Trump Losing Support Among Part Of His Base

New polling seems to indicate that President Trump is losing support among an important part of his base.

There’s at least some evidence in recent polling to indicate that the President is losing support among key segments of his base, a development that could have a real impact going forward:

During the longest government shutdown in US history, President Donald Trump has been losing support among those who may be his strongest supporters — white Americans who don’t have college degrees.

Among this group, only 45% said they approved of the job Trump is doing as President, according to a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS. That is the lowest level of support among this subgroup by 1 percentage point in CNN’s surveys and a dip from a poll conducted in early December, before the partial shutdown, when 54% of whites without college degrees approved of his job as President and 39% disapproved.

The dip is notable since among whites who hold college degrees, Trump’s ratings are largely unchanged in the last month and remain sharply negative — 64% disapprove and 32% approve.

This trend is backed up by a new Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday. Approval for the President remained somewhat stable between its mid-December poll and now among whites without college degrees (down from 56% to 53%), but disapproval increased from 37% to 43%. That is going from a net 19% positive approval to a net 10% for Trump, a 9-point loss.

The January CNN poll found a majority of Americans placed most of the blame for the government shutdown on Trump (55%) over the Democrats in Congress (32%). Trump has tried to push back from his December claim that he would be proud to shut the government down.

(…)

A plurality of whites without college degrees (45%) attributed the government shutdown to Trump, according to the CNN poll. Almost 2 in 5 blamed the Democrats in Congress. Among white college graduates, 63% said Trump was responsible and only a quarter blamed the Democrats.

In 2016, two-thirds of whites without college degrees voted for Trump and 29% voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They’re one of the President’s strongest groups of supporters. The GOP support held true in the two most recent midterm elections, in 2014, when 64% of whites with no college degrees supported Republican candidates, and in 2018, when 61% did the same.

The new NPR/Marist poll paints a similar picture:

While the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, President Trump’s approval rating is down, and there are cracks showing with his base.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds Trump’s approval rating down and his disapproval rating up from a month ago. He currently stands at 39 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove — a 7-point net change from December when his rating was 42 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove.

And the movement has come from within key portions of his base. He is:

  • Down significantly among suburban men, a net-positive approval rating of 51-to-39 percentto a net-negative of 42 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove. That’s a net change of down 18 percentage points.
  • Down a net of 13 points among white evangelicals, from 73-to-17 percent approve to 66-to-23 percent approve.
  • Down a net of 10 points among Republicans, from 90-to-7 percent approve to 83-to-10 percent.
  • Down marginally among white men without a college degree, from 56-to-34 percent approve to 50-to-35 percent approve, a net change downward of 7 points

“For the first time, we saw a fairly consistent pattern of having his base showing evidence of a cracking,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. “Don’t know if that’s temporary — tied to the government shutdown — or a broader problem the president is having.”

The percentage of people now saying they strongly disapprove of the job the president is doing is up to 45 percent, the highest for Trump since December 2017.

This graphic summarizes the extent to which Trump’s support among his base has slipped during the shutdown:

INSERT NPR MARIST POLL CHART

As I’ve noted before, the President seems remarkably nonchalant about his bad poll numbers among members of the general public, which have skyrocketed (or plummeted depending on your perspective) since the shutdown began, he has clearly been concerned about not losing support among the members of his base. This is the main reason, for example, that he is so sensitive to the criticism of the likes Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and the Fox News crowd and why he does things like change his mind on a deal to end the shutdown when they come out against such measures and start doing things like declaring the Trump Presidency ‘dead,’ as Ann Coulter did in December after it appeared that the President had agreed to a budget deal that failed to fund the border wall. The President’s response, of course, was to pull the rug out from under Senate Republicans and say that he would not support any bill that didn’t provide for at least $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall. This is what led to the shutdown on December 22nd, and it is obviously the President’s intransigence that has led to the current crisis.

