By Matt Holzapfel
As President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office nears, support for his administration and his policies has wavered slightly, according to a report done by the Elon University Poll. The Elon Poll is a university-funded organization that conducts frequent regional and statewide surveys on issues of importance to North Carolinians as well as other southern states. Their most recent report, titled “Trump Support Declines in North Carolina at the end of the First 100 Days” includes several polls and graphics, ranging from general approval ratings to people’s thoughts on Trump’s use of Twitter. The full report can be found here.
“Yeah, I’ve heard of the poll,” said Kristen O’Neill, a sophomore at Elon University. “It’s 10 dollars an hour and you get free pizza,” she joked. “They call North Carolina residents and try and gain a consensus on what North Carolinians believe.” That assessment is pretty much spot on with the Poll’s goals and methodology.
The first poll, shown to the right, asked NC residents their thoughts on the President’s overall job so far since he took office. “I saw it (this poll) on Facebook actually,” said O’Neill. “It doesn’t surprise me.” “You have to think about North Carolina as a whole,” said sophomore Betsy Albritton. “There’s a lot of small, conservative counties. I’d say it’s pretty fair.”
The first poll conducted seems to mirror the general consensus on the national level, as Trump approval ratings tend to hover around 53% disapprove and 42% approve, according to fivethirtyeight.com.
The second poll asked people what they thought about Trump’s use of Twitter. The results were more astounding than any of the other polls and showed that 73% of people thought it was inappropriate, while just 18% of people thought it was appropriate.
“It comes off as immature,” said sophomore Thomas Coogan. “You can see he’s actually getting less favorites as the weeks go on. When he’s blaming other people it doesn’t go over as well.” O’Neill was also not surprised and said: “I’d agree with that.”
The third poll posted was regarding Trump’s plan to build a wall along the US border with Mexico. You can see the results of that poll to the right. O’Neill agreed that the results were not too surprising. As for Trump’s overall approval ratings, Coogan said we might see a drastic shift in the future, or we might not. “It depends on how his presidency goes, there’s only so long you can scapegoat (blame) other people before people start to say ‘okay maybe you’re not the person for us.'”
Elon Poll Director Jason Husser noted that while Trump has faced harsh criticism from many people, the core supporters that carried him to the Oval Office in the first place still remain very loyal. “Typically, Presidents enjoy strong support during their first 100 days, even from former opponents or critics,” said Husser. “The Trump presidency is
different. His level of support in his first 100 days, both for himself personally and for his key policies, is as low as we’ve seen in the history of opinion polling. However, his core supporters remain very loyal.” Husser also noted that this disapproval is partly Trump’s fault, but also partly the result of a damaged political system. “Trump’s difficulty in presidential approval likely comes from two sources, his rhetorical and policy decisions, which he has control over, and a divisive, polarized and dysfunctional political environment that makes it hard for any incoming president to function.”