POLITICS
08/01/2017 06:56 pm ET Updated Aug 01, 2017

Trump Voters Don't Quite Know What To Make Of His Attacks On Jeff Sessions

And more of the latest polling news.

Many voters who supported President Donald Trump in last year’s election aren’t sure what to make of his recent disparagement of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

While the White House said Monday that Trump has “100 percent confidence” in Sessions, as recently as last week the president publicly referred to his attorney general as “beleaguered,” and said he regretted having picked him for the job. Sessions called the criticism “hurtful,” but said he didn’t plan to resign.

Trump’s voters, not surprisingly, are more staunchly supportive of him than Sessions ― 88 percent approve of how the president is doing in office, with only 8 percent disapproving; 56 percent approve of Sessions’ job performance, with 16 percent disapproving and the remainder not sure. A 55 percent majority strongly approve of Trump’s performance, while just 17 percent say the same of Sessions.

Told that Trump has recently criticized Sessions for his job performance, those who voted for the president said by more than a 2-to-1 margin ― 39 percent to 18 percent ― that they agreed more with him than the attorney general. But a plurality, 43 percent, said they were unsure.

Just 12 percent of Trump voters said that the president should fire Sessions, with 47 saying he should keep him on and 41 percent saying they were unsure.

Unusually for the current hyper-partisan climate, there’s a relatively modest partisan division on that question, with roughly similar percentages of Clinton voters (13 percent) and Americans as a whole (10 percent) saying that Trump should fire Sessions.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

MORE OF THE LATEST POLLING NEWS:

FEW DEMOCRATS WANT TO SEE A PARTY LITMUS TEST ON ABORTION - Ben Kamisar and Reid Wilson: “Democrats will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights, the chairman of the party’s campaign arm in the House said in an interview with The Hill. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) said there will be no litmus tests for candidates as Democrats seek to find a winning roster to regain the House majority in 2018.” [The Hill]

In a May HuffPost/YouGov poll, a plurality of Democrats and Democratic leaners were more likely than not to agree with that principle when it came to another arm of the party. Just 28 percent said the Democratic National Committee should only support Democratic candidates who think abortion should generally be legal, while 43 percent said the party should back candidates regardless of their views on the issue. Twelve percent wanted the DNC to support only candidates who think abortion should generally be illegal, while another 17 percent weren’t sure. There was relatively little difference by gender, with 31 percent of men who identify with or lean toward the party, and 26 percent of women who do, saying that the party should only back pro-abortion rights candidates.

MOST DON’T THINK TRANSGENDER TROOPS SHOULD BE BARRED FROM SERVING - HuffPollster: “The American public leans in favor of allowing transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, new polling finds. Half say that trans people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, while just 31 percent think they should be barred from doing so, according to a HuffPost/YouGov survey released Friday. For comparison, 59 percent think openly gay and lesbian troops should be allowed to serve. (A Reuters/Ipsos poll, also released Friday, found higher support for trans service members, with 58 percent of the public in favor.) ... About 40 percent of Americans age 45 or older, but just 17 percent of those under age 30, think trans troops should be prevented from serving.”  

AMERICAN MUSLIMS ARE ANXIOUS BUT OPTIMISTIC - Pew Research: “The early days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been an anxious time for many Muslim Americans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Overall, Muslims in the United States perceive a lot of discrimination against their religious group, are leery of Trump and think their fellow Americans do not see Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society. At the same time, however, Muslim Americans express a persistent streak of optimism and positive feelings. Overwhelmingly, they say they are proud to be Americans, believe that hard work generally brings success in this country and are satisfied with the way things are going in their own lives – even if they are not satisfied with the direction of the country as a whole.” [Pew]

THE CHALLENGE OF POLLING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, IN ONE PARAGRAPH - Steven Shepard: “While President Donald Trump claimed early Monday in a tweet that there was no ‘chaos’ in his White House, voters disagree: 60 percent say the administration is running somewhat or very chaotically, compared with 33 percent who say it is running well. ... The survey was conducted entirely prior to Monday’s ouster of Anthony Scaramucci from his position as White House communications director, and was already in the field when Reince Priebus left the chief of staff position.” [Politico]

A LOOK BACK AT HISTORICAL PUBLIC OPINION ON THE DRAFT - Kathleen Weldon of the Roper Center: “Fifty years ago, in the spring of 1967, a group of students gathered at the Sheep Meadow in Central Park to burn their draft cards. More than 150 cards were set alight that day, the largest such protest to that point in the Vietnam War. The year before, [the draft] had hit 382,000 inductions, the highest levels yet in the war, through a system that gave local draft boards great leeway in determining just who would be called for duty. Although the young protesters may have been the most vocal in their dissatisfaction with the draft, opinion polling from the time shows that the public overall had grave concerns about how the draft was implemented. ... The general public seemed satisfied with the draft system in polls before Vietnam. ... Over time, the public has come to accept the all-volunteer army as the norm. Support for the draft dropped off dramatically over the early eighties and has not reached majority support since.” [HuffPost]

‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Americans’ views of their own finances are more polarized when President Trump’s name is used in the question. [HuffPost]

-Economic confidence remains positive, although down from the start of the year. [Gallup]

-Millennials and Gen Xers made up more of the 2016 electorate than did baby boomers and older generations. [Pew]

-A new survey finds Americans waver on “core values of democracy” when it involves their political opponents. [UMass Lowell]

-Kyle Kondik lays out Democrats’ potential playing field for 2018. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Sahil Chinoy reports on research finding that extreme candidates boost the opposing party’s turnout. [WashPost]

-Brian Resnick takes a deep dive into the debate over statistical significance. [Vox]

-Claire Cain Miller and Quoctrung Bui map the overlapping skill sets between “seemingly dissimilar” jobs. [NYT]

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The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 28 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn moreabout this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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