To a large degree that intransigence is rooted in the idea that the President’s base is supporting what he is doing, and he has always acted in the manner most likely to please his base. What these polls seem to indicate is that he is starting to lose support among members of that base. While that hasn’t shown up significant in the underlying job approval numbers, if and when it does one has to wonder whether it will be the factor that finally causes him to move off of his current position enough to allow negotiations to reopen. After all, if the President starts to realize that what he’s doing is actually hurting him among his hardcore fans, then maybe he’ll finally be willing to compromise. So if you’re hoping for an end to this disaster, you’d better hope that these voters continue to react negatively to what’s going on.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I don’t have much to add, other than to remind everyone of the tragically uninformed…

    It also indicates that you’re not going to find a source of weakness in his approval ratings.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/shutdown-drags-on-and-the-numbers-get-worse-for-trump/#comment-2377271
    As they say…Ignorant opinions are wiser than informed ones…oh, wait…

  2. MarkedMan says:

    The goal of a Troll is not to be right but rather to sidetrack meaningful discussion

    16
  3. Modulo Myself says:

    Trump has broken his base. You have to suspect that even his strong supporters are now masochistically connected to him fucking up; they need it, in the same way that old people need to be rebuked by imaginary SJWs. I do wonder if Pelosi has figured out what a gift he is to the Democrats. If he gets impeached now, it’s going to be a giant festival of coming together, where the GOP gets a free pass on having to built this machine, and we can go back to balancing the budget and being reasonable and lowering our voices. Forcing the GOP to stick their heads up his ass is great politics.

  4. KM says:

    Look, you can only shoot yourself in the foot so many times before you notice the gun in your hand and go “hmm, maybe it’s me?” Blood-loss helps the process because it’s harder to keep being intransigent about the problem when it’s killing you.

    Trump’s just not delivering on what he sold himself as and he’s damaging them in the process. Yeah, owning the libs might be funny but lols don’t pay the bills. You can’t eat spite and being a “real American” don’t fix the roof still leaking from the last storm. He’s just not bringing home the bacon, you know? On top of all that, those libs refuse to remain owned!

    13
  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    It will be ironic if the main result of the shutdown ends up being that it creates the conditions where impeaching Trump becomes politically feasible for Republicans.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    The fact that the Male-No-College and Evangelicals are cracking is very interesting. In another thread someone bemoaned the fact that there aren’t enough purple state Republican Senators to win an impeachment conviction. But if his base starts to crack, then there are any number of red state Republican Senators who would just love to give Trump the shiv.

  7. James Pearce says:

    What these polls seem to indicate is that he is starting to lose support among members of that base.

    If true, the name-calling and the finger-pointing is going to have to end as the “resistance” mode gives way to recruitment.

    11
  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    A moment to review the fate of the Trumpaloon cult. It began with hope and spite. Hope for a reversal of perceived decline among white people, especially white men, who feel aggrieved. And spite directed at al those coastal elites who always think they’re so smart. They were triumphant, remember? “We won, you lost, deal with it!”

    Seems like only yesterday. Trumpets and banners and loud crowing.

    But the parade ended long ago. The triumph faded. The scandals piled up. The failures piled up. The pathetic weakness and inadequacy and criminality of their cult leader added up. Watch MSNBC two years ago and you were seeing a funeral. Watch MSNBC today and they can’t stop laughing. The left was angry and afraid; now they’re derisive and confident.

    So now the culties cling desperately to a truncated version of Trump’s great racist promise: the wall to keep out brown people. That’s all they have left. And instead of Mexico paying for it, Trump wants the taxpayer to pay for it. IOW, he’s reduced to begging money from the coastal elites to deliver on his pandering lie to his ‘base.’ Literally the only Trump policy point that still holds interest for the cult is the wall. Ann Coulter is not wrong, if Trump caves, his base will be left with no hopes at all, just spite.

    But cult leader is being slapped around the room by a tiny, bird-like lady from San Francisco. Trump’s base is weakening, ours is solid as granite.

    And we don’t even have the Mueller report yet.

    19
  9. Kathy says:

    Let’s not read too much into this.

    The Quinnipiac poll, BTW, gives Trump and McConnell higher disapproval ratings than to Pelosi and Schumer. This is also good, but not good enough. They all have negative ratings, just El Cheeto and his flunky have worse ones.

    Public opinion is fickle. Give another caravan scare (one caravan is on the way), a terrorist attack, one illegal immigrant committing a notorious crime, and things can turn upside down in a hurry.

    The thing to do would be to reach out to that segment of Dennison’s base that’s beginning to crack, and see what else they want that can widen the crack.

