Quinnipiac University just released the results of a poll on President Trump and his job performance and credibility.
It should, and most likely has alarm bells ringing in the West Wing. We know that recent surveys of Trump’s approval ratings are showing strong indications that he is viewed negatively by a majority of Americans, with only 36% approving of his handling of duties in the Oval Office. And Quinnipiac’s poll of 2 weeks earlier (May 10), more than half, 52 percent, said that they disapprove of the way Mr. Trump is handling the economy and a majority, 59 percent, also said they disapprove of the way he’s handling foreign policy.
The Quinnipiac poll released last night however, delves into the particulars on a slate of issues that point up the underlying causes of the overall low assessment of Trump – especially questions about Trump’s relationship not only with the Russian government, but his relationship with the truth.
We’ll begin with Trump’s honesty, because it is the factor that all of the other questions about his presidency hinge on. Do Americans trust Donald Trump at this stage only 5 months in? The result directly matches the numbers from the job approval polls, showing a strong correlation. The important number here is not the opinion of Republicans or Democrats, but independents – swing voters in the mid terms.
A host of questions in the survey dealt with Trump’s handling of the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and the implications of that action. Here as well, the approval of that decision, mirrors the honesty question with independents:
Do Americans approve of the manner in which Trump handled the firing of Comey? Even some who thought Comey might have merited dismissal, think Trump fumbled the play – independents breaking strongly against Trump:
Next, Quinnipiac wanted to know whether Americans believe that Trump terminated the FBI director because he thought it would scuttle the investigation of collusion with Russia:
Respondents were also asked if they believed Trump when he claimed Comey told him he was not under investigation:
Another aspect that has come to light in recent days, are reports indicating that Trump may have spoken to Jim Comey privately and asked him to drop the investigation of fired National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. A majority in the Quinnipiac poll believe it did happen as Comey documented in a post-meeting journal entry:
As a consequence of the firing of Comey and the circumstances that lead to speculation of a White House cover up, Quinnipiac asked the survey group if they felt it is vital to continue the investigation. Even those who are not convinced or inclined to suspect that a cover up is taking place, or that there is anything in particular to hide from Congress or public scrutiny, are strongly of the belief that the investigation proceed forward:
Do they also support the recent appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel or special prosecutor?
Those polled were also asked if they suspect Trump has shared sensitive intelligence with Russia:
The sum total of all of the above questions is whether Americans believe that Donald Trump is abusing the powers of his office:
Trump’s base still is clinging to the hope that all of the information that is coming forth, pointing to Trump’s campaign coordinating efforts to sway the election and even money laundering of funds from Putin allies, are just fabrications. The majority of their fellow Americans are concluding otherwise.