Americans Say The White House Is Creating More Problems Than It Solves

And more of the latest polling news.
White House chief of staff John Kelly (right) walks with fellow staff to board Air Force One on Aug. 4, 2017.
White House chief of staff John Kelly (right) walks with fellow staff to board Air Force One on Aug. 4, 2017.

Americans think the people in President Donald Trump’s administration are causing more problems than they solve for themselves and for the country, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.

Thirty-seven percent of the public says that Trump’s staff is mostly creating problems for themselves, while just 14 percent say they’re mostly solving them. The remainder aren’t sure, or say that Trump’s staff are doing both equally.

Along the same lines, 41 percent of those polled say Trump’s administration is largely creating problems for the country, and just 19 percent that it’s largely solving them.

Even voters who supported Trump in last year’s election are not universally positive about the current efforts of his White House. Just 30 percent of Trump voters say that the people in his administration are doing more to solve than create problems for themselves, and a slim 54 percent majority say that they’re doing more to solve than create problems for the nation.

The poll, which was taken in the immediate wake of Anthony Scaramucci’s 10-day stint as White House communications director, also finds that most Americans think that the number of senior staff officials leaving the Trump White House has so far been unusually high.

Fifty-two percent say that the number of senior officials who’ve resigned or lost their jobs in the White House during Trump’s presidency has been higher than average, with 16 percent saying it’s about average, and 8 percent that it’s lower than usual.

Of those who believe that it’s higher than average, 71 percent say that Trump bears a lot of responsibility for the turnover, with 91 percent saying he bears at least some responsibility.

Other surveys have produced similar findings. In a CNN/SSRS poll released Tuesday, 62 percent of Americans said Trump had done a poor job of assembling a team of top advisers to work in the White House, and 58 percent said the level of turnover in the White House had hurt the administration’s effectiveness.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups.


AMERICANS UNEASY ABOUT NORTH KOREA - Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto, on a poll taken prior to the president’s threats Tuesday that North Korea would face “fire and fire”: “Nearly three-quarters of Americans are uneasy about the possibility of conflict with North Korea, and most feel that way about President Donald Trump’s approach to the situation. A majority think North Korea is using its missile program to try to gain power and influence, rather than outright planning a nuclear strike on the U.S. Nevertheless, that unease remains…. As in the spring, a majority remains uneasy about President Donald Trump’s ability to handle the situation with North Korea’s nuclear program. Only a third are confident in his ability. ” [CBS]

TRUMP’S APPROVAL RATINGS SEEM TO BE DIPPING - As of Tuesday afternoon, 37 percent approve of the president in HuffPost Pollster’s average. HuffPollster, last week: “After months of relative stability, President Donald Trump’s numbers are again showing signs of a downward shift in the latest polls….Trump’s exact numbers vary from survey to survey. But national polls released this week ― including Quinnipiac, Gallup, Rasmussen, and YouGov ― all show he’s now faring worse than he was at the end of June and beginning of July….[T]here’s one obvious possible culprit for the drop in Trump’s numbers: the GOP’s failed attempt to repeal Obamacare…. Although Trump’s base remains largely behind him, enthusiasm appears to have taken a noticeable dip in the past week, according to at least one survey. While 85 percent of Trump voters approve of the president, according to the Economist/YouGov poll, just 43 percent say they approve of him strongly. That’s down from a majority who said so in most of the outlet’s past surveys.” [HuffPost; more from Quinnipiac, CNN and YouGov; Charles Franklin on whether the new lows will “stick”]

Why Trump is tweeting about fake polls again - Until the past few weeks, Trump’s supporters have generally been able to point to a handful of polls, including Rasmussen and at times Morning Consult, that showed him with relatively better ratings. But the latest round of surveys offer no such data points for the president. Instead, they show his “disapprove” numbers clearly rising above his “approves.” Polls since the beginning of August that are currently included in Pollster’s aggregate have Trump’s approval at no higher than 41 percent and his disapproval no lower than 54 percent.

Why approval polling is still sometimes “all over the place” - SurveyMonkey’s Mark Blumenthal: “When the differences among polls were especially wide in the first few weeks of the Trump administration, some observers noted the gap was biggest between telephone polls conducted with live interviewers and self-administered surveys conducted either by phone or online….Findings from the Pew Research Center, published in late March, quashed much of the speculation….Much of the answer comes from how pollsters choose to handle uncertain respondents, and how those choices differ with and without interviewers….Not surprisingly, the respondents who opt for ‘unsure’ when prompted are overwhelmingly less engaged in politics than other Americans and, presumably, less comfortable rating the job the President is doing.” [HuffPost]

MANY ISSUES FACE A GROWING PARTISAN DIVIDE - Frank Newport and Andrew Dugan: “Many of the increasingly polarized issues are ones on which the leaders in each party have taken strong public positions and that are often included in official party platforms. Since Gallup began regularly asking public opinion questions about global warming, Democrats have always been substantially more likely than Republicans to be concerned about the phenomenon. But in the mid-2000s, the partisan gap began to grow, largely because of a growing skepticism within the ranks of the GOP….The difference between the percentage of Republicans who think gun laws should be stricter and the percentage of Democrats who think gun laws should be stricter grew by 28 points between 2001 and 2016…. Since Democratic President Barack Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014, Democrats have become far more likely than Republicans to have a favorable view of that country.” [Gallup]

‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Americans are more likely to say they’re evaluating President Trump on “culture and values” than on whether he’s helping their economic situation. [CBS]

-Amy Walter reviews the reasons why Democrats ― and Republicans ― should feel optimistic about 2018. [Cook Political]

-Alan Abramowitz offers a forecast for the midterm gubernatorial elections. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Lynn Vavreck explores the political divides over what makes someone an American. [NYT]

-Kathy Frankovic digs into the ramifications of the GOP’s failure to repeal Obamacare. [YouGov]

-George Elliott Morris and Courtney Kennedy find that people are less likely to report financial stress in phone polls than they are when taking a survey online. [Pew Research]

-Rishab Nithyanand, Brian Schaffner and Phillipa Gill explore the link between uncivil political discourse and offensive Reddit comments. [Vox]

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The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 31-Aug. 2 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.