Longitudinal survey finds the highest regret among Obama-to-Trump voters, strong opposition to two top Trump priorities, and sharp partisan shifts in views about the nation’s direction
Washington, D.C. – September 6, 2017
The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, a research collaboration comprised of leading analysts and scholars from across the political spectrum, has released initial findings from its July survey, which tested how Americans are reacting to President Donald Trump’s first six months in office. Notably, most voters do not regret the decision they made in the 2016 election. However, Obama-to-Trump voters are the most likely to regret the choice they made last November and are more likely than other Trump voters to disapprove of the President’s performance.
The data also illuminate how voting Americans are strongly opposed to two hallmarks of President Trump’s campaign. Both repealing the Affordable Care Act and building a wall along the border of Mexico have greater opposition than support among the 5,000 voters polled, while other Trump campaign promises included in the poll continue to enjoy support.
These and other findings are described in a new memo, “The First Six Months: How Americans are Reacting to the Trump Administration,” authored by Robert Griffin, a member of the Voter Study Group and Director of Quantitative Analysis at the Center for American Progress.
"Voters' opinions have been incredibly stable considering the tumultuous nature of this Administration’s early months,” said Griffin. “Trump has mostly held onto the support of those who voted for him in November. The one exception has been the much-discussed Obama-to-Trump voters – more than one in five now disapprove of the President.”
“Our results show how public opinion remains supportive of some of the President’s key campaign promises,” said Karlyn Bowman, a Voter Study Group editor and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “But as the immigration debate and budget negotiations heat up, building a wall remains especially unpopular, and as NAFTA negotiations get underway, the data show attitudes toward trade becoming more positive.”
Further findings relevant to the President’s agenda and detailed in “The First Six Months” include:
More data on these findings, along with accompanying infographics, are available here.
In the coming weeks and months, the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group will be releasing a number of in-depth reports exploring trends across the longitudinal surveys, which polled a panel of Americans in 2011, 2012, 2016, and now 2017. Coming analysis will cover evolving public opinion on health care, trade, immigration, democracy, and millennials, among other topics.
The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is a politically-diverse group of conservative, progressive, and independent experts who came together in 2016 to study the American electorate. The research of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is designed to help policy makers and thought leaders listen more closely, and respond more powerfully, to the views of American voters.
Please sign up for email alerts in the footer below. The 2016 and 2017 VOTER Surveys and reports were made possible by a grant from Democracy Fund to the Ethics and Public Policy Center to conduct new research about changing trends among the American electorate.
VOTER Survey Methodology Summary
In partnership with the survey firm YouGov, the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group commissioned the 2016 VOTER Survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey) of 8,000 adults who had participated in similar surveys in 2011 and 2012. The Voter Study Group then interviewed 5,000 of the same respondents between July 13-24, 2017 to explore how voters’ opinions may have changed—or how they did not change at all. A complete 2017 survey methodology is available here.
About the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC)
Founded in 1976 by Dr. Ernest W. Lefever, the Ethics and Public Policy Center is Washington, D.C.’s premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy. From the Cold War to the war on terrorism, from disputes over the role of religion in public life to battles over the nature of the family, EPPC and its scholars have consistently sought to defend and promote our nation’s founding principles—respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, individual freedom and responsibility, justice, the rule of law, and limited government.
About the Democracy Fund
The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $60 million in support of a healthy democracy, including modern elections, effective governance, and a vibrant public square.
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