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Hope for a reversal of perceived decline among white people, especially white men, who feel aggrieved.

    To be fair, things have been getting better for people in the US in general*, albeit it despite Trump’s administration rather than because of it.

    * – emphasis on “in general”, yes some people are worse off and there are still problems that remaining for the people who have gotten better, but it’s not as bad as it was in 2007 just after the crash.

  11. KM says:

    @Kathy:
    As I point out on the other thread, a portion of Trump’s base is waking up to the fact that he’s demanding appeasement at their expense. Oh they might still totally be For the Wall! but they want the government re-opened and that be a separate negotiation. They’re starting to ask why here, why now, and why does it have to be their paycheck taking the hit. If he’s so good at this (and they really do believe he is), why does this have to happen in this fashion? Can’t he just get the Wall out of Pelosi some other way that doesn’t kill off East Bumf^ck?

    The rubes are starting to ask basic questions and that never ends well for the con-man. Suspension of disbelief is how you keep the con going. I share your caution but this is really not a good sign for him as that’s literally all he has left as solid support. *Any* downturn is bad, bad, bad for sales!

  12. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    Give another caravan scare (one caravan is on the way)

    Stop watching Fox News. The “new caravan” is a hoax:

    Fox News is now just calling random pedestrians a migrant caravan

  13. James Pearce says:

    @Kathy:

    The thing to do would be to reach out to that segment of Dennison’s base that’s beginning to crack, and see what else they want that can widen the crack.

    <– This.

    3
    6
  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:

    The thing to do would be to reach out to that segment of Dennison’s base that’s beginning to crack, and see what else they want that can widen the crack.

    Sure…but remember…this is the same group that was intent on keeping Government out of their Social Security.

    10
  15. Scott F. says:

    @Kathy:

    The thing to do would be to reach out to that segment of Dennison’s base that’s beginning to crack, and see what else they want that can widen the crack.

    This… as long as we are clear that the “segment of Dennison’s base” we are talking about here is white Americans who do not hold college degrees and “what else they want” has limits. I believe there is plenty to offer this demographic that is completely consistent with Democratic values, but that doesn’t include a dumbass wall or the “brown people are to blame” economic policies that have recently drawn them to Trump.

    7
    1
  16. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    I share your caution but this is really not a good sign for him as that’s literally all he has left as solid support.

    The thing is to see if it lasts, and if it grows.

    Trump’s great talent, so to speak, is alienating other people. Inevitably he’ll alienate his base, because he doesn’t really care about them. I’d hoped he’d do this during the 2016 campaign, but he disappointed me. He’s catching up now.

    I don’t think he conned his base, so much as the people, mostly in the GOP, who really disliked Clinton. Those who voted for him, but don’t attend rallies or live by the word of the right wind media.

  17. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Sure…but remember…this is the same group that was intent on keeping Government out of their Social Security.

    That’s easily done than said.

    Of course, it requires keeping money out of their checks, too.

  18. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Stop watching Fox News. The “new caravan” is a hoax:

    I can’t. To stop, first I’d have to start. I wont’ even try to stop, as that, too, would require starting.

    I read the local papers, there’s some talk of a new caravan. I don’t care much one way or the other. some wind up here. Others, horror of horrors, stop at border crossings and ask for asylum (oh, the humanity!)

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    Give another caravan scare

    On the gym TV today FOX was all over the new caravan.

    There’s a story in “The Best and The Brightest” where several Americans are killed in a grenade attack on a cafe in Saigon. A member of the administration argues they need to retaliate, they’d been looking for an excuse to bomb the North and here they had it. A more experienced hand told him to calm down, incidents are like busses, miss this one, another will be along shortly. Apparently caravans work the same way.

  20. Kathy says:

    Aw, how sweet. Dennison’s got a date next month, but not in time for Valentine’s Day.

    Last time he gave away military readiness in the Korean Peninsula in exchange for empty gestures. That will be hard to top.

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kathy:

    I read the local papers, there’s some talk of a new caravan.

    Then stop reading the local papers because they’re just recycling Fox News hoaxes.

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:

    The thing to do would be to reach out to that segment of Dennison’s base that’s beginning to crack, and see what else they want that can widen the crack.

