NEW FIREHOUSE/0PTIMUS SURVEY: Trump’s Shrinking Base
August 4, 2017
In April, we partnered with the data analytics team at 0ptimus to learn what voters in 4 key swing states think about President Trump. A lot’s happened since then – much of it seemingly bad for President Trump, including the expanding Russia investigation, unsuccessful health care legislation, and staff shake-ups at the White House.
We wanted to know how Trump’s rough summer is impacting voters’ attitudes and how that might impact his fall agenda. We interviewed 2,901 likely midterm voters in those same 4 states – Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania – with a special interest in Trump’s favorability, his perceived honesty, and expectations for success. Our data shows Trump losing support inside the Republican Party and a noticeable drop in his perceived honesty. Just 6 months in office, Trump is getting into dangerously low territory in key swing states.
- Trump’s base of support has shrunk from 35.3% of voters who have a “strongly favorable” view of him in April to only 28.6% today. Notably, much of that erosion is among Republicans: Strongly favorable views among GOP voters dropped from 54.1% to 44.9%, while unfavorable views increased from 20.5% to 27.9%.
- KEY POINT: Trump’s base is shrinking. He cannot take continued GOP support for granted in swing states.
- Nearly half of voters (48.3%) believe Trump lies intentionally to mislead people, up from 43.4% in April. For Congressional Republicans, 51.8% now believe the same about them, up from 45.7% in April. Only 14.6% now believe Trump never lies, and only 9.1% believe the same about GOP congressmen/women. Today, only 5% of Republicans we surveyed believe Trump never lies, down from 31.3% in April.
- KEY POINT: Trump’s false statements are eroding his credibility with voters, including Republicans.
- In April, one third of voters (33.8%) said President Trump had been successful, 35.8% said unsuccessful, and 30.6% said it was too soon to tell. Now, 27.4% say he has been successful, 44.9% say unsuccessful, and 27.7% say it is too soon to tell. Republicans still overwhelmingly believe he has been successful (43.9%) or that it is too soon to tell (35.8%). However, the percentage willing to say he has been unsuccessful has increased from 13.1% to 20.4%.
- KEY POINT: Voters are losing faith in Trump’s ability to deliver on his big campaign promises.
- In April we asked how voters would respond if Trump failed to repeal Obamacare or overhaul the tax code before next year’s midterm elections. In our new survey, we found a 7% and 9% jump in the percentage of respondents saying they will not vote for current GOP office holders if these two items are not accomplished.
- KEY POINT: Failure to deliver major legislative victories is raising the prospects of an electoral setback for Republicans next year.
Methodology: Between 8/1-8/3, we surveyed 2,901 modeled likely midterm voters in Florida (N = 1,098), Wisconsin (N = 525), Pennsylvania (N = 623), and Ohio (N = 655) via IVR, landline only. Likely voters were defined as anyone having voted in the 2010 or 2014 midterm elections, plus the 15% additional most likely to turnout based on in-house turnout score modeling. Margin of error varies by question and segment, but is generally +/- 2.1% for topline results. Sample was weighted by state, age, gender, and party based on 2014 midterm turnout in L2 voter file (spring 2017) for each state. Results were then re-balanced based on these cohorts.