News and Commentary

Poll: Are Americans Worried About Trump’s Behavior?

A new George Washington University Battleground Poll tried to get a sense of how Americans feel about President Donald Trump’s behavior and got results for which CNN and Trump’s other enemies in the MSM (meaning all of them) will no doubt be proudly patting themselves on the back, but for which, in reality, Trump mostly has his own Twitter addiction to blame.

The survey (of 1009 American adults, conducted August 13-17) found that over two-thirds of respondents believe that Trump’s behavior is not presidential, while another two-thirds feared that he might “accidentally” get us embroiled in some sort of “international conflict.”

Asked if they agree or disagree with the statement that Trump’s “behavior is not what I expect from a president,” a total of 71% agreed, while just 27% disagreed. While the phrasing of that question might leave a little wiggle room for a positive, or at least not completely negative interpretation, another question touching on his behavior did not. Asked if they fear Trump’s “words and actions could get us accidentally involved in an international conflict,” a total of 68% agreed; just 29% disagreed.

The poll found Trump’s approval numbers also underwater, 41% approving, 56% disapproving, which falls in line with other recent national polls. As Rasmussen has consistently found, significantly more people strongly disapprove (48%) than strongly approve (28%) of his handling of the job. Around the same number, 55%, said Trump has been ineffective as a president; 39% said he has been effective.

Respondents’ views on whether the country was heading in the right direction also mirrored several other national polls, with 63% saying it was going the wrong way.

On the policy side, Trump’s numbers were slightly better. The survey found him slightly ahead on the economy (50 – 46) and on keeping his campaign promises (52 – 44), and at least slightly better than his overall approval numbers on his handling of North Korea (43 – 53).

GW’s Michael Cornfield noted that the results show that “more Americans object to President Trump’s character than his agenda,” a claim supported by previous studies demonstrating that much of the negativity about Trump stems from a personal dislike of him rather than objection to his policies.

The survey also asked about the “Russian collusion” allegations and found that about the same number (55%) who disapprove of Trump believe that his campaign staffers likely behaved improperly, with a third (33%) believing his staffers likely committed crimes.

Bill Clinton also started off his first term struggling mightily in the polls and he — somehow, some way — eventually dug himself out. Can Trump, whose numbers are so strongly connected to his personality, do the same? So far he’s trending in the wrong direction, but Trump has shocked the world before, so do the thing that Trump is so good at making everyone do: stay tuned.