Trump, Congressional Democrats, Voter Excitement on the Rise 4-Months from Midterm Elections

A mid-year Emerson College ePoll finds President Trumps’ Job approval rating at 43% and his disapproval at 50% which is an improvement from January’s Emerson epoll that found the President’s approval at 39% and disapproval at 52%. The President continues to maintain support among the 35-54 age group, a core constituency of his base, with an approval of 51% to 42%. However, his approval ranking is lowest in the Midwest – , with 40% approval and 54% disapproval – a region key to Trumps 2016 electoral victory.

The financial situation of voters could be a major reason for the improvement in Trump’s approval rating. When asked if they (voters) were better or worse off financially than they were two years ago 42% responded better off, while 26% said worse off. Males appear to be doing better in a Trump economy than females: 49% of males reported doing better, while 21% said they were doing worse. Alternatively 36% of females reported they were better off, while 30% said they were doing worse. Perceptions of the financial situation varied by party and race, Democrats had the lowest improvement at 33%, with 32% doing worse. Among Hispanics, a distinct majority – 62% believed they were better off, while 25% thought they were worse off. Blacks had a reversed perspective with 30% reporting they were doing better and 40% doing worse.

Despite a general positive view of finances among voters and improved approval for the President, the Democrats have extended their lead in a generic Congressional Ballot Test from 45% to 40% in January, to 49% to 42% in the current poll. The Midwest, where views of their economic situation have lagged other regions, there is an 18 point lead for the generic Democratic candidate, 52% to 34%. The youth vote, which typically underperforms in midterm election voting break for the Democrats by an even larger 24 point margin – 58% to 34%.

Enthusiasm for the primaries has increased, with 50% reporting now being very excited, a jump of 10 points from January, when 40% reported being very excited. In both polls, Democrats are slightly more excited than Republicans – currently that gap is 55%-52%.

Overall, voters prefer a capitalist economic system over a socialist system 54% to 24%. Party preference shows a clear demarcation on this issue. Those who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 support a Socialist economic system 37% to 34%, while those who voted for Trump supported a capitalist system 76% to 9%. Those 18-34 were split on the two economic systems, with 42% preferring a Capitalist system and 41% a Socialist system. This differed from the other age groups where the difference in support for Capitalism was between 38 and 42 percentage points, as compared to 1 point for 18-34 year olds.

The abortion issue appears to be very important in determining how a majority (53%) of voters will cast their ballots in November; another 23% said the issue of abortion was somewhat important to their vote in 2018. The legality of the issue among these voters is not as clear.

The survey found that 14% of voters want abortions always to be illegal. 28% believe abortion should be illegal most of the time, but with exceptions, and 34% said abortion should be legal most of the time, but with exceptions. 24% believed abortion should be legal at all the time without exception. As expected, the issue breaks by party lines with Democrats most in support of the legality of abortions at 35%, followed by Independents at 23% and Republicans 14%. Interestingly, Hispanics are most supportive of a total ban of abortions at 30%, with Blacks (14%) and Whites at (12%) for a total ban of abortions.

A plurality of voters finds Russia (34%) to be the United States’ biggest foreign adversary, followed by China (21%) and North Korea. However this differs by party affiliation; Democrats reported Russia as the biggest adversary at 49%, North Korea 17%, China 14%, Iran 6%; Republicans reported China 25%, North Korea 23%, Russia 18%, and fourth was Iran 15%. Among Independents, the major advisory was Russia 33%, China 25%, North Korea 14%, and Iran 12%. However, there was consensus among all voters when asked if Russia was a friend or foe to the United States of America: 59% opted for “Foe” and 15% identifying Russia as a “Friend.”

The survey also found 59% of voters support legalized Marijuana for private use, with 31% opposing. The issue cuts along party lines with 69% of Democrats and 64% of Independents supporting the legalization, while Republicans are split with 44% in support and 45% in opposition.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of those surveyed believe the world has been visited by Aliens. Those who voted for President Trump in 2016 were more likely to believe in alien visitation (38%) than those who voted for Hillary Clinton (25%).


The national Emerson College poll was conducted July 6 and 7, 2018 under the Supervision of Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=900, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.4 percentage points. The data was weighted by ethnicity, age, party affiliation and 2016 election results. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=450) and an online panel provided by Survey Monkey (n=450)

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