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Monday, December 12, 2016


Trump Remains Unpopular; Voters Prefer Obama on SCOTUS Pick

Public Policy Polling's newest national poll find that although Donald Trump is a little bit more popular than he was during the campaign, a majority of Americans still have a negative opinion of him. 43% of voters view Trump favorably to 51% who have an unfavorable view of him. On PPP's last national poll, in late September, Trump's favorability rating stood at 39/55. Trump's popularity continues to pale in comparison to Barack Obama's. Obama ends his final year in office with a 50/45 approval spread. When it comes to the question of who voters trust more to pick the new Supreme Court justice, Obama beats out Trump 52-45.

Voters don't think that Trump's Electoral College victory while losing the popular vote is really fair- 50% think the candidate who receives the most votes nationally in the election should become President, to only 37% who disagree with that concept. Over the course of the campaign we found there was a cult like aspect to Trump's support, where any idea he put forth a substantial share of his supporters would go along with. We see that trend continuing post election. 60% of Trump voters think that Hillary Clinton received millions of illegal votes to only 18% who disagree with that concept and 22% who aren't sure either way.

A couple other findings related to the vote in this year's election:

-40% of Trump voters insist that he won the national popular vote to only 49% who grant that Clinton won it and 11% who aren't sure.

-Only 53% of Trump voters think that California's votes should be allowed to count in the national popular vote. 29% don't think they should be allowed to count, and another 18% are unsure.

There's been a lot of attention to the way fake news has spread and been believed especially by Trump supporters and that's borne out in our polling:

-73% of Trump voters think that George Soros is paying protesters against Trump to only 6% who think that's not true, and 21% who aren't sure one way or the other. (I personally had to explain to my Grandmother that this wasn't true a few weeks ag0 after someone sent her an e-mail about it.)

-14% of Trump supporters think Hillary Clinton is connected to a child sex ring run out of a Washington DC pizzeria. Another 32% aren't sure one way or another, much as the North Carolinian who went to Washington to check it out last weekend said was the case for him. Only 54% of Trump voters expressly say they don't think #Pizzagate is real.

There's also been a lot of discussion recently about how we might be in a post-fact world and we see some evidence of that coming through in our polling:

-67% of Trump voters say that unemployment increased during the Obama administration, to only 20% who say it decreased.

-Only 41% of Trump voters say that the stock market went up during the Obama administration. 39% say it went down, and another 19% say they're not sure.

Trump's been in a variety of fights with the media recently, and he's losing all of them:

-By a 49/40 spread, voters say the New York Times has more credibility than Trump.

-By a 48/41 spread, voters say CNN has more credibility than Trump.

-While Trump's favorability rating is negative at 43/51, Saturday Night Live's is positive at 48/33.

Trump's certainly been effective at turning his voters against the various entities he's feuding with though. Among Trump voters the Times has a 7/71 favorability spread, CNN has an 11/76 favorability spread, and SNL has a 17/61 favorability spread. The musical Hamilton has an 11/45 favorability with Trump voters, compared to 61/3 with Clinton voters.

-There's still a strong national consensus that Trump needs to release his tax returns. 59% say he needs to do that, to only 29% who say it's not necessary.
-Voters are pretty split on who they'd like to see as the next Secretary of State with 20% each wanting Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, 13% for John Bolton, 11% for David Petraeus, and 7% for Jon Huntsman. Among Trump voters the preference is strongly for Giuliani who gets 32% to 21% for Bolton, 14% for Petraeus, and 10% for Romney. Among Clinton voters support is strong for Romney at 28%, followed by Huntsman at 10% with no one else in double digits.

-Steven Bannon is unpopular among voters who are familiar with him, with 18% rating him positively to 33% with a negative opinion. The good news for Trump is that only 51% of voters are actually familiar with Bannon though. Kellyanne Conway is much better known, with 66% name recognition, and she has a narrowly positive image among voters nationally at 34/32.

-Congress is about as unpopular as ever, with only 10% of voters approving of it to 75% who disapprove. Paul Ryan has a 37/49 approval rating as Speaker and that makes him look positively popular next to Mitch McConnell who has a 16/56 approval rating nationally and is the least popular politician nationally in the country.

-Finally in these divided times we find there are some issues that Clinton and Trump supporter do agree on:

*There's 89/8 support nationally for expanded background checks on gun purchases, including support from 96% of Clinton voters and 81% of Trump voters.

*There's 84/8 support nationally for barring those on the Terror Watch List from buying guns, including support from 90% of Clinton voters and 80% of Trump voters.

*There's 76% support nationally for increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, including support from 95% of Clinton voters and 54% of Trump voters.


Public Policy Polling (PPP) is a U.S. polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and Chief Executive Officer.

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