HUFFPOLLSTER: Most Americans Don’t Think Donald Trump Has A Mandate To Govern

About half are unhappy with the election’s outcome.

Most people are shocked and unhappy with the outcome of last Tuesday’s election. The economy was key to this election. And voters who disliked both candidates ended up mostly supporting Trump. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, November 16, 2016.

AMERICANS SURPRISED, GENERALLY UNHAPPY WITH ELECTION OUTCOME  - HuffPollster: “Americans are overwhelmingly surprised by Donald Trump’s victory, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, with a narrow majority saying they’re unhappy with the results of the election. Forty-three percent are positive about Trump’s victory: 26 percent are enthusiastic, while 17 percent are satisfied. Fifty-two percent are negative: 15 percent are dissatisfied, while 37 percent are upset….A plurality of the public, 41 percent, says having Trump elected makes them feel personally less safe, while 26 percent say they feel safer and 27 percent that they feel neither more nor less safe….Sixty-nine percent of Americans say they’re at least somewhat surprised that Trump won...About one-third of Americans expect Trump to be a good or a great president, while 15 percent expect him to be about average and 42 percent think he will be poor or terrible. Just 28 percent believe Trump will be able to accomplish most or all of his campaign goals, while 34 percent think he’ll achieve just some, and 20 percent hardly any.” [HuffPost]

Fewer than 1 in 3 think Trump has a mandate to govern - Scott Clement and Dan Balz: “Americans emerged from President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory in last week’s election with passionate and polarized reactions, overall expressing tempered optimism about his presidency but unconvinced that he has a mandate to enact a sweeping new policy agenda, according to a Washington Post-Schar School national poll…. Nationally, just 3 in 10 Americans — 29 percent — say he has a mandate to carry out the agenda he presented during the campaign, while 59 percent say he should compromise with Democrats when they strongly disagree with the specifics of his policy proposals. That 29 percent figure is sharply lower than the 50 percent who said the same for President Obama after his first election in 2008 and the 41 percent for former president George W. Bush… Not withstanding views of Trump’s mandate, over 6 in 10 Americans expect to see major changes in Washington during his presidency. Almost as many say they are somewhat or very confident that the economy will improve on his watch, while 52 percent say they think living standards will increase. On other matters, Americans are more worried. Slender majorities say they are not confident he will show respect for people with whom he disagrees or make wise decisions about war and peace.” [WashPost]

REPUBLICANS SUDDENLY FEELING A LOT BETTER ABOUT THE ECONOMY - Justin McCarthy and Jeffrey M. Jones: “Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy increased sharply after the election, moving from a slightly negative evaluation (-10) to a slightly positive one (+3)....The increase in economic confidence mostly stems from Republicans’ more positive views after Republican Donald Trump won the election….Just 16% of Republicans said the economy was getting better in the week before the election, while 81% said it was getting worse. Since the election, 49% say it is getting better and 44% worse. Conversely, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents’ confidence in the economy plummeted after the election. Before the election, 61% of Democrats said the economy was getting better and 35% worse. Now, Democrats are evenly divided, with 46% saying it is getting better and 47% saying it is getting worse.” [Gallup]

DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER ARGUES CLINTON LOST BY ABANDONING ECONOMIC MESSAGE - Stan Greenberg and Nancy Zdunkewicz of Democracy Corps (D): “In the final weeks, the Clinton campaign conceded the economy and change to Trump, while seeking to make him personally unacceptable….After the debates, Democracy Corps tested a message from Democratic candidates attacking Trump for his extreme attitudes and behavior versus a Democratic candidate demanding big economic changes and attacking their opponent for supporting for trickle-down and protecting corporate special interests. We found that the tough economic message performed dramatically better in consolidating millennials, white unmarried women and white working class women. Instead of continuing the economic contrast that was so successful in the debates, the Clinton campaign chose to run ads disqualifying Trump on temperament, his capacity to handle the nuclear codes, and his vulgar treatment of women.” [DemCorps]

-Stan Greenberg explains more about why Clinton lost. [The Guardian]

VOTERS WHO DISLIKED BOTH CANDIDATES BROKE FOR TRUMP - Larry Rosin: “The data from the Exit Polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool show Mr. Che to be correct – an extremely small portion of the voting public (only 2%) told our exit pollsters they had a favorable view of both.  While most voters did have a favorable view of one of the two major candidates – an astonishing 18% of the electorate told us they had an unfavorable opinion of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  And this is the group that won the election for Trump…. had those with a negative view of both candidates split evenly, Clinton would have won rather easily. However... this “Neithers” group broke strongly to Trump 49% to 29%.... The story gets even more pronounced when we look at the states that swung the election to Trump.  In each of the cases in the table below, the votes gained by people who said: “I don’t like Trump but I’m going to vote for him anyhow” is greater than his total margin in these states.  In other words – it was the “Neithers” who pushed Trump over the top in these states and ultimately won him the election.” [Edison Research

VOTER TURNOUT THIS YEAR WASN’T WAY DOWN FROM 2012 - Carl Bialik: “Approximately 58.1 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in last week’s presidential election, according to the latest estimates from Michael McDonald, associate professor at the University of Florida, who gathers data at the U.S. Elections Project. That’s down only slightly from 2012, when turnout was 58.6 percent, and well above 2000’s rate of 54.2 percent. Turnout may end up being higher than in any presidential election year between 1972 and 2000….We won’t have final turnout numbers for weeks or months because some states are still counting ballots; millions remain uncounted. That means estimates based solely on votes counted so far will understate turnout — though already more presidential votes have been counted this year than in 2012 (contrary to reports that fewer voters turned out this year).” [538]  

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

-Philip Bump maps the counties that flipped parties in the 2016 election. [WashPost]

-Stuart Rothenberg explains why his election predictions were wrong. [WashPost]

-Amy Walter explains how lackluster turnout for Clinton in suburban counties made a difference in Rust Belt states. [Cook]  

-Lower turnout in minority-majority urban counties likely cost Clinton at least two states. [HuffPost]

-Lee Drutman argues that elections are seeing the consequences of “turnout-only politics.” [Politico]