Despite one of the worst historical performances in the first two months of a presidency in American history, Donald Trump hasn’t lost much support.
While many Ohioans are finding him personally unlikeable, very few respondents in a recent survey out of Balwin Wallace University say they would’ve changed their vote this past November.
Here’s the skinny on the methodology of the survey, from Cleveland.com:
The online poll of 1,019 self-reported registered Ohio voters was conducted between Feb. 24 and March 8. To attempt to develop a representative sample, researchers established demographic quotas using U.S. Census data, and weighted results to match the education levels of those who participated in last year’s primary elections.
Forty-nine percent of respondents reported voting for Trump, and 41 percent said they voted for Clinton. This 8-point difference matches the actual election margin in Ohio, suggesting BW’s survey collected a generally representative mix of Clinton and Trump voters.
And what of the results w/r/t the opinions of this sparkling cross-section of our fellow Buckeyes?
Ohio’s partisan divide, which widened during last year’s bruising presidential election, has persisted into the early weeks of Trump’s presidency, according to a new statewide survey.
The Baldwin Wallace University poll found Republicans and Democrats to be near mirror images on any number of issues, ranging from their views on Trump’s immigration policies, to trust in the mainstream media, to support for Trump’s major policy proposals and the president himself…
Despite Trump’s relative lack of popularity, very few respondents reported they would have changed their vote. And while Trump may be personally unpopular, the survey found signs of optimism and support for what Trump might do as president.
I suppose one shouldn’t expect anything less. The Trump Administration has been unable so far to actually implement much of its policy agenda. That being the case, it’s all still politics and most people aren’t feeling the enormous amounts of pain the policies themselves would inflict. As long as it’s all still politics, and not yet real-world pain, one can’t expect too many people to transcend the dung-flinging to which everyone’s become so accustomed.
The survey did also find this, however:
Trump so far has failed to consolidate support among self-identified Independent voters, who make up nearly one-third of those who responded. This contributed to Trump having an overall slightly negative favorability rating, despite the “honeymoon effect” that’s typically enjoyed by presidents in the early days of their administration.
Self-identified Independent voters pride themselves on that self-identification, though I don’t believe I’ve ever met one whose leanings weren’t fairly well obvious. Nevertheless, the self-gratification of being “Independent” and “open to reason” is a conceit that is far from being above political exploitation.
These tend to be our “kum ba yah” voters, who simply cannot fathom why our politics have become “so divided,” typically in blissful ignorance of the fact that politics have always been divided, and that disputation and confrontation are the pick and the axe that break civilization out of the cuffs of inequity and the chains of oppressive systems.
It’s hard to imagine “Independent” and “open to reason” voters blaming Democrats for division with a President Trump who has insulted women, hispanics, veterans, the disabled, the “blacks,” and picked fights with, as Matt Tiabbi recently delineated, “the Australian prime minister, an acting attorney general, seven predominantly Muslim countries, a “so-called” federal judge, Sweden, ‘Fake Tears’ Chuck Schumer, Saturday Night Live, the FBI, the “very un-American” leakers within the intelligence community, and the city of Paris (it’s “no longer Paris”). He’s side-eyed Mark Cuban, John McCain, millions of protesters, Lindsey Graham, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Cuomo, the University of California at Berkeley, ratings ‘disaster’ Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nancy Pelosi, the “TRAITOR Chelsea Manning,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Barack Obama and the city of Chicago, among many, many others.”
But in the United States of Attention Deficit Disorder, they shall need to be reminded, early and often. President Trump and Republicans in general are counting on Americans’ remarkable ability to forget.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.