While Donald Trump’s approval numbers have been tracking well behind other presidents at this stage of his presidency, a recent poll found that there is “virtually no regret” among Trump voters for their decision in the 2016 election.
A Mood of the Nation poll from Penn State’s McCourtney Institute of Democracy released just two months after Trump took office found that less than four percent of Trump voters regretted their vote. Not only was there almost zero defections among the Trump base, Penn State’s Michael Berkaman and Eric Plutzer found that most of his voters remained “not only intact but enthusiastic and energized.”
The survey asked 339 Trump voters if they would have done something different in November after having seen President Trump in action. Only 12 said they would, a total that amounts to just 3.5 percent. Of those 12, only three (less than 1 percent) said they would have voted for Hillary Clinton.
“For Trump’s supporters, any news reports that his first weeks as president have been rocky, unpresidential or worse have hardly mattered. There is virtually no regret,” Berkman and Plutzer wrote.
An overwhelming majority of the generally satisfied Trump voters also didn’t feel that he needed to change his behavior to be more “presidential.”
“Of the 327 Trump voters who would vote for him again, only 42 (or 13 percent) asked him to start behaving more presidential,” explained Berman and Plutzer. “Typical was a 51-year-old woman from Virginia who said she would tell the president, ‘Continue with your agenda but stop tweeting.'”
One of the respondents who regretted voting for Trump, echoed the sentiment, saying, “Trump cannot get out of his own way. He won’t stop running his mouth and has no humility.”
The vast majority, however, were still firmly behind their man, which the two Penn State political scientists underscored, provides him with a “significant base of power” which they warned his political opponents against underestimating:
While his governance has galvanized opposition groups and his overall approval level remains low by historical standards, his electoral base is not only intact but enthusiastic and energized, providing Trump with a significant base of power. Those who fail to recognize this may find themselves underestimating his capabilities in governance in the same way that many underestimated his candidacy.