During a press conference in Europe on Thursday, President Trump reiterated a claim that he first made on Twitter earlier this year: He is “a stable genius.” At that point, we looked at polling to see if the American people agreed. Most don’t. That analysis is below.
Rankled by the depiction of himself in the book “Fire and Fury,” President Trump on Saturday tweeted a defense of his mental acuity.
“[T]hroughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump wrote. “Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try).”
“I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius,” he added, “and a very stable genius at that!”
According to a new poll from Quinnipiac University, only 27 percent of Americans agree with that description.
Quinnipiac asked — as it has since Trump was inaugurated — two questions that overlap with Trump’s self-assessment. The first is whether poll respondents think Trump is intelligent. The second is whether they think he’s levelheaded.
A majority of Americans do think that Trump is intelligent. Over the past year, the percentage of those saying so has fallen 12 points, but 53 percent of Americans think Trump is smart.
Granted, “intelligent” and “genius” aren’t the same thing. But because no polls have asked whether people think Trump is a genius (we checked), this is as close as we’ll get.
As with nearly every other question related to Trump, there’s a big split between the parties on views of Trump’s intelligence. Most Republicans think he’s intelligent, though that number has declined, too. Only a quarter of Democrats think he’s intelligent, a drop of 13 points over the past year.
On the question of levelheadedness, Trump fares more poorly.
Less than a third of the country describes him as levelheaded, a figure that has been pretty steady over the course of his presidency. (It predates his presidency, in fact; in a Quinnipiac poll in September 2016, 27 percent of respondents said he was.)
Republicans again are much more likely to say that Trump is levelheaded, in part because essentially no Democrats agree. Among Republicans, Trump has seen a drop of six percentage points over the year.
Quinnipiac’s Doug Schwartz was kind enough to share the percentage of Americans who held both that Trump was levelheaded and intelligent. As noted above, that’s 27 percent of respondents — the fraction of the country that is inclined to join Trump in evaluating him as a stable genius. Or at least stable and intelligent.
Then there’s that other side of the equation. According to Schwartz, 43 percent of Americans think that Trump is not intelligent and not levelheaded, that he, in other words, is neither stable nor a genius.
Maybe they didn’t hear that Trump was elected president on his first try.