85% Of Americans Havent Changed Their Minds About Donald Trump Since 2016

The vast majority of Americans haven’t changed their minds about Donald Trump at any point since he won the presidency, a new study finds. 

According to the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, which interviewed thousands of Americans four times between the winter of 2016 and this January, 85% expressed the same view of Trump each time  ― a result the group called “remarkably stable given the often tumultuous nature of his time in office.” 

The lion’s share of those opinions haven’t been positive: In fact, 48% of the public has consistently rated Trump unfavorably, while 36% has given him consistently favorable ratings. 

“Two years into President Trump’s term, attitudes toward him remain remarkably consistent, with widespread support among Republicans but little sign that his popularity has expanded beyond his base,” Rob Griffin, the group’s research director, said in a statement. “If you added up every person who ever had a favorable view of him, it would still be less than half the country. Heading into 2020, this might be a ceiling for him.”

The report is just the latest of a slew of data points to highlight the exceptional stability of Trump’s ratings, which have vacillated within a narrow band since he took office.

But it does find a substantial change in one group: Voters who supported Barack Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016 still hold largely positive views of the current president, but their opinions have notably cooled.

Between December 2016 and January 2019, the share of Obama-Trump voters who viewed Trump favorably fell from 85 percent to 66 percent. No other voting bloc saw a statistically significant shift during that time. 

Obama-Trump voters make up only a single-digit fraction of the electorate, but they could still have an electoral impact.

Obama-Trump voters make up only a single-digit fraction of the electorate, but they could still have an electoral impact.

Obama-Trump voters, though generally right-leaning, differ from Trump’s other supporters in a few ways: They’re less closely attuned to politics and less likely to consider themselves conservatives or Republicans. In past polls, they were also less convinced than other Trump voters that the president cared a lot about the needs and problems of people like them.

Such voters make up only a single-digit fraction of the electorate. But their demographics ― disproportionately white and non-college-educated ― mean they may be “well distributed geographically for the purpose of electoral impact,” the report’s authors write.

For its most recent poll, the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group surveyed 6,779 Americans between November 17, 2018, and January 7, 2019, using YouGov’s online panel. Toplines for the survey are available here

Robert Kennedy Jrs Vaccine Views Slammed As Tragically Wrong By Family

Three of Robert F Kennedy Jr.’s family members are publicly condemning his outspoken anti-vaccine views in an op-ed that calls his beliefs as “tragically wrong” and “dangerous.”

“We love Bobby,” they wrote in the column published by Politico on Wednesday. “However, on vaccines he is wrong. … On this issue, Bobby is an outlier in the Kennedy family.” 

He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines. Those who delay or refuse vaccinations, or encourage others to do so, put themselves and others, especially children, at risk.

The op-ed is credited to Kennedy’s sister, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland (D) and former chair of the Global Virus Network; his brother, former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Mass.); and his niece, Maeve Kennedy McKean, executive director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiatives.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been an outspoken critic of vaccines. His family on Wednesday slammed him as "complicit in sowing d

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been an outspoken critic of vaccines. His family on Wednesday slammed him as “complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines.”

RFK Jr., a prominent environmental lawyer who’s the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, has accused pharmacy companies of intentionally trying to sicken children through vaccines so they can reap profits from their long-term health care needs. (Kennedy posted articles that made similar claims on HuffPost’s contributor platform prior to its closure in 2018.)

“They’re trying to get at your baby,” Kennedy told vaccine activists in Texas last week, according to Texas Monthly.

Kennedy reportedly was invited to the conference by anti-vaccine organization Texans for Vaccine Choice.

“The thing that cured measles was nutrition and clean water, not the vaccine,” Kennedy reportedly said. He blamed vaccines for asthma, SIDS, encephalopathy, Bell’s palsy and autism, among other ailments.

Federal health officials have been urging vaccinations amid a measles outbreak that has sickened at least 764 people this year ― the most since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has blamed unvaccinated communities and misinformation for allowing the disease to spread. 

President John F. Kennedy, RFK Jr’s uncle, urged Americans to be vaccinated for polio in the early 1960s, the op-ed noted.

JFK also signed the Vaccination Assistance Act in 1962, which allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support mass immunization campaigns, and signed an executive order to create the U.S. Agency for International Development, which supports vaccine campaigns in developing countries.

“There is no longer any reason why American children should suffer from polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, or tetanus,” President Kennedy told Congress in 1962. “I am asking the American people to join in a nationwide vaccination program to stamp out these four diseases.”

Robert Kennedy Jr’s father also supported vaccinations.

“Everyone must communicate the benefits and safety of vaccines, and advocate for the respect and confidence of the institutions which make them possible,” the op-ed concluded. “To do otherwise risks even further erosion of one of public health’s greatest achievements.”

House Democrats Move Forward On William Barr Contempt Vote After Negotiations Fail

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will go ahead with a scheduled vote on Wednesday that will move them toward holding U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after the Justice Department failed to produce the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller along with its underlying evidence.

The decision comes after House Judiciary staffers met with Justice Department officials to negotiate over access to a less-redacted version of the report on Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

In a letter on Tuesday, the Justice Department told the committee that President Donald Trump may assert executive privilege over some Mueller-related materials. 

Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1.

Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, indicated earlier Tuesday that there had been no change in his plans to hold a hearing on the Barr contempt report at 10 a.m. Wednesday. A Democratic aide said late Tuesday that the meeting was still scheduled.

Trump administration officials in the Justice Department say that the committee “has not articulated any legitimate basis for requesting the law enforcement documents that bear upon more than two dozen criminal cases and investigations, including ongoing matters.” Democrats say that the Justice Department is failing to comply with congressional oversight and “hindered the Committee’s constitutional, oversight, and legislative functions.”

House Democrats and the Justice Department had gone back and forth since last week. Barr bailed on a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing that would have examined his handling of the Mueller report because he didn’t want to be questioned by a committee lawyer for an extended period.

Mueller wrote a letter to Barr saying that the attorney general had mischaracterized his investigation’s findings in Barr’s initial summary of the report, which quoted select lines from the 448-page Mueller report out of context. Hours before releasing the redacted version of the report last month, Barr held a news conference in which he put a Trump-friendly spin on the investigation’s findings

Igor Bobic contributed to this report.