Conventional wisdom depicts those Americans who cast their vote for Donald Trump as a zealous and rather unified group. In fact, a sizable subset of those voters, now that Trump has been in office for more than a year, say that they were conflicted in voting for him and express concern about key aspects of his presidency.
Can those voters be persuaded to move politics in a different direction in 2018 and 2020? What are their key issues, and how do they differ from the electorate at large?
To get at these basic questions, the Center for American Progress and Hart Research Associates designed a comprehensive national survey of 1,500 registered voters to measure public attitudes toward government in the Trump era. The survey was conducted in March of this year, and is a follow up to an extensive study on trust in government we conducted in 2015 and 2016.
Examining public confidence in the Trump administration, the study presented participants with 20 specific actions and decisions the president has made since taking office and asked voters whether each item gives them more confidence in the Trump administration, less confidence in the Trump administration, or whether it does not affect their confidence either way.
On 19 of the 20 items presented—ranging from Trump’s ongoing attacks on the media and investigations into his 2016 campaign to recent tax and budget policies—voters overall report less confidence in the Trump administration rather than more confidence.
To really see which of these actions and decisions matter most, both positively and negatively, we isolated the opinions of the 43 percent of Trump voters who reported “having mixed feelings about voting for Trump”—the voters most likely to break with the president as opposed to those who are either strongly for him or reflexively against him. As you can see in the table below, there is tremendous variation in reactions to the president’s actions among these conflicted Trump voters.