FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
July 17, 2017

After sorting poll respondents into two categories — the 36 percent of Americans who approve of President Trump and the 58 percent who don't — the Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday asked them to get specific: What is it you most like (for the approvers) or dislike (for the disapprovers) about the Trump presidency?

The 58 percent who disapprove apparently had trouble choosing. In first place with 13 percent is "everything," which is matched only by the "way he talks/acts," an answer almost as all-encompassing.


(The Washington Post)

The approvers offered more narrow responses — "strong leadership," "speaking his mind," foreign policy, and jobs — but 9 percent also answered "everything." Perhaps notably, the top three answers for each group were not policy-specific. Bonnie Kristian

July 16, 2017

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday sees President Trump's approval rating at a historic low as he reaches the half-year mark in his presidency. Just 36 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing, which is 6 percent lower than his approval rating at the 100-day point. Trump's disapproval rating is 58 percent. The president tweeted this comment on the poll Sunday morning:

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both had approval ratings of 59 percent at this stage of their presidencies; the only president to come close to Trump's unpopularity was Gerald Ford, at 39 percent at the six-month mark. Bonnie Kristian

June 29, 2017
Mario Tama/Getty Images

President Trump's approval rating got a slight boost in a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, but the good news stopped there. Though Trump's approval rating is up from 34 percent in a June 7 poll to 40 percent, a majority of voters still said that he doesn't "have good leadership," "care about average Americans," or "share their values," nor is he "honest" or "level-headed." However, a majority of Americans did say they think he is "intelligent" and a "strong person."

Particularly striking is the finding that a majority of Americans believe the president is "abusing the powers of his office." Fifty-two percent of Americans said they believe Trump is abusing his powers, while 46 percent said he is not. "Americans believe FBI Director James Comey was shown the door less for job performance than for the growing storm clouds from the FBI Russian investigation," said Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Tim Malloy.

On top of all of that, even Republicans have finally gotten to the point where they really want Trump to stop tweeting: Quinnipiac reported that "for the first time" since the poll began asking the question, Republicans "want the president to stop tweeting from his personal account, 49-43 percent."

The poll was taken June 22-27 by phone among 1,212 voters. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Becca Stanek

June 26, 2017

Americans will never be happy with Washington, D.C., on an aggregate level, new Gallup poll results suggest, because on average, we'd like to assign different policy arenas to different parties.

On most social and domestic issues, the average American wants Democrats to take the lead. For environmental policy, health care, and education, for example, Americans have a double-digit preference for Democrats. Republicans, meanwhile, score best on handling stuff like foreign policy, immigration, and the economy.


(Gallup)

The trouble with this split is twofold: First, it results in the aforementioned average unhappiness, as Washington tends to operate in either gridlock or single-party control, not bipartisan delegation. Second, some of the preferences may not be compatible — like how the average American apparently prefers the lean, limited government Republicans envision while also wanting Democrats' approach to social programs. Bonnie Kristian

June 20, 2017
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Most Republicans are on President Trump's side, a new CBS poll finds, in the public debate and federal investigation over whether Trump or people close to him colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 election. A majority of GOP respondents indicated they believe Trump's word over that of fired FBI Director James Comey and think the president is handling the Russia issue well.

That support is what makes their opposition to Trump's rumored interest in firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the investigation, so striking: Fully 75 percent of Republicans — barely below the national average of 81 percent — say Trump should not fire Mueller.

Trump has reportedly received the same wise counsel from White House aides who understand the terrible optics of firing a man selected to be an impartial investigator of your own behavior. Read The Week's Simon Maloy here on why those optics may not be enough to stay Trump's hand. Bonnie Kristian

June 12, 2017
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"Certainly, misogyny played a role," Hillary Clinton said in April of her election loss. "I mean, that just has to be admitted. And why and what the underlying reasons were is what I'm trying to parse out myself."

This is a point Clinton has made more than once in recent months, but new analysis published at The Washington Post today suggests voters' attitudes about women may not have affected the election the way she thinks. The report is based on survey data from this past fall in which respondents were asked six questions to gauge their assumptions about women's roles and status in American society — questions about topics like employment, motherhood, and equality.

Participants' answers were used to determine whether they hold progressive or traditionalist views on women. Though men leaned more traditional, progressive views were by far more common, and they strongly corresponded with votes for Clinton. In one sense, the Post report concludes, "Hillary Clinton is correct" because if "fewer voters had held traditionalist attitudes toward women’s roles and statuses, Clinton’s national popular vote total (already a plurality) would have increased." In certain swing states, less traditionalism could have given us a different winner on Election Day.

But in another sense, Clinton's remarks are misleading, because the traditionalists were in the clear minority. In other words, the Post explains, Clinton "had more votes to 'gain' from people with progressive attitudes than she had votes to 'lose' from those with traditionalist views." Bonnie Kristian

May 25, 2017
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are more unpopular with voters than ever, new poll results released by Fox News reveal. A majority of voters — 53 percent — do not approve of the job Trump is doing, and 43 percent say the same of Pence.

Trump's approval rate is at 40 percent and Pence's at 42 percent, suggesting the veep's milder disapproval numbers are more about voter ignorance or uncertainty than comparative enthusiasm for his performance. Last month, an earlier Fox poll put Trump and Pence's approval ratings at 45 and 50 percent, respectively.

Thursday's poll also found issues of federal spending, infrastructure, North Korea, and the fight against the Islamic State topped voters' list of concerns. On the subject of Trump's fabled border wall, 64 percent of Trump voters believe the president will follow through with his promise, while only 36 percent of all voters say the same. Bonnie Kristian

May 19, 2017
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's approval rating just hit a new low, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Friday found. Just 38 percent of adults approve of Trump's performance while a whopping 56 percent disapprove, the lowest mark for the president since his inauguration. Roughly 6 percent of respondents said they had "mixed feelings."

The last two weeks have been tumultuous for Trump, starting with his abrupt dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey on May 9 and the White House's subsequent struggle to offer a consistent explanation for the firing. This week, a steady flow of leaks has upended Washington: On Monday, it was reported Trump shared highly classified intelligence information, gathered by Israel, with Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office last week; on Tuesday, the existence of memos written by Comey detailing his interactions with Trump, including when the president asked him to halt the investigation into Russia-linked former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, was revealed; on Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to head the Russia investigation; and on Thursday, it was reported Trump asked Comey when the FBI would be stating publicly that Trump himself was not under investigation for potential ties to Russia.

The Reuters poll was conducted May 14-18 among 1,971 adults, including 795 Democrats and 721 Republicans. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. On Friday, after the poll closed, The New York Times reported Trump bragged about firing Comey in his Oval Office meeting with the Russian officials, calling Comey a "nut job" and saying dismissing him had "taken off" the "great pressure" from the Russia investigation. The Washington Post reported, nearly simultaneously, that the investigation of potential collusion with Russia is closing in on a current White House official who is "close to the president," and that the "intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate."

See the full results of the Reuters/Ipsos poll — including Trump's struggles in the last month — here. Kimberly Alters

See More Speed Reads