January 31, 2018
More than half of Americans (54%) they think President Donald Trump uses Twitter simply to “express himself”—not to announce official policy—an Economist/YouGov survey released on January 29 has found. And make that more than 75% of Republicans.
Others say they are not so sure (30%) or that they do think the tweets are meant as government policy (16%).
However, explaining himself in a December 30 tweet, the POTUS said, “I use Social Media not because I like to, but because it is the only way to fight a VERY dishonest and unfair ‘press,’ now often referred to as Fake News Media. Phony and non-existent ‘sources’ are being used more often than ever. Many stories & reports are pure fiction!”
Indeed, Americans clearly have mixed views about the tweets. Only one in four say they believe most of them, and only 7% believe all of them. Republicans, although more trustful, don’t accept all the tweets. Although a majority of Republicans (57%) believe most of what the President puts into his tweets, just 17% of Republicans believe all of them.
But, the pollsters say, there also is “a clear feeling that the President, himself, believes what he is tweeting. Nearly 60% of Americans think he believes what he is writing all or most of the time.
Finally, what the tweets do is give the President an opportunity to attack his opponents. The most negatively evaluated tweets are attack tweets; the most positively assessed ones are those that celebrate sacrifice and holidays.
And attack is what a majority believe the tweets mainly do—especially according to Democrats (77%).
Throughout the year, the Economist/YouGov polls have been asking the public whether what the President is doing in using Twitter is appropriate or inappropriate. The public has consistently said the President’s Twitter use is inappropriate, often by better than two to one. This week is no exception: only 25% call the President’s use of Twitter appropriate; while 58% disagree. A majority of Republicans say his use is appropriate.
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