, 16 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
*New Brief Out This Morning*
Two years into Trump’s presidency, I take a look at how American opinions have evolved over since the 2016 election. Let’s dive right in. [THREAD] 1/N
1) The overwhelming majority (85%) of Americans have not changed their mind about Trump – holding either a consistently positive (36%) or consistently negative (48%) view of him. 2/N
There’s been a lot of talk about the “floor” of Trump’s support, but what about his ceiling? Let’s say we added up everyone who has expressed a positive view of Trump at any point in the last two years. This would still represent less than half (49%) of Americans. 3/N
And who likes the president less than they did 2 years ago? While a majority of Obama-Trump voters still have a favorable opinion of him, they’re now less likely to express that sentiment (85% in ‘16 vs. 66% in ‘19). That’s the biggest shift of any voting group. 4/N
Worth recalling that Obama-Trump voters made up about 9% of the electorate in 2016. They’re also disproportionately white, non-college and likely well distributed for the purposes of electoral impact. In short, these movements matter. 5/N
2) Per @Neil_Irwin, the economy is doing (almost unbelievably) well. “The jobless rate receded to its lowest level in five decades” and “employers also added 263,000 jobs” in April. 6/N nytimes.com/2019/05/03/ups…
Americans are now more optimistic than they were two years about the direction of the country, the economy, and their personal finances. BUT this is driven almost entirely by Rep confidence – yet another feature of politics that is now deeply divided along partisan lines. 7/N
This is consistent with some of the work by @johnmsides, @vavreck, and Michael Tesler: there is a growing disconnect between economic performance and Pres. approval. Time will tell, but this strikes me as one of the more fascinating trends to watch. 8/N
3) What about issues? Issue prioritization doesn’t look that different from ‘16, but there are some interesting changes among Democrats. They are now more likely to prioritize environmental issues (65% v. 75%), climate change (63% v. 73%), and racial equality (60% v. 69%). 9/N
Consistent with work by @pewresearch’s @B_radJ_ones, climate change is now the most divisive issues in American politics in terms of prioritization - 73% of Dems say it is very important vs. just 12% of Reps. 10/N pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019…
Notably, this shift was prior to @AOC and others pushing for the well-publicized New Green Deal. Fair to say there was already momentum building on this issue and that this wasn’t lost on them. 11/N
4) With the '20 primary cycle underway, we asked what positions and characteristics would be important for the next president to have. Generally, there was a wider agreement that certain types of positions are important than demographic characteristics or social identities. 12/N
For example, Americans say it’s more important that the next president advocates for racial and ethnic minorities (69%) than that they are a person of color (19%). 13/N
This isn't to say demographics and social identities don't matter - there's interesting work by @kabir_here to suggest they do - but worth recognizing what Americans' stated priorities are. 14/N cbsnews.com/news/democrati…
Unsurprisingly, there are big differences between what partisans say they want:
-Advocates for racial and ethnic minorities: 91% Dem v. 44% Rep
-Is a woman: 38% v. 8%
-Is a person of color: 30% v. 6%
-Is a Christian: 24% vs. 61%
-Is married: 14% v. 30%
Check out these results and more in Two Years in: 16/16 voterstudygroup.org/publication/tw…
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