Despite footage from President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies showcasing thousands of what appear to be die hard supporters, a new study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center reveals that one in five Trump supporters have lost lost their enthusiasm for the president.
The numbers come from a survey Pew conducted of 3,014 voters who took part in a panel that was questioned three times during 2016 and then again in 2018. Each time, they were asked to rate their feelings about Trump on a 0-to-100 scale.
Because the same people were questioned each time, pollsters could track which individuals changed their minds about Trump.
Researchers separated the president’s supporters into four categories:
About six in 10 of those who voted for Trump in 2016, the Enthusiasts, had warm feelings toward him all along, going back to the Republican primaries in the spring of 2016, and continue to feel warmly toward him.
Another group, making up just over two in 10 of Trump’s voters were the Converts. They had chilly feelings toward Trump during the Republican primaries, but warmed to him once he became the Republican nominee and have remained warm ever since.
Together, these two groups comprise Trump’s solid base, and on the 0-100 scale, their warmth toward the president averages in the mid 80s.
The other two groups consist of supporters whose support for the president has significantly decreased.
About one in eight people who voted for Trump in 2016 fall into the group Pew labeled as Skeptics. They had chilly feelings toward Trump during the primaries, warmed to him during the general election, but quickly soured again. On average, they currently rate their feelings toward him at a low 33 on the scale.
A final, smaller group, the Disillusioned, had warm feelings toward Trump during the primaries and on through the election, but have turned cold since he became president. They made up 6% of Trump’s voters.
None of this is to say even those who have soured on the president wouldn’t vote for him in the next election — that might depend heavily on the candidate Democrats run against him.
But it does show that a significant portion of those who were all for Trump at one point or another have lost that fuzzy feeling.
The Times notes several more interesting findings from the study as well:
- The study also highlighted a big gender gap in feelings toward Trump. A majority of Trump Enthusiasts and Converts are men. By contrast, more than 60% of the Skeptics and Disillusioned Trump voters are women.
- Trump Enthusiasts are also disproportionately white voters who did not graduate from college — a finding that jibes with the attendance at the president’s campaign rallies.
- Non-college, white voters made up about two-thirds of those who voted for Trump in 2016 and about three-quarters of the Trump Enthusiasts, the study found.
- White Americans without a college degree continue to make up a significant portion of the electorate — about 44 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election.
- Whites with college degrees made up about 30% of the voters, and non-whites about 25%. Non-whites are much more heavily represented among those who did not vote in 2016, making up almost half the non-voters.