POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: Donald Trump Has The Lowest Favorability Of Any Recent President-Elect

His numbers have improved, but he remains the most disliked in recent history.

Views of the new President-elect remain unusually polarized. Most Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College. And Donald Trump might have gotten more support from rural Hispanic voters than previous Republican nominees did. This is HuffPollster for Friday, November 18, 2016.

DONALD TRUMP’S FAVORABILITY RISES, BUT REMAINS LOW - Jeffrey M. Jones: “Donald Trump’s favorable rating has improved from 34% to 42% after his election as president. While a majority in the U.S. still have an unfavorable view of him, his image is the best it has been since March 2011 when 43% viewed him positively….Republicans have shown the greatest increase ― 11 percentage points ― to 82%. Thirty-nine percent of independents, up from 32%, and 10% of Democrats, up from 5%, view Trump positively….The last three presidents-elect had much higher favorable ratings at comparable time periods than Trump currently does. Then President-elect Barack Obama had the highest favorable rating, 68%, in November 2008. Fifty-nine percent of Americans viewed George W. Bush positively just after the Supreme Court effectively decided the 2000 election in his favor in December of that year. Bill Clinton’s favorable ratings were also just shy of 60% after he won the 1992 election. Trump’s ratings lag behind those of other presidents-elect in large part because Democrats’ views of him are much worse than the opposition party’s supporters’ ratings have been in the past. Whereas 10% of Democrats view Trump favorably, 25% of Republicans had a positive opinion of Clinton, 31% of Democrats had a positive opinion of Bush and 35% of Republicans viewed Obama favorably. “ [Gallup]

Americans’ satisfaction with the country sinks - Jim Norman: “Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. plunged 10 percentage points in the aftermath of the presidential election ― retreating from a decade high of 37% in the run-up to last Tuesday’s vote….A sharp decline in satisfaction among Democrats explains most of the drop. Before the election, 62% of Democrats were satisfied; now, 34% are….Satisfaction levels followed a similar pattern after the White House changed parties in 2008. In the days following that election, satisfaction dropped more among Republicans (26% to 19%) than it rose among Democrats (4% to 7%).”  [Gallup]

DEMOCRATS ARE READY TO SCRAP THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE - HuffPollster: “Most Democrats want to see the nation switch over to a popular vote system for electing the nation’s leader, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, with about 4 in 10 also saying that they will refuse to accept Donald Trump as their legitimate president….Democrats now favor a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College, 66 percent to 14 percent, according to the HuffPost/YouGov survey, while Republicans support keeping the current system by 67 percent to 13 percent. Independents are close to evenly split. Partisanship also affects Americans’ confidence in the voting process….Republicans’ confidence in the system now outstrips Democrats’. Forty-six percent of Republicans say they’re “very confident” that their vote was accurately counted, compared to 31 percent of Democrats who say the same. Twenty percent of Democrats, as opposed to just 8 percent of Republicans, are not too confident or not at all confident that their vote was counted accurately.” [HuffPost]

EVEN HISPANIC RURAL VOTERS SHIFTED TOWARD TRUMP - Geraldo L. Cadava: “My county-by-county comparison of election results in 2016 and 2012, drawn from data available at CNN.com, Politico.com, PBS.org and other sites, shows that rural white and rural Hispanic voters have a lot in common. Or to put it another way, the election of 2016 revealed an urban/rural divide that was as strong as the white/Hispanic divide…. many rural Southwestern counties with large Hispanic, predominantly Mexican populations, moved in Trump’s direction as well. That wasn’t true in Southwestern states as a whole... Hillary Clinton got strong Hispanic turnout in Sun Belt metropolises like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Antonio. But if you look closely at many largely Hispanic rural areas in these states, you find that Trump did better — and Hillary did worse — than did Mitt Romney or Barack Obama…. To be sure, some of these rural Southwestern counties are extremely small compared with the big cities where Hispanic support for Clinton was strong. In small counties, the Hispanic vote adds up to hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands — while in cities, it totals hundreds of thousands. Therefore, rural Hispanics won’t be credited with moving the needle much in one direction or the other. So yes, there was a Hispanic ‘surge’ in big Southwestern cities... But that ignores the vote in rural counties across the country — including those that are largely Hispanic — that led to Trump’s victory.” [WashPost]

Women in rural areas also strongly favored Trump - Rich Morin: “In rural parts of America, it wasn’t just white men who flocked to the polls on Election Day to vote for Donald Trump. Rural white women were right there in the voting lines with them…. The gender gap was a key part of the narrative this election season. Overall, 54% of all women voters said they voted for Clinton, while about the same proportion of men supported Trump (53%), the NBC News exit poll found. But among whites, the story was very different – particularly among men and women living in rural areas or small towns. Trump won comfortable majorities of both rural white men and women, according to the exit poll. While Trump held a 10-percentage-point advantage over Clinton among white women nationally (53% to 43%), his victory margin nearly triples to 28 points among rural white women (62% to 34%). Trump led Clinton by 32 points among all white men nationally (63% to 31%), but he beat the Democrat by 48 points among white men living in rural areas (72% to 24%).” [Pew Research]

‘DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN’ DIDN’T DESTROY POLLING  - Lily Rothman, commemorating the 115th birthday of pollster George Gallup: “By 1948, the Gallup Poll organization operated in a dozen countries... And, with a Gallup poll readily available, the American media and public came to expect that elections—and so much else—could be correctly predicted…. Gallup and the rest of the country saw just how complicated it could get. That year’s election produced the most famous—well, perhaps now the second most famous—polling error in American political history: President Harry S. Truman’s victory over Thomas Dewey. Gallup and his fellow pollsters had predicted just the opposite. TIME reported that Gallup, even as he put some blame on the margin of error, sent his interviewers out to talk to the same people they had spoken to before the election, to see where they went wrong. But, much as the U.S. might swear in 1948 that no pollster would ever again be trusted, it was too late for that. ‘The argument over whether public-opinion polls are good or bad for a democracy has become somewhat academic —they are obviously here to stay,’ TIME had noted earlier that year... ‘They can find out what the people, who rule a democracy, think and want.’” [TIME]    

Pollsters are working now to find out what happened in 2016 - From the American Association for Public Opinion Research, on Thursday: “AAPOR’s Council met today and it strongly reaffirms its commitment to examine the performance of the polls in the 2016 election through its Ad‐Hoc Committee on 2016 Election Polling. The committee draws together prominent academics, election pollsters as well as authorities on public opinion who are not directly involved in political polling.  Every member of the committee understands that its work must meet the highest standards of objectivity and thoroughness. Individually and as a group, they are committed to achieving those goals. We are confident that the committee’s finished report will be useful, fair, and an important contribution to our understanding of election polling. We explored the possibility of shifting this work to the National Academy of Sciences. But it soon became apparent that this would delay the publication of a report by at least a year, add considerable cost, and likely would tap many of the same experts who are already members of the AAPOR committee.  The Council applauds the work the committee has done to date and looks forward to its final report next year.”

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

-David Leonhardt delves into Democrats’ issues with stagnating turnout. [NYT]

-Harry Enten argues against the theory of “shy Trump” voters. [538]

-David Byler takes a deep dive into the Clinton and Trump coalitions. [RCP]

-Aaron Blake looks at the evidence for a strong late shift toward Donald Trump. [WashPost]

-Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley offer 16 observations about the 2016 elections. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Michael Barthel and Jeffrey Gottfried review Americans’ expectations for interpretation from the news media. [Pew]

-Kevin Munger explains how he created bots to fight racism on Twitter [WashPost]

-About a quarter of Americans have earned money from the digital “platform economy.” [Pew Internet]

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