Plurality Of Voters Think Trump Obstructed Justice

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest national poll finds a variety of bad news for Donald Trump in the wake of James Comey’s testimony to Congress last week. 49% of voters say that they think Trump committed obstruction of justice, to just 41% who don’t think he did. Only 37% of voters say they think Trump is honest, to 56% who say he’s not. A majority of voters- 53%- come right out and say they consider Trump to be a liar to 41% who disagree with that characterization. And for the second month in a row we find plurality support for impeachment- 47% are in support of it to 43% who are opposed.

Voters say they trust James Comey more than Trump by double digits, 51/39. Comey’s image has improved rapidly in the wake of his testimony. Last month he had a -16 net favorability rating at 24/40, but now he’s on positive ground at 40/37. That improvement is a product of Clinton voters seeming to have largely forgiven Comey at this point- his favorability with them is 60/13, in contrast to an 18/67 standing with Trump voters. One thing we find little disagreement about is that only 13% of voters think it’s the job of the FBI Director to do whatever Donald Trump tells them to do, compared to 77% who say they disagree with that notion. There also continues to be a clear consensus that the reason for Comey’s firing was his investigation into Russian involvement in the election- 54% say that drove the firing to 35% who disagree.

We polled Americans on how they feel about a quartet of foreign leaders, and found that all of them have better net favorabilities in the country than its own President does:



Net Favorability

Angela Merkel



Justin Trudeau



Emmanuel Macron



Theresa May



Donald Trump



The favorability numbers for the foreign leaders are a little bit of a reality check on how closely Americans pay attention to foreign affairs though. Merkel has just 61% name recognition and it goes down from there to 51% for Trudeau, 50% for May, and 43% for Macron. Clinton voters have favorable opinions of all the foreign leaders with Merkel (57/10 favorability) and Trudeau (53/11) coming out particularly well. Trump voters see all of them with the exception of May in a negative light.

Health care continues to be a political disaster for Republicans. Only 24% of voters support the American Health Care Act to 55% who oppose it. It doesn’t even have majority support among GOP voters- 42% support it to 29% who are opposed. Voters prefer the current Affordable Care Act to the alternative of the AHCA by a 51/34 spread, and only 35% of voters think the best path forward on health care is to repeal the ACA while 59% think it should be left in place with fixes made to it as necessary.

The health care bill could have major political implications in 2018. By a 24 point margin voters say they’re less likely to vote for a member of Congress who supported the American Health Care Act- 48% say they’re less likely to vote for someone who favored it, to only 24% who say they’re more likely to support such a person.

The present political climate is also having the effect of firing up Democratic voters for 2018. Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot overall, 50/40. But among voters who say they’re ‘very excited’ about turning out next year, that lead increases to 18 points at 57/39. That’s because 67% of Clinton voters say they’re ‘very excited’ about next year’s election, compared to only 57% of Trump voters. Republicans are only more competitive on the generic ballot overall thanks to a 52/32 advantage among those who say they aren’t excited about voting next year.

The unpopularity of the health care bill is harming the overall brand of Congress and its leaders. Congress as a whole has just an 11% approval rating, to 61% of voters who disapprove of it. Paul Ryan’s approval rating is 25/57, and that has him coming out well in comparison to Mitch McConnell who’s at 16/59. There’s not much faith in Congressional Republicans when it comes to the Trump/Russia investigation either- only 34% think their top priority is uncovering the truth about Trump and Russia, while 46% think they’re mostly just focused on trying to protect Trump.

Trump’s approval rating comes in at 41/52 this month. While much of the recent focus has been on Russia and health care, there are other things he continues to be at odds with voters about as well:

-59% of voters still think he should release his tax returns, to only 34% who don’t think he needs to.

-Only 34% of voters support the proposed wall with Mexico if Americans have to pay for it, to 57% opposed to the wall.

-Trump is losing all of his fights with the media. Voters say they trust ABC more than him 52/39, that they trust NBC more 52/41, that they trust CBS more 51/40, that they trust the New York Times and Washington Post more each 49/40, and that they trust CNN more 49/41.

When it comes down to it only 36% of voters think Trump has delivered on his promise to ‘Make America Great Again,’ to 56% who say he has not. And perhaps as a result he’s trailing in early hypothetical match ups with a number of possible 2020 Democratic candidates we pitted him against- he trails Joe Biden 54/41 and Bernie Sanders 51/41 and is also at a narrow deficit against Elizabeth Warren (46/43), Cory Booker (43/41), and Kamala Harris (42/41). And by a 53/41 spread, voters wish Barack Obama was still President instead of Trump.

A few final notes from the poll:

-42% of Trump voters think it’s appropriate for GOP politicians to body slam reporters, compared to 45% who think it’s inappropriate. By contrast only 6% of Clinton voters think it’s ok for them to body slam reporters, to 89% who think it’s inappropriate. Overall 22% of voters think it’s ok for GOP politicians to body slam reporters, to 69% who think it’s not. 

-There’s also a divide between Trump and Clinton voters when it comes to public memorials to the Confederacy. Trump voters support them 70/15. By contrast only 46% of them support the American Health Care Act, and only 62% of them oppose the Affordable Care Act. So they are much more unified over Confederate memorials than they are about anything related to health care. Clinton voters oppose Confederate memorials, 20/55. Overall there’s 42/35 support.

Full results here

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