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, 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.