Americans who backed Donald Trump largely take his word over reporters’. Trump’s favorability rating has risen, but remains in the red. And Trump’s top pollster credits five select counties for the election outcome. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, December 6, 2016.
DONALD TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS SAY THEY’D BELIEVE HIM OVER MEDIA - HuffPollster: “More than four in 10 Americans, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, agree with Trump that he’s faced unduly negative coverage. A similar percentage, though, say Trump’s behavior toward the media has been unacceptable as well….Eighty-seven percent of Trump voters, but just 16 percent of Clinton voters, think that media coverage of Trump has been too negative. Eighty-one percent of Americans who voted for Trump believe his treatment of the press is acceptable, while just 9 percent of those who voted for Clinton say the same….A 56 percent majority of Trump voters say that if a national media outlet reported that Trump said something untrue, they would be more inclined to believe him than the news outlet. Just 2 percent say they’d believe the media, with another 38 percent saying it depends on what the story is. In contrast, just 2 percent of Americans who voted for Clinton say they’d be inclined to believe Trump’s side of the argument, while 52 percent said they’d be more likely to believe the media, and 37 percent that it depends.” [HuffPost]
OPINIONS OF TRUMP IMPROVE - From a GW Battleground poll released Tuesday morning: “Donald Trump’s public image has notably improved since winning the presidency in November, according to the latest George Washington University Battleground Poll. Of the voters surveyed, 45 percent had a favorable opinion of the president-elect, while 49 percent viewed him negatively. This represents a large swing from the last edition of the GW Battleground Poll in mid-October, when only 36 percent rated favorably and 61 percent were unfavorable…. Most people were doubtful about the prospects of Trump’s signature proposal, building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; 55 percent said it was not very or not at all likely, and 41 percent said it was very or somewhat likely. People thought there was a much better chance of the Affordable Care Act being repealed and replaced with an alternative... Given an array of choices, division in the country (21 percent) and the economy and jobs (15 and 8 respectively, 23 combined) tied for the most important issues for voters, followed by health care (11).” [GWU]
The GOP take - Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber: “While Donald Trump’s victory was shocking to many voters, there are clear signs in this data that voters are optimistic and enthusiastic about this new era in Washington. More than two-in-five voters select that their emotional reaction to Trump winning and the GOP maintaining control of Congress is hopeful (33%) or excited (14%). In contrast, just twenty-six percent (26%) of voters select that they are scared....In sum, while the results of this Presidential election might have been shocking to many observers, voters have clearly processed these results and are willing to give President-elect Trump and the Republican controlled Congress an opportunity to lead and to succeed.” [GWU]
The Democratic take - Celinda Lake, Daniel Gotoff, Corey Teter, and Olivia Myszkowski: “President-elect Trump’s ascent to power fundamentally defied familiar partisan and political patterns. As such, the national mood is defined by widespread uncertainty about a President-elect whose favorability has improved but is still quite negative, as well as doubts about Trump’s ability to square his campaign promises with his Party’s Congressional leadership...As Democrats turn their strategic attention to midterm elections in 2018, it will be crucial to focus on the key constituencies that they fell short with in 2016 - independents, women, rural voters, older voters, and voters in the Midwest.” [GWU]
NEW YORKERS ARE ALSO WARMING UP TO TRUMP - Nick Bayer: “President-elect Donald Trump has become more popular among New York voters since his stunning win on election night, according to a Siena College poll released Monday. Forty-one percent of voters in the state now hold a favorable opinion of the president-elect ― the highest ever favorable rating in any Siena poll of New York. Trump’s favorable rating is 7 points higher now than it was when the college conducted its last poll just before Election Day. Likewise, his unfavorable rating has dropped by 10 percent in the same period, from 63 to 53 percent.Trump lost the largely Democratic state to rival Hillary Clinton by a margin of 37 percent to 58 percent.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP WON COUNTIES THAT LOST JOBS TO CHINA AND MEXICO - Andrea Cerrato, Francesco Ruggieri and Federico Maria Ferrara: “Many commentators view Trump’s victory and the rise of other... [W]e performed a regression analysis of the effect of import competition on the difference between the Republican vote share in the 2016 presidential election and the average share of votes for Republicans from 1996...Counties experiencing greater import shocks are the same counties where votes for the Republican presidential candidate jumped more in 2016. This is especially true for Chinese imports...On average, a one-point increase in the indicator of import competition from China is associated with a 2.9 percent increase in support for Donald Trump vis-à-vis the county’s average support for Republican candidates over the past 20 years. For Mexican imports there is a slightly weaker relationship. The average increase in support for Republicans associated with import shocks from Mexico is around 2 percent.” [WashPost]
The election came down to five specific counties, Trump’s pollster says - Gideon Resnick: “Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, referred to her candidate’s electoral win as a ‘landslide’ earlier this week. But the campaign’s top pollster, veteran Tony Fabrizio said just five counties made the difference: four in Florida and one in Michigan….Fabrizio said that the campaign modeled a number of ways in which they could lose the popular vote by as much as four percentage points—they are currently down by about 2.5 million votes (nearly 2 percentage points) at this stage—and still win the Electoral College. Trump won the Electoral College with a 10,000-vote margin in Michigan, a 22,000-vote margin in Wisconsin and a 46,000-vote margin in Pennsylvania….Both [Fabrizio and Hillary Clinton pollster Joel Benenson] characterized the race as having a measurable degree of movement in the final month and as Benenson put it, Clinton’s campaign was tracking ‘defectors’ from both candidates who had favorability ratings that were underwater.” [Daily Beast]
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TUESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Phillip Bump finds that documented cases of voter fraud account for just 0.000002 percent of ballots cast. [WashPost]
-Dhrumil Mehta calculates how much this year’s polls missed in each state. 
-John Sides concludes McClatchy/Marist and IBD/TIPP were the “most accurate” national pollsters of the 2016 presidential election cycle. [WashPost]
-Shibley Telhami writes that most Americans want Donald Trump to be even-handed in addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict. [Brookings]
-New Jerseyans give Christie historically low approval rating and conclude that he knew about bridgegate. [Quinnipiac]
-Jennifer Duffy looks forward to the next two years of gubernatorial races. [Cook Political]
-Erik Voeten explains why a widely shared New York Times graph that shows millennials losing faith in Democracy is misleading. [WashPost]
-Kathy Frankovic sees little recent change in the public’s attitude toward Cuba. [YouGov]
-Early polling archived by the Roper Center highlights Americans’ reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor. [Roper]
Grace Sparks and Nick Bayer contributed to this article.