President Trump gives a thumbs-up to supporters at the Phoenix Convention Center during a rally Aug. 22 in Arizona. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Back in May, Quinnipiac University asked Americans to describe President Trump in one word. The results were not complimentary, with the most common responses being “idiot,” “incompetent” and “liar” — followed only then by the complimentary (-ish) word “leader.”

In the spirit of making America great again, we made a word cloud.


On Wednesday, Quinnipiac released a new version of the same question. You may notice the new addition to the upper tier of responses.


In May, “strong” was the seventh-most-common response. In the new survey, it vaulted into the lead.


Notice that the number of responses overall increased, but that the number of people saying “strong” increased more than any other. The number of people saying “leader” remained fairly flat. The number of people saying “racist” also surged, now in sixth place after being 23rd in May.

Why the change? Other data from the poll might have the answer.

Quinnipiac has regularly asked Americans for their assessment of whether a slew of personality descriptions apply to Trump. Among them are whether he’s a strong leader and whether he has good leadership skills.

On each metric, views of Trump have slipped over time, even among Republicans. But since January, views of his strength have dropped less than views of his leadership ability, and, overall, people are more likely to refer to him as strong than as a good leader. (The only other trait that a majority of all respondents think applies to Trump is that he’s intelligent.)


Those numbers may explain why fans of Trump looking to identify the characteristic that best defines him are more likely to say “strong” at this point than “leader.”

That “strong” is the top response obscures one thing worth noting from this data: Overall, assessments of Trump are strongly negative. (Many, such as “president,” were neutral. We catalogued the eight people who said “Twitter” as neutral.)


But then, more than half of respondents in the poll said they held a strongly disapproving view of Trump’s job performance.