ELON POLL: Trump Support Declines in North Carolina at End of First 100 Days

Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Support for President Donald Trump among North Carolina voters has fallen since November, when he carried the state on his way to the White House. According to the results of the latest Elon University Poll, 49 percent say Trump is doing a worse job as president than President Obama, while only 39 percent say Trump is outperforming his predecessor.

The Elon Poll found that nearly three-fourths of voters think that Trump’s use of the social media platform Twitter is “inappropriate,” and 55 percent disagree with his claim that the media is “the enemy of the American people.”

While 56 percent of North Carolina voters think Trump’s actions are consistent with his campaign promises, there is strong opposition to one of those promises – building a wall along the Mexican border. Nearly 60 percent of all voters oppose the wall, including 92 percent of Democrats who think it’s a bad idea.

“Though President Trump enjoyed considerable support among North Carolinians on Election Day, he has lost ground among the crucial independent voters responsible for his success over Hillary Clinton,” said Jason Husser, director of the Elon University Poll.

The live-caller, dual frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 506 likely voters was conducted from April 18-21. Survey results in this news release present responses from registered voters who were classified as likely voters in the Nov. 8 election and has a margin of error of +/- 4.36 percentage points.

Views of President Trump

Since Trump was elected president in November, his support has declined among N.C. voters, according to poll results. While Trump was elected with 49.9 percent of the vote in North Carolina, only 41.6 percent of voters currently approve of the job he is doing as president with 50.5 percent disapproving. That approval number tracks closely with recent national polls, which found a 42 percent approval rating for the president.

The approval numbers align strongly with party affiliation. Among Democrats, 87 percent disapprove of Trump’s performance, while 88 percent of Republicans approve of the way he is handling the job. Women voters were more likely to give bad marks to Trump’s job performance, with 54 percent disapproving of how he is handling the job and only 38 percent approving. Men were evenly split on the question. Younger voters were most likely to disapprove of Trump’s performance, with 59 percent of Millennials (ages 18-36) saying they disapproved, while the members of the Silent Generation (ages 73 or older) give the president his highest approval rating at 52 percent.

As for Trump’s campaign promises, 56 percent believe he’s stuck to what he said he would do as president while 38 percent believe that his actions as president haven’t lined up with what he promised when campaigning. Among Democrats, who overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, there’s still a segment of 29 percent that believe he’s holding true to his campaign promises. 

“President Trump still has time to gain confidence of North Carolina voters before the 2018 midterm election, but, as of now, Trump’s support in North Carolina is unusually low for a president still in what is often considered a honeymoon period,” Husser said.

Shifting to social media, voters disapprove of the president’s use of Twitter by an overwhelming margin (73 percent), with younger voters more likely to find his tweets “inappropriate.” Among Millennials, 81 percent say the president’s use of Twitter is inappropriate.

Democrats were more likely to criticize Trump’s use of Twitter, with 94 percent saying it was inappropriate, compared to just 50 percent of Republicans. Black voters were also more likely to frown upon his use of the social media channel, with 88 percent saying it was inappropriate compared to 69 percent of white voters.

There’s a similar party line split on opinions about Trump’s claim that the media is the “enemy of the American people.” While overall, 55 percent of voters do not believe media is the enemy of the American people, 76 percent of Republicans agree with that stance. Ninety percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents and 58 percent of women do not agree with Trump’s statement about the media.

“The president’s core support in North Carolina is very robust. However, his use of Twitter is deeply unpopular, even among his otherwise loyal base voters,” Husser said.

Border wall

The construction of an extensive wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico was a major campaign promise of President Trump’s and continues to be among his top priorities.

Among N.C. voters, 59 percent oppose building the wall, and support for the project is clearly split among party lines. Taking party affiliation into account, 76 percent of Republicans are in favor of pushing ahead with building the wall with 92 percent of Democrats opposing it. Among independent voters, nearly two-thirds oppose the project. Opposition to a border wall is especially strong among Millennial voters, with 65 percent against the wall. Women voters oppose the wall by at 62-32 margin, with men against the wall by a 56-39 margin. Eighty-six percent of black voters oppose the wall compared with 51 percent of white voters who are against it.

The Affordable Care Act

The future of the Affordable Care Act, the sweeping law passed in 2010 under President Barack Obama, continues to be a divisive issue, with opinions largely split along party lines.

While 44 percent think Obamacare will make the health care situation worse and only 32 percent think it will make things better, 50 percent of N.C. voters think President Trump and Congress should move on to other issues and not continue with efforts to repeal and replace the law, while only 44 percent think work should continue on new legislation. When taking party affiliation into consideration, 84 percent of Republicans agree that “repeal and replace” should continue to be a priority while 86 percent of Democrats say to move on to other issues. Among independents, 53 percent say to move on.

“While opinion about rolling back Obamacare is mixed overall in North Carolina, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have a strong base of support among their party’s voters and among many independents,” Husser said.

Trump’s administration

N.C. voters don’t appear to be very familiar with major players within the president’s administration when asked about their opinions of Steven Bannon, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Sean Spicer.

“Many North Carolinians still haven’t formed opinions about key figures in the Trump White House,” Husser said. “Those Tar Heel voters who have paid attention to Bannon, Kushner and Spicer tend not to like them very much. The exception is Ivanka Trump who is quite popular despite a contentious political environment.”

About half said they were unfamiliar with Bannon, who serves as White House chief strategist and was previously executive chair of Breitbart News. Of those who knew about Bannon, 40 percent held an unfavorable opinion while only 11 percent had a favorable view. Kushner, a senior advisor to the president and Ivanka Trump’s husband, was the least well known of the four, with 51 percent not having an opinion about him.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the president who serves as an assistant to him, garnered the highest favorability ratings, with 47 percent holding a favorable opinion of her. Spicer, White House press secretary, had the highest unfavorability rating, with 44 percent holding an unfavorable opinion of him and 25 percent having a favorable opinion.

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