One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans feel more positive about the economy but worse about the state of the country overall. That lack of confidence closely ties to views of the president himself.
66 percent of Americans say the country’s economy is healthy. But 75 percent call the country divided. 60 percent lack confidence in the U.S. political system. 60 percent also say racial tensions increased.
Trump’s strongest backers characterize things as going well. But his opponents, who grew increasingly opposed over the year, hold an entirely different opinion. Overall, the number of Americans saying Donald Trump as president makes them feel “pessimistic” ranks higher than a year ago.
A study by YouGov began analyzing four groups this time last year: the strongest of Trump backers – labeled “believers”; those who support only if he delivers what they want – labeled “conditionals”; those opposing Trump but willing to back him if things change – labeled “curious”; and those firmly opposed to Trump – labeled “resisters.”
Overall, the movement over the year included a slow shift away from President Trump. That movement ran across the four groups: the believers, the conditionals, the curious and the resisters.
The number of believers shrunk from 22 percent to 18 percent. The number of strong opponents “resisters” grew from 35 percent to 41 percent.
The president’s believers feel the country is “run for the benefit of all the people.” But others say the country is being run “for the benefit of a few elites.” 49 percent expressed that sentiment.
The president’s approach to issues and how he conducts himself personally appeals to his supporters. Belivers back him more for “being a different kind of president” and for “taking on the establishment” than for economic or policy reasons. Trump’s strongest backers see political fights, such as investigating Hillary Clinton, as a top priority in 2018, but only believers think so. Conditional backers disagree. Only believers view Trump as a role model at a rate of 80 percent. More than 50 percent of conditional supporters specify Trump is not a role model.
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