9/21/2017 Peter Durantine

Trump Opposition Grows, But His Supports Stand Firm, F&M Poll Shows

Nine months of a tumultuous administration has taken a toll on President Donald Trump’s job performance rating, but his core supporters in Pennsylvania stand firmly with the Republican, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

“Even though his job performance is down, Trump remains where he was with his supporters when he was elected,” said F&M Poll Director Terry Madonna. “His support still remains firm.”

Since F&M’s last poll in May 2017, the number of voters in the Keystone State who believe Trump is doing a good job in the White House has fallen from 37 percent to 29 percent, according to this latest poll, which was conducted Sept. 13 to 18.

“Trump’s core support is probably in the low 30s,” said Berwood Yost, F&M Poll’s chief methodologist and director of the Center for Opinion Research. “Now there are more people who describe themselves as opponents.”

According to the poll, 30 percent of respondents described themselves as Trump supporters and 43 percent as opponents with 26 percent taking no position.

A majority of Republicans, 53 percent, down from 67 percent in May, rate Trump’s performance positively, as do fewer Democrats and independents, 11 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Conservative support for his job performance also is down, from 76 percent in May to 55 percent while current approval from moderates and liberals is 23 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Pennsylvania voters believe Trump is doing best at dealing with terrorism with 49 percent giving him an “A” or “B,” but his administration scores “Fs” on social and environmental issues with 50 percent assigning that mark for improving the health-care system, 47 percent for climate change and 47 percent for protecting the environment.

Republican ratings of the president’s handling of terrorism, foreign policy and health care have all declined since May. According to the poll, Trump’s ratings on dealing with terrorism dropped from 90 percent to 73 percent; handling foreign policy, from 76 percent to 64 percent; and to improving health care, from 54 percent to 44 percent.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s positive job approval rating, at 38 percent, slipped slightly from May’s 41 percent. U.S. Sen. Robert Casey approval rating is 37 percent, about the same as in May. The two Democrats face re-election in 2018.

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M, the poll reflects interviews with 398 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 191 Democrats, 152 Republicans and 55 independents. The sample error for the 398 registered voters is plus or minus 6.2 percentage points. 

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