POLITICS
01/27/2017 08:25 am ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Trump Voters Say The Government Does Too Much For Most Americans

Relatively few supporters of either 2016 candidate think the government does too much for people like them.
US President Donald Trump stands with First Lady Melania Trump at the Capitol Building before departing for the parade after
POOL New / Reuters
US President Donald Trump stands with First Lady Melania Trump at the Capitol Building before departing for the parade after Trump is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017. REUTERS/John Angelillo/Pool

Americans disagree on who should get government help. New polls disagree over how Donald Trump’s first week in office was received. And the public shares what they want to see Trump prioritize as president. This is HuffPollster for Friday, January 27, 2017.

CLINTON AND TRUMP VOTERS DIFFER OVER WHOM GOVERNMENT SHOULD HELP - HuffPollster: "Voters who supported President Donald Trump in last year’s election have a lot of differences from those who supported Hillary Clinton ― including a fundamental, underlying divide over whom the government is designed to serve, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. Clinton voters say, 80 percent to 14 percent, that the government 'should try to help everyone in the U.S.' Trump voters say, 51 percent to 33 percent, that it 'should only try to help the people who deserve it.'...Clinton voters are equally unlikely to say there’s excessive help being provided either to people like them or to most Americans in general. Just 5 percent say the government does too much for either group. However, while just 29 percent of Trump voters say the government does too much for people like them, a 59 percent majority say the government does too much for most Americans." [HuffPost]

The Huffington Post

FIRST ROUND OF APPROVAL POLLS SHOW VARIED RESULTS FOR DONALD TRUMP - Steven Shepard: "Thirty-six percent of voters approve of the way President Donald Trump is handling his job in his first week, according to a new poll that reflects a sharp divide along partisan lines. The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted over the first five nights of Trump’s presidency — last Friday through Wednesday — shows that a larger percentage, 44 percent, disapprove of Trump’s job performance….Trump’s approval rating in the Quinnipiac poll is lower than in some other surveys conducted in the early days of his administration. The latest Gallup tracking poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday, shows the percentage of all adults who approve of Trump (46 percent) is essentially equal to the percentage who disapprove (45 percent). That resembles a new automated-phone poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. And a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted last Friday through Sunday gave Trump a higher approval rating (46 percent) than disapproval rating (37 percent) among registered voters." [Politico, Quinnipiac]

Average approval in the mid-40s - Although approval ratings from Donald Trump range from 36 percent in Quinnipiac's survey to 59 percent in Rasmussen's automated-and-online tracking poll, most other surveys put Trump's initial numbers between 41 and 46 percent, with his disapproval generally hovering in the same range. Notably, surveys that tested both Trump's approval rating as president and his personal favorability consistently gave him lower numbers for the latter. HuffPost Pollster's aggregate for Trump's presidential approval -- which, with little data, remains prone to fluctuations -- gives him a 46 percent approval rating with 42 percent disapproving; his average favorability stands at about 42 percent, with nearly half viewing him unfavorably. [Approval chart, favorability chart]

LAST WEEK'S INAUGURATION GETS POSITIVE MARKS FROM WATCHERS - HuffPollster: "Most Americans who tuned into President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday give him positive marks for his address, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, although doubts and deep partisan divides remain. Fifty-five percent of Americans who watched or listened to the inauguration ceremonies, or who consumed later news reports about it, say Trump’s speech was excellent or good. Fourteen percent say it was just OK, and 26 percent say it was poor or terrible. (Gallup, which asked the same question in a one-night survey following the speech, found that 53 percent rated it excellent or good, 22 percent OK and 20 percent poor or terrible. Those results are significantly less positive than reactions to former President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, but on par with Americans’ feelings about the 2005 and 2013 inaugurations.)" [HuffPost]

Trump's protectionist pledge resonates - Cameron Easley: "Trump told the country, 'From this moment on, it’s going to be America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.' Sixty-five percent of poll respondents viewed that message positively, including 64 percent of independents and half of Democrats. About 6 in 10 voters, including 48 percent of Democrats, also said the federal government should be required to follow Trump’s mantra: “Buy American and hire American.'” [Morning Consult]

But most Americans don't buy the claim that the event drew record crowds - HuffPollster: "President Donald Trump and his press secretary have repeatedly ― and falsely ― claimed that Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 was the best attended in history. But Americans don’t believe them. Just 7 percent of Americans think that Trump’s big day was better attended than Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey. Fifty-six percent of Americans — including 41 percent of Trump voters — say correctly that more people came out for Obama’s inauguration. Nine percent think the two events were equally well-attended, and 28 percent say they aren’t sure….The White House had reason to believe that by turning an objective analysis into a partisan debate, they’d keep sympathetic members of the public on their side….Trump’s supporters, for example, are inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt in unclear situations. They give him the credit for shutting down a Republican effort to gut a congressional ethics watchdog. They’re more willing to accept liberal ideas when he proposes them or to edge away from conspiracy theories once he’s walked them back….There’s a clear partisan tint to the responses in the HuffPost/YouGov poll, with Hillary Clinton voters far more likely than Trump voters to affirmatively state that Obama’s 2009 inauguration was better attended. But even most Trump voters aren’t willing to take Spicer’s claims at face value." [HuffPost]

Other surveys also tested beliefs about crowd size:

-Brian Schaffner and Samantha Luks: "On Sunday and Monday, we surveyed 1,388 American adults. We showed half of them a crowd picture from each inauguration and asked which was from Trump’s inauguration and which was from Obama’s….For the other half, we asked a very simple question with one clearly correct answer: 'Which photo has more people?'" [WashPost]

-Meghan McCarthy: "When it comes to whether voters think President Donald Trump’s inauguration or the Women’s March on Washington was more widely attended, political affiliations seem to drive perception." [Morning Consult]

HERE'S WHAT TRUMP'S SUPPORTERS WANT TO SEE FROM HIM AS PRESIDENT - HuffPollster: "A new poll from Pew Research shows the public’s top policy priorities include terrorism, the economy and education. These priorities have differed slightly in the last few years, with protecting the environment gaining the most support since 2009 and people steeply dropping off in concern about improving the job situation….Of course, there are quite a few partisan divides. Republicans’ top three priorities are terrorism, the economy and jobs. Democrats’ top priorities are terrorism, education and the environment. While Democrats are generally more worried about climate change, the environment, and the poor and needy than their Republican counterparts, Republicans showed greater concern about the military and immigration than Democrats did." [HuffPost]

MOST MEXICANS HAVE A POOR IMPRESSION OF TRUMP  - Natalie Jackson: "Eighty-nine percent of Mexicans have a 'bad' or 'very bad' impression of President Donald Trump, according to a mid-January poll from BGC-Excelsior. Only 3 percent said they have a 'good' or 'very good' impression of the new U.S. president….Global polling from Ipsos confirms the findings of the BGC-Excelsior poll. Eighty-one percent of Mexicans think Trump will be a bad president in that survey, the second-highest of the 24 countries polled." [HuffPost]

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FRIDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-A Fox News poll finds most voters believe that they've achieved the American Dream, or that it's in sight. [Fox]

-Nate Silver reviews how undecided voters factored into the 2016 election. [538]

-Ana Swanson lists a set of metrics for tracking Donald Trump's performance. [WashPost]

-Dan Hopkins notes that Trump's election doesn't mean Americans have grown more anti-immigration. [538]

-Rhodes Cook gets "down in the weeds" of the 2016 presidential vote. [Sabato's Crystal Ball]

-Xenocrypt looks at the geographic "clustering" of Republicans and Democrats. [Medium]

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