A Morning Consult Poll released this week shows that the “public’s confidence in the presidency” is up significantly among Republicans since December 2016 but is significantly down among Democrats over the same time period.
An astonishing 82 percent of Republicans say they have “a lot” or “some” confidence in the institution of the presidency, according to the January 2018 Morning Consult Poll.
That represents a 23-point increase from the 59 percent of Republicans who said they had “a lot” or “some” confidence in the institution of the presidency in the December 2016 Morning Consult Poll conducted one month after President Donald Trump was elected, but one month before he was inaugurated.
And among Republicans, there are even fewer naysayers about the institution of the presidency in January 2018 than there were in December 2016.
The number of Republicans who describe their confidence level as “none at all” in the presidency dropped from 13 percent in December 2016 to a mere 7 percent in January 2018.
Among Democrats, it is an entirely different story.
Only 24 percent of Democrats say they have “a lot” or “some” confidence in the institution of the presidency today, down 30 points from the 54 percent who had that level of confidence in December 2016, the last full month of the administration of President Barack Obama.
Virtually all of those Democrats who no longer say they have “a lot” or “some” confidence in the institution of the presidency now say their confidence level in the institution is “none at all.”
In December 2016, 18 percent of Democrats said their confidence level in the presidency was “none at all.” One year and one month later, in January 2018, that number has increased by 34 points, to a whopping 52 percent.
While Republicans’ confidence level in the institution of the presidency is way up, and Democrats’ confidence is way down, independents’ confidence is down only slightly, almost within the margin of error.
Since December 2016, when 42 percent of independents had “a lot” or “some” confidence in the institution of the presidency, that confidence level has declined by just three points, to 39 percent in January 2018, just beyond the Morning Consult Poll’s two percentage points margin of error.
The number of independents who say their confidence level in the presidency is “none at all” has increased by 11 points, from 20 percent in December 2016 to 31 percent in January 2018.
Almost all of these independents appear to have simply moved from the “not much” confidence to “none at all” since December 2016. In that month, 32 percent of independents said that their confidence level in the institution of the presidency was “not much.” One year and one month later, that number dropped to 21 percent.
Morning Consult framed the results of the poll quite differently, however.
“Nearly one-third of voters say they have no confidence in the Presidency,” their headline read, noting, accurately that “The share of voters who expressed no confidence in the presidency climbed to 31 percent, from 17 percent in December 2016.”
Morning Consult did, however, note that there is a “Partisan divide in those who say they have confidence in the presidency”:
Forty-one percent of Republicans now say they have “a lot” of confidence in the presidency, compared with 19 percent who said the same more than a year ago. There was a similar but opposite effect among Democrats, with 52 percent now saying they have no confidence in the presidency, up from 18 percent in December 2016.
Morning Consult also reported that “Voters maintain trust in newspapers, lack confidence in Congress, health care system”:
When asked whether they had confidence in certain institutions, 22% of voters said they lack confidence in Congress and 13% said they lack confidence in the health care system.
Newspapers, a frequent punching bag of the president and his supporters – maintained their trust among the public, with 53% saying this month and a year earlier that they had at least some confidence in them. Television news, another recipient of Trump’s criticism, dropped 4 points to 48 percent among those reporting at least some confidence
The January 2018 Morning Consult Poll “was conducted from Jan 4-5, 2018, among a national sample of 1,988 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.”
According to the poll’s crosstabs, 36 percent of respondents were Democrats (723 out of 1,988), 31 percent were Republicans (626 out of 1,988), and 32 percent were independents (639 out of 1,988).