Trump’s “mandate”: not so popular

Nice piece from Will Saletan looking at public opinion on key elements of Trump’s agenda.

Trump thinks the country stands behind him on these issues. “Under the Constitution, the American people get the final say [on] who can and cannot enter our nation,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared Wednesday. “And they’ve spoken loud and clearly through our laws.”

But when Americans are asked directly, they don’t support Trump on these issues. Whites, whatever their feelings about Trump’s economic message, don’t support his policies against Muslims or undocumented immigrants. Men, whatever their feelings about abortion, don’t condone Trump’s treatment of women. The more Trump hammered these issues in his campaign, the more the public turned against his ideas. If he thinks the election was a mandate for what he’s done this week, he’s in for a surprise.

A few key charts:

170126_POL_undocumentedChart

170126_POL_muslimChart

170126_POL_immigrationChart

And Saletan’s conclusion:

There’s no guarantee that polls will continue to move against Trump or that the public will stop his agenda. That’s up to us. And his election, even with 46 percent of the vote, shows that many Americans still don’t see sexism and bigotry as disqualifying. They don’t yet understand, or perhaps care, that toleration of discrimination is how discrimination persists. That should trouble all of us.

But the election wasn’t a mandate for chauvinism. It doesn’t show that whites liked Trump’s attacks on immigrants or Muslims. It doesn’t show that men liked his attacks on women. They didn’t, and they like it less every day. The people are on our side, and they get the last word. Let’s make sure they deliver it.

That said, at this point Trump doesn’t need the support of the American people.  He needs support of Republicans.  And, here, I would have loved to see Saletan break out the results by party.  Something tells me if you look at these polling questions from Republicans only, the results would be very different and far more supportive of Trump.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Trump’s “mandate”: not so popular

  1. ohwilleke says:

    My intuition is that anti-immigrant sentiment declines in proportion to the number of months of job growth that have elapsed since the last recession. There have been significant improvements even since 2014.

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