    In the abstract, yes. In reality, I doubt it. Liberals have provided those people with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and agricultural supports, educational support, mostly financed out of the pockets of the coastal elites. They love to take and take and take while denying they’re taking and hating the people they’re taking from. There’s no dealing with a situation where you’re going to be hated no matter what you do or don’t do.

    So what exactly are we going to offer these people? We’re at nearly full employment. They’ve had two years of Trump plus a servile GOP running Congress. They aren’t angry because of this or that, they’re angry because the world has outrun them. They have stupid ideas and stupid beliefs and trying to pander to them is at this point like nation-building in Afghanistan, the gap is too wide and attempts to bridge it just inspires attack. They don’t like the modern world. They don’t like reality. They don’t like secularists, gays, black people, brown people, trans people, immigrants. . . We can’t give them back the 1950s and Jim Crow.

    11
    2
  23. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Jim Crow and the 1950s? What a misread. They wanted Jim Crow and the 50s back so bad they started with the tax cut and prison reform….

  24. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Not all of them. But many states that voted Trump had voted Obama earlier. Get them back.

    Otherwise, you’d best start planning for a civil war. I suggest you secure all nukes, poison gas, and biological weapons first.

  25. Moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “They wanted Jim Crow and the 50s back so bad they started with the tax cut and prison reform”

    Umm, no. That’s the Republicans in Congress, who can always be counted on to make cutting taxes for the wealthy their top priority. Michael was talking about the Trump base of non-college educated whites. Try to keep up.

  26. An Interested Party says:

    They wanted Jim Crow and the 50s back so bad they started with the tax cut and prison reform….

    Umm, no. That’s the Republicans in Congress, who can always be counted on to make cutting taxes for the wealthy their top priority.

    Well, certainly Republicans like the Jim Crow-era voting laws and are trying to reimpose them in another form…

  27. James Pearce says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Michael was talking about the Trump base of non-college educated whites.

    And he misread them. Which tends to happen when you truck in stereotypes.

    @An Interested Party:

    Well, certainly Republicans like the Jim Crow-era voting laws and are trying to reimpose them in another form…

    I don’t think you understand Jim Crow, or Republicans, at all.

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    Yeah, but states are not voters. Last round their people came out in force, ours did not. To win Michigan is a matter of a fraction of a percent. The better play is probably to turn out the base, which we can’t do if we’re pandering to those people. I have yet to see anyone come up with a killer app for picking up disaffected Trump voters that would not betray a core Democratic principal or constituency.

    I’m trending the other way: write them off. About a third of the country are basically hopeless. There’s really nothing we can do to attract them because 1) they hate us and 2) we live in reality and they’re demanding fantasy, just like Brexit voters. You can’t appease fantasists. I think for the sake of national unity we’ve had to play along with these people, but they’ve broken that unity, they’ve started this fight, and I’m inclined not to give them a single goddam thing. Time for tough love. They can join the 21st century or they can sink under the weight of their own bullsht, I’m just sick of pandering to people too stupid to pull their heads out of their asses.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t think you understand Jim Crow, or Republicans, at all.

    Uh huhsure…anyway, I really don’t need to be told about what I don’t understand by someone who thinks Nancy Pelosi is at fault for the government shutdown…

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: My favorite sign was “Don’t turn Medicare into a Socialized Medicine scheme.”

  31. DrDaveT says:

    @James Pearce:

    They wanted Jim Crow and the 50s back so bad they started with the tax cut and prison reform…

    You were so close to saying something useful and important here.

    The prison reform part is real, and significant. It plays so far against type for the GOP that it should be a top priority for Democrats to understand where it came from, why it was possible, and how to leverage similar opportunities on other important topics.

    “Tax reform”? Please. The bill that was passed was no more “tax reform” than the invasion of Iraq was “Iraqi Freedom”.

  32. Gustopher says:

    I was pondering hw unrealistic the far left proposals for free college education are, and how we could never afford them, and then read this post, and then it finally hit me — it would destroy the Republican Party.

    White folks without a college education, henceforth referred to as uneducated crackers, are the base of the Republican Party. AOC’s proposals are simply to educate the uneducated crackers, and destroy the modern Republican Party. And maybe teach them what a marginal tax rate is.

