November 17, 2 017
A year after his election, President Donald Trump continues to struggle to make in-roads with Americans beyond his base, according to findings by Marist Poll. Among the key reasons: 58% of Americans consider President Trump’s policies to be directed toward the wealthy; while just 30% believe they are geared toward helping the middle class, and scarcely anyone (3%) thinks that the POTUS’s policies are intended to help the poor.
The poll was conducted November 6 through November 9 among 1,074 adults nationwide.
These perceptions by the U.S. electorate also were voiced earlier in Trump’s term. In fact, Marist reported last March that 57% of Americans thought the president’s policies mostly favored upper-income Americans.
“Although President Trump is out of step with Americans about those who will reap the benefits of his economic policies, his base is satisfied with the direction of his agenda,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “In the coming year, we will find out whether President Trump reaches out to broaden his base, whether perceptions of his policies change, and whether his base retains their allegiance to him.”
Politically, respondent’s views diverge very predictably: Among Republicans, 69% of respondents said that the president’s agenda aims to help the middle class and just 14% think the goal is to bolster the wealthy. Five percent of the GOP respondents consider Trump’s policies to be directed toward helping the poor.
By contrast, among Democrats, 92% believe that the president’s policies favor the wealthy.
Among Independents, nearly six in ten (59%), agree. An additional 31% of Independents said that the middle class benefit from the president’s agenda.
Among those who supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election, 68% think the president’s policies benefit the middle class. Among white residents without a college education, a plurality, 46%, believe that the president’s policies are more directed toward helping the wealthy.
President Trump’s job approval rating remains in the thirties. Among Americans, 39% approve of the job the president is doing in office; 53% disapprove and 7% are unsure.
The proportion of Americans who strongly disapprove of the president’s job performance (40%) is nearly double that of those who strongly approve (21%).
Looking to next year’s midterm elections, Democrats have widened their advantage. When asked whether they would vote for the Democrat or Republican in their district, 51% of registered voters said they support the Democratic candidate while 36% say they favor the Republican in their district. Six percent do not back either the Democrat or the Republican, and 8% are unsure. Of note, this survey was conducted during the week of the 2017 November elections.
When this question was last reported in August, 47% said they backed the Democratic candidate in their district, and 40% reported they supported the Republican.
Americans remain pessimistic about the direction of the nation, with 29% of adults nationwide opining that the country is moving in the right direction, and 66% saying it is moving in the wrong one.
Research contact: Daniela Charter (@DanielaCharter)