PRRI is out with a new poll that should worry President Trump and Republicans who still support him. Keep in mind that the poll results, as dreadful as they may be, were collected before the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s widely condemned response. Trump is plainly not gaining support over time. To the contrary:
By a wide margin, President Donald Trump is substantially less popular than past Republican presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Only 38% of Americans report a favorable view of Trump, while a majority (56%) of the public express an unfavorable opinion of him. . . . Trump is viewed far more negatively among nonwhite Americans than previous Republican presidents. Only 16% of black Americans view Trump favorably—fewer than half of the number who have favorable opinions of Bush (34%) and Reagan (49%).
Moreover, the number of those favoring impeachment has shot up. “Currently, four in ten (40%) Americans believe Trump deserves to be impeached, up 10 percentage points from 30% who expressed support for this action in February. A majority (53%) of Americans do not believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office, a view held by 65% of the public in February.” And this is before we have any report from the special prosecutor or congressional committees. In addition, “Approximately half (49%) of the public believes Trump has violated the Constitution, while nearly as many (43%) disagree.”
Voters don’t share Trump’s love affair with Russia:
Americans express generally negative feelings about Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nearly six in ten (58%) Americans express a negative opinion of Russia, while only one-quarter (25%) have a positive view. Views have grown only slightly more negative since 2013, when 54% of the public reported feeling unfavorably toward Russia.
The modest rise in negative sentiment was driven nearly exclusively by Democrats. More than two-thirds (68%) of Democrats express a negative view of Russia, compared to about half (51%) who reported feeling this way in 2013. . . . Only about one-third of Americans consider Russia either an “ally” (8%) or “friendly” toward the U.S. (26%). A majority of the public see Russia as “unfriendly” (31%) or an “enemy” (24%) of the U.S.
(At least Republicans have not increased their fondness for Russia.) Overall, a plurality of Americans think Russia has meddled in our election.
Two other data points stand out.
First, on virtually every issue, Trump’s support among white evangelical Christians remains higher than other groups. They more than any other group are unmoved by the events of the past seven months. We’ll see if his embrace of neo-Nazis’ and white nationalists’ excuses makes any difference.
Second, his standing among women, those with more than a high school education and minorities is remarkably low. That shows up in views about impeachment and Trump’s violation of the Constitution:
There is a gaping gender divide in views about impeachment. Only about one-third (32%) of men, but nearly half (47%) of women, say the President should be impeached and removed from office. Compared to men, women have become much more supportive of impeachment over the last six months. Only 35% of women favored impeaching Trump in February compared to 26% of men. . . . More than seven in ten (72%) black Americans and a majority (53%) of Hispanic Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office. Fewer than one-third (31%) of white Americans agree. . . . A majority (54%) of women, but only about four in ten (43%) men, believe Trump has acted in ways that contravene the Constitution.
Trump is far less popular than other Republican presidents and far less successful in keeping the support of independents, women, minorities and more educated voters. If he is forced out of office before 2020 or loses in 2020 it, in large part, will be attributable to Trump’s reliance on a narrow base of support and his insistence on feeding them rhetorical red meat — which turns off a substantial majority of this diverse country.