FiveThirtyEight.com highlighted a recent SurveyMonkey poll of voters who reluctantly supported President Donald Trump in 2016. These voters are generally white, middle-aged, educated, and more likely to buck the Republican Party when they have doubts. Despite their concerns on Election Day, they set aside their doubts and supported Mr. Trump. How are they feeling about his administration and the country’s general direction today?
Mr. Trump’s approval rating is still above 50% with these reluctant supporters. According to the poll, 63% of reluctant Trump voters approve of the way he is handling his job, while 37% disapprove. By comparison, 95% of voters who were excited to vote for the president approve of the job he is doing while just 4% disapprove.
These reluctant Trumpers have a pessimistic view of America’s future, however. Only 37% of them believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared to 61% of excited Trump voters. Sixty percent of reluctant Trump voters say the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, compared to just 36% of enthusiastic Trump voters.
Looking to 2020, these voters are split on whether they would support Mr. Trump for re-election. Forty-eight percent say they would vote to re-elect President Trump (12% definitely; 36% probably), and 45% would vote for someone else (20% definitely; 25% probably). In 2016, many of these voters were likely driven to Mr. Trump because they disliked Hillary Clinton more and she gave them no reason to back her. To keep them in the Republican column in 2018 and 2020, both the president and the Republican Congress must give them reasons to continue supporting them.