In the aftermath of Republican election losses in Virginia and New Jersey, the Trump administration faces a critical test in efforts to pass a tax plan. That challenge comes as American’s confidence about the President’s ability to “get things done” continues to decline.
Periodically, over the past 9 months, SurveyMonkey’s tracking surveys have asked respondents to select from a list of personal characteristics and qualities those they feel best apply to President Trump.
While President Donald Trump’s scores have declined gradually on all of the characteristics tested, two have declined at at a greater rate: “Can get things done” (down 13 percentage points since February, from 38 to 25 percent) and “keeps his promises” (down 18 points, from 36 to 18 percent).
Over the course of the year, Trump’s overall job approval rating has declined but not nearly as much. This past week, 41 percent of Americans approved of the way Trump is handling his job as President in SurveyMonkey’s tracking, unchanged from the previous week, but 7 percentage points lower than the week following his inauguration in January (48 percent) – roughly half the decline seen on the measures of getting things done and keeping promises.
Put another way, when we first asked voters to apply the various characteristics to Trump, roughly three quarters of Republicans and those who approved of the President’s job performance described him as able to “get things done.” Now, just over half of his base – 55 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of those who approve of the job he’s doing – express the same confidence in Trump’s ability to get things done.
The decline on “get things done” has been essentially constant across key subgroups of Republicans: male and female, young and old, conservative or moderate, more or less educated.
Other perceptions of the President have declined, but not as much. All along, Americans have been more willing to describe him as someone who “stands up for what he believes in” (now 38 percent) and “tough enough for the job” (30 percent). They have been far more reluctant to say the President “inspires confidence” (15 percent), “shares your values” (16 percent) or is “honest and trustworthy” (13 percent). On all of these traits, Trump’s scores the past week are roughly five to six percentage points lower than they were in February.
It’s worth noting that while most Republicans (85 percent) now approve of Trump’s performance, a number that has changed little in recent months, only about half strongly approve (52 percent). And while large majorities of Republicans say that Trump “stands up for what he believes” (74 percent) or is “tough enough for the job” (65 percent), just 32 percent choose to describe him as honest and just 42 percent as sharing their values.
That uneasiness among Republicans underscores the high stakes in the battle over the tax bill and why the Trump administration very much needs to show its base it can get things done on the issue they care about.
This week’s full approval topline results and a detailed demographic breakdown can be viewed here. Results from the survey testing Trump’s personal characteristics and qualities can be viewed here. Results from previous weeks can be accessed here.
Methodology: This week’s SurveyMonkey Tracking poll testing President Trump’s approval rating was conducted online November 2 through November 8, 2017 among a national sample of 19,325 adults ages 18 and up. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data for this week have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.
The survey testing President Trump’s personal characteristics and qualities rating was conducted online October 30 through November 2, 2017 among a national sample of 7,575 adults ages 18 and up. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points.