    I think we can afford that. Basic understanding of a marginal tax rate, plus read and understand three or four books by people outside their comfort zone, and we could completely change America. For the better.

    Ok, how about two books and four movies?

  33. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party: Here is where I wish I could post pics to OTB.

    This is Jim Crow: (Insert pic of a “whites only” sign.)

    This is modern life: (Insert pic of someone holding a photo ID.)

    Get the IDs, vote the bastards out.

    @DrDaveT:

    It plays so far against type for the GOP that it should be a top priority for Democrats to understand where it came from, why it was possible, and how to leverage similar opportunities on other important topics.

    I agree, especially on the “leverage similar opportunities” stuff. (Not a fan of the tax bill, btw.) But the point of bringing those up is to dispute Michael’s BS about the irredeemable racism at the heart of all Republican politics.

    And then he goes on with “About a third of the country are basically hopeless.” What a crock, man. I started rejecting that divisive crap as soon as Clinton lost a winnable election to an incompetent wanna-be despot and I’m not going to stop.

    1
    3
  34. JohnMcC says:

    @Moosebreath: That stupid commenter who does not deserve a reply thinks that the Trump base wants the REAL ’50s back. Dummy! They want the ’50s of their childhood back, the ’50s of their imagination, that era when mom would tuck them into the covers and all the boogey-men would be chased out of the closet and out from under the bed. No one wants the ’50s of Mutually Assured Destruction and Bull Conner and 90% marginal tax rates to come back.

    4
    1
  35. Moosebreath says:

    @JohnMcC:

    “No one wants the ’50s of Mutually Assured Destruction and Bull Conner and 90% marginal tax rates to come back.”

    Actually, other than Mutually Assured Destruction, there are people who want the others back. People who want Bull Conner back are the Deplorable wing of the Republican base (like the person who complained about current shutdown because it’s hurting the wrong people). People who want 90% marginal tax rates back are the left wing of the Democratic Party, like Ocasio Cortez and Bernie.

  36. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: if they learned basic biology and chemistry, the evangelicals and Koch brothers wouldn’t be happy.

  37. James Pearce says:

    @JohnMcC:

    They want the ’50s of their childhood back, the ’50s of their imagination, that era when mom would tuck them into the covers and all the boogey-men would be chased out of the closet and out from under the bed.

    Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulous and Stephen Miller don’t want the 50s of their childhoods back….are you kidding me?

  38. An Interested Party says:

    Here is where I wish I could post pics to OTB.

    This is Jim Crow: (Insert pic of a “whites only” sign.)

    This is modern life: (Insert pic of someone holding a photo ID.)

    Here’s a pic and an explanation…enjoy…

    Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulous and Stephen Miller don’t want the 50s of their childhoods back….are you kidding me?

    On the contrary…they seem to want the return of some mythical 1950s time when white people were on top and controlled everything and women and minorities (ethnic and sexual among others) knew their (lower) place in society…

  39. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party:

    On the contrary…they seem to want the return of some mythical 1950s time when white people were on top and controlled everything and women and minorities (ethnic and sexual among others) knew their (lower) place in society…

    I see things muuuuch differently. I see a young post-Columbine generation who grew up knowing their schools might get shot up, who came of age in a time of war and terrorism, who were coming into adulthood just as the Great Recession was destroying their life prospects. Do the gamers use the n word because they’re racist or because they listen to a lot of hip-hop? Points to ponder…

    So yeah, this whole “return to the 50s” and “they’re all racist and sexist” stuff misses the mark. Is it present? Sure. Is it the only thing animating the other side? Hell no. That needs to be recognized because you are not going to get people to vote for you by calling them deplorable. I thought that was ably demonstrated in 2016.

  40. An Interested Party says:

    So yeah, this whole “return to the 50s” and “they’re all racist and sexist” stuff misses the mark. Is it present? Sure. Is it the only thing animating the other side? Hell no.

    Whoever said it was the only thing animating the other side?

    That needs to be recognized because you are not going to get people to vote for you by calling them deplorable. I thought that was ably demonstrated in 2016.

    Hmm, that didn’t seem to hurt Obama

  41. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Whoever said it was the only thing animating the other side?

    Our own Michael Reynolds says it all the time.