The Takeaway: Is Trump's Base Slipping?

The Takeaway: Is Trump's Base Slipping?
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Intriguing tidbits from the week in election surveys and public opinion polls. 

Meanwhile, Back in Trump Country: On the same day Democrats were cruising to impressive victories in governor races in New Jersey and Virginia, an NBC/WSJ poll of voters taken from 438 “Trump counties” was released. These are counties that either flipped from voting for President Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016, or “surge” counties where Trump performed at least 20 percentage points better than Mitt Romney did in 2012. 

The survey showed Trump suffering some slippage in these places when compared to a previous poll taken in July, but not by much. Overall, his approval rating in these counties dipped from 50 percent to 48 percent, which is still 10 points higher than his national job approval average. And on two of the most important issues to “Trump county” voters, the president receives his highest marks: 56 percent of respondents are satisfied with the job he is doing on “improving the economy,” and 55 percent are satisfied that he is “keeping America safe.”

On a related note, a Morning Consult/Politico survey released this week showed that 82 percent of self-identified Trump voters have no regrets. Yep, more than four out of five say they would vote for The Donald again if they could do the 2016 election over, while 7 percent they would vote for another candidate and 5 percent would stay home. As a point of reference, 78 percent of Clinton voters would still “be with her” if they could do 2016 over, but 8 percent would vote for someone else and 9 said they would stay home.

California Dreamin’: The GOP hasn’t won a statewide race in California since 2006, and it doesn’t look like it will happen again anytime soon. A new survey from USC/Los Angeles Times shows that Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen is currently polling at 15 percent in the Golden State governor’s race, putting him in third place behind Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, who manage 31 percent and 21 percent support, respectively. The top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election. Meanwhile, in the race for Senate, 84-year-old incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein has a healthy lead over 50-year-old Democratic state Senate leader Kevin de Leon, 58 percent to 31 percent. 

Anniversary Blues: As members of “The Resistance” were cursing the sky on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s election, Gallup released a survey this week confirming that Democrats’ feelings of “well-being” has declined significantly in 2017. In particular, Gallup noted that demographic groups that align closely with Democrats felt the decline most acutely: women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and those in lower-income households.

Rocket Man Unites Us! Finally, a new Pew Research survey shows a rare point of agreement among partisans. Seventy-five percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Republicans believe North Korea’s nuclear program is a “major threat” to the United States. Democrats and Republicans also agree foreign cyberattacks are a major threat. On the other end of the spectrum, however, there is a massive 55-point gap on the issue of climate change: 83 percent of Democrats see it as a major threat while just 28 percent of Republicans do.

Who Do You Believe? Unbowed by the president’s criticism, CNN posed a question about to what degree do voters believe what they hear from the White House. Buried at the bottom of the news channel’s most recent survey, we find that 10 percent of voters believe “almost all” of what emanates from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 20 percent believe “most of it,” 37 percent believe “just some of it.” Fully 31 percent of voters believe “nothing at all” that they hear from this White House.

Tom Bevan is the Co-Founder & Publisher of RealClearPolitics and the co-author of Election 2012: A Time for Choosing. Email:, Twitter: @TomBevanRCP

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