Donald Trump won the presidency by surprisingly beating the polls in key battleground states. Since his shocking victory, polling the erratic president has been one of the most confusing exercises in modern politics.
In Trump, we have a guy who maintains the loyalty of his base despite major flaws that they readily acknowledge but simply don’t care. Those voters stuck by him because of rank partisanship and distaste for Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama. But a new poll from the Pew Research Center shows just how conflicted Trump voters are these days about the erratic president.
Pew asked American adults how they felt about Trump’s conduct in office: Whether they “liked” it, had “mixed feelings” or “didn’t like it.” It won’t surprise you to see about 6 in 10 (58 percent) don’t like it; that tracks with the number of Americans who disapprove of Trump overall.
The other two pieces of the pie are where things get interesting. According to the survey, another 25 percent of American adults say they have “mixed feelings,” and just 16 percent “like” it. Only about 1 in 6 voters say they like the way Trump has conducted himself as president.
Even among Trump voters, just 34 percent “like” the president’s conduct. About 1 in 5 (19 percent) say they don’t like it, and a plurality of 46 percent say they have “mixed feelings.”
This and other polls continue to suggest all of the distractions and the tweets continue to take their toll on Trump’s presidency. The antidote to all of that during the campaign was partisanship and Clinton; the antidote today seems to be a strengthening economy and a mutual dislike for the Washington establishment and the media.
But if you ask the question the right way, you can learn some pretty revealing things about Trump’s base. And looking at a poll like this, you have to wonder how willfully ignorant they really are.