“Trump Regretters” Say He’s Going Too Far

PSB’s recent polling (800 interviews of adults, conducted online between 2/6-2/8) shows Trump just meeting or falling short of expectations. While Trump receives some of his best ratings on “getting things done,” and “keeping promises” generally, he is more likely to fall short of than exceed expectations on more specific promises like “draining the swamp” or even “making America great again.”

Further, approximately 11% of adults are Trump Regretters in some way—they voted for Trump but now would change their mind, or have moved away from him (or toward Clinton) in intensity. For these voters, the perception Trump is “going too far” may be a big driver.

Some key findings from the poll:

  • On none of the 14 dimensions we tested did Trump exceed expectations more often than not.
  • Over a third (35%) say he is “going too far” more than expected, with identical ratings for “getting sidetracked by things that aren’t important.”
  • Yet Trump earns nearly identical marks for two positive traits: “keeping promises” and “getting things done” (34% more than expected for each).
  • He receives particularly low marks on “unifying the country,” with even his own voters giving him lukewarm marks here (18% more than expected, 58% as much, 24% less). 
  • Trump underperforms on some of his key campaign promises. On measures like “surrounding himself with the best people,” “draining the swamp of Washington politics as usual,” and “making America great again,” more say he’s done less than expected than more.
  • About 11% of adults are what we call Trump Regretters. They were Trump voters who wouldn’t vote for him today, or have become unenthusiastic in their Trump support. Unenthusiastic Clinton voters who have grown enthusiastic toward her, and non-voters who now would vote for Clinton are also included in this group.
  • These Trump Regretters are particularly likely to say Trump has been “going too far” more than they expected (58%). And regression analysis shows it is one of the best predictors of being a Regretter.


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