Trump Presidency Draws Strong Support, Stronger Opposition

Trump Presidency Draws Strong Support, Stronger Opposition

Trump Presidency Draws Strong Support, Stronger Opposition

The FINANCIAL -- A new Gallup question gauging public support for Donald Trump's presidency shows how far Americans fall on either side of the divide. While a strong majority of Democrats (73%) oppose almost everything Trump is doing as president and a slim majority of Republicans (53%) support most of his actions, neither Democrats' opposition nor Republicans' support is absolute.

Gallup asked 2,016 U.S. adults Oct. 2-5, "How supportive are you of Donald Trump on a 100-point scale where zero means you do not support anything he is doing as president and 100 means you support everything he is doing as president?" The average score among all adults is 43 -- slightly higher than Trump's 39% job approval rating for the same four days of polling.

Reflecting the generally polarized nature of U.S. politics today, a majority either dislike most of what Trump is doing (43% give a score of 20 or lower) or support almost everything he's doing (22% give a score higher than 80). About a third of Americans have relatively mixed feelings, neither strongly supporting nor opposing the Trump presidency.

Among Democratic and Republican partisans, the averages for each group fall at opposite ends of the scale:

Among Democrats, the average score is 16. Although a majority of Democrats give Trump's actions a score of 3 or lower, a quarter of Democrats score the Trump presidency a 21 or higher.

Republicans support Trump less wholeheartedly than Democrats oppose him, giving him an average score of 77. About half of Republicans (47%) give his presidency a score of 80 or lower.

Independents' average score is 40. Slightly more than a third (37%) give Trump a rating between 21 and 80.

Party Trumps Ideology in Deciding Level of Support

The divide between liberals and conservatives is less pronounced than that between Democrats and Republicans. The average level of support for Trump's actions as president is 20 among liberals and 66 among conservatives. Combining party (with independent "leaners" included in party totals) and ideology produces the following average levels of support for the president's actions.

Liberal Democrats, 13
Moderate Democrats, 17
Conservative Democrats, 28
Non-leaning independents, 36
Moderate and liberal Republicans, 60
Conservative Republicans, 81
The score of 60 among moderate and liberal Republicans is particularly interesting in contrast with the score of 81 among conservative Republicans. Although conservative Republicans constitute the bulk of the GOP, moderates and liberals in the party are not totally committed in their support for Trump.

Bottom Line

Previous polling on the Trump presidency has consistently shown the huge partisan divide in general, with almost all Democrats disapproving and most Republicans approving. Gallup polling in February went a step further with a measure of how strongly Americans approved or disapproved.

None of the previous polling, however, measured just how far Americans -- especially partisans -- have moved to the limits of support or opposition. The zero-to-100 scale provides more detailed evidence of the extent to which the vast majority of Democrats oppose the Trump presidency, along with the fact that the opposition is not universal within the Democratic Party. It also shows that support within his own party, while strong, is far from absolute.

Trump has taken actions that cross party lines, most notably siding with Democratic congressional leaders against the Republican leadership in Congress last month on a debt ceiling deal. He also has criticized Republican leaders on more than one occasion.

Trump's actions as president have not followed strict party lines, and partisan reactions have followed suit. Gallup's new, more nuanced measure of support for the Trump presidency reveals that while support and opposition fall predictably along partisan lines, they are nowhere near absolute in either party.