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Most Say Trump Protests Unlikely to Change His Policies

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Most voters blame disagreements between President Trump and congressional Democrats on politics alone but don’t think the ongoing protests against the new president are going to make any difference.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 29% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the continuing public protests against Trump are likely to cause him to change his policies, with 13% who say it’s Very Likely. Two-out-of-three voters (66%), however, think Trump is unlikely to change his policies because of the protests, including 25% who feel he is Not At All Likely to do so. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Just 33% believe the opposition between the president and Democrats in Congress is based mostly on honest differences of opinion anyway. Fifty-seven percent (57%) say that opposition is mostly due to partisan politics.

In January 2015, a high of 77% of voters blamed partisan politics for the opposition between President Obama and Republicans in Congress. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Republicans agreed at that time with 82% of Democrats and 76% of unaffiliated voters that politics was the root of this opposition.

But with a Republican in the White House now, Democrats are more likely to think opposition is issue driven. Sixty-five percent (65%) of GOP voters and 63% of unaffiliateds still think partisan politics is the chief reason for opposition between the president and members of Congress from the other party. Democrats, though, are now evenly divided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on February 6-7, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

A majority of voters - including half of Democrats - say Democrats in Congress won't be able to halt the president’s agenda.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans and 69% of unaffiliated voters say the continuing public protests against Trump are unlikely to change his policies. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats agree.

Voters under 40 are more likely than their elders to believe the opposition between the president and congressional Democrats is due to an honest difference of opinion. Younger voters are also much more confident that the protests will cause Trump to change his policies.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the president’s job performance blame the opposition mostly on partisan politics. By a narrower 48% to 41% margin, those who Strongly Disapprove of the job Trump is doing think it’s mostly due to an honest difference of opinion.

Among voters who see the opposition between the president and Democrats in Congress as a difference of opinion, 46% believe the protests are likely to cause Trump to change his policies. That view is shared, however, by only 21% of those who see the opposition as driven primarily by partisan politics.

Just after Trump’s surprise win in November, voters were closely divided over whether the street protests against his election were the product of genuine concern or just being staged by troublemakers. But most agreed the protests wouldn’t achieve anything good.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of all voters think it is better for the country if the new Congress works with Trump most of the time, but only 27% of Democrats share that view. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats say it is more important for their party to stand up for what it believes in rather than work with the new president.

Trump ran as an outsider candidate promising to “drain the swamp” of Washington, DC, but most Republicans (57%) are concerned that he won’t change things enough. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Democrats fear he will change things too much. Unaffiliated voters are much more closely divided.

Despite continuing protests and legal challenges, most voters favor the president's temporary ban on refugees and on visas for those from seven Muslim-majority countries that the State Department views as terrorist havens. Trump says he wants to ensure that the government can adequately screen out potential terrorists before letting any more newcomers into the country.

While Democrats plot to delay or stop some of the president’s Cabinet choices and his first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, voters strongly believe all his selections deserve a final vote by the full Senate.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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