, sometimes difficult style and behavior than they were when they first met him “close up” 3 years ago in August 2015, at the first Fox Debate among 9 Republican candidates.
From the perspective of Republicans, President Trump is doing the “big things” they want; Supreme Court nominees, toughening immigration policies, promoting religious freedom, reducing taxes, ending Obamacare, and unleashing business by rolling back excessive regulation. Republicans feel that Trump is challenging decades of unfair trade practices, confronting allies to pay their fair share for defense, shaking up the system and fighting the fights that need to be fought against a broken Washington. His antics, while sometimes upsetting, dwarf in comparison to the good he is doing. A total of 72% of Trump voters feel that “His policy changes have been great – and he should keep the pressure on making changes”, with 27% choosing “His policy changes have been good – but he should try to be a little less extreme and divisive”.
Democrats need to stop acting incredulous and face this reality – Republicans support the President because of what’s he’s doing, despite the way he’s doing it or the words he uses when doing it.
Immediately following the original Fox debate which aired 3 years ago, Mercury executed a moment-to-moment dial-test, using their advanced online dial-test capabilities. This dial-test gathered reactions to the most important exchanges that occurred during the debate from 310 likely voters. Included in the test was a question which Megyn Kelly, then of Fox News, prefaced by stating that Mr. Trump had called women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals”, concluding with the question: “How will you answer the charge … that you are not part of the war on women”.
Now, 3 years later, Mercury repeated the same dial-test among likely voters and found that Mr. Trump’s aggressive, hard-punching style is even more positively rated by Republicans than it was when originally tested 3 years ago.
View the August 3, 2015 dial-test results at: http://masurveys.com/mercury_trump_waronwomen_2015 and the re-test from July 18 to July 19 2018 at: http://masurveys.com/mercury_trump_waronwomen_2018. A combined view showing both dial-tests can be seen at: http://masurveys.com/mercury_trump_waronwomen_combined.
While the overall ratings among Democrats, Independents, Men and Women were largely unchanged, the ratings of Republicans are now 12.2% higher than in 2015, representing a rating’s lift of 23%. When asked about the President’s style specifically, 51% of those who voted for President Trump indicated “His style has been great – and he should keep tweeting and acting his way”, with another 44% indicating that “His style has been ok – but sometimes he is too extreme”.
Among Republicans, the President received strongest support for his handling of terrorism, the economy, jobs & unemployment, our relationship with North Korea, taxes and immigration.
It’s not all good news for the President, however.
With respect to the administration’s handling of Russia, the President does not currently have strong support from Republicans, with only 37% indicating our relationship with Russia is “Being handled well”, while 45% indicate the handling is “Somewhat in the middle” and 18% indicate the relationship is “Being handled poorly”. Among those who voted for the President, only 40% think that our relationship with Russia is “Being handled well”.
Looking towards 2020, a total of 25% of Independent voters who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 are not sure they will vote for him again in 2020; 16% of Independent voters are on the fence with 9% indicating they will probably or definitely not vote for the President come the 2020 elections. A similar 27% of women who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 are also hesitant about voting for him in 2020, with 18% on the fence and 9% indicating they will probably or definitely not vote for the President.
Low Confidence in the White House and Critical American Institutions
Approximately 50% of survey participants expressed little or no confidence in statements made by the White House and the President himself, with net negative ratings of almost 20% when comparing strong and weak confidence levels.
The study also revealed that 60% of Independent voters have very little confidence in statements made by the President or the White House, and approximately 50% of women lack confidence in each.
The study had an overall margin of error of +/- 4.14%.