In Arkansas, Trump supporters nearly twice as likely to trust President

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 1,425 views 

Arkansas voters who expressed their support of President Trump find him meeting expectations, more truthful and innocent of Russia collusion by a nearly two-to-one margin.

In the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll of 511 Arkansas voters, 50% think Trump is doing a good job as President, while 47% disapprove of his job performance.

Comparing the 50% of supporters to the overall poll results, several takeaways abound:

  • While just 32% of our overall sample said Trump has done better than expected, twice that number, 64%, of those who support Trump feel he has exceeded expectations.
  • While just 34% said Trump is more truthful than previous presidents, again nearly double, 67%, of those who approve of Trump think he’s more truthful.
  • When it comes to Trump’s use of Twitter, only 23% approved of the President’s Twitter habit while 56% disapproved. But among Trump supporters, 45% approve while 35% don’t have an opinion and just 20% disapprove.
  • Overall Arkansas voters are split on whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election: 41% said yes, 43% said no. Among Trump supporters, 78% said the president did not collude with Russia.
  • How about removing Trump from office? 49% of overall voters said he should not be removed to 40% who said he should. But among the Trump faithful, 92% said Trump should not be removed from office.
  • When asked if voters would re-elect their current GOP Congressman, 36% said they would and 58% said they were open to another candidate. Among Trump supporters, however, 68% say they would vote to re-elect their Republican House member today.

“These results show the powerful force of Trump’s supporters on key issues related to the President,” said Roby Brock, Editor-in-Chief of Talk Business & Politics. “With the stark differences between Trump supporters’ opinions and the overall general electorate, Arkansas officials will have a challenge balancing those bases heading into next year’s election cycle.”

Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, helped craft and analyze the latest poll. He offered this analysis of the poll results:

“In a political world which is so polarized regarding the President, it is perhaps not surprising that Trump Supporters (those who approve of the job being done by the President either “strongly” or “somewhat”) and Non-Supporters (those who disapprove of his job performance with either intensity plus the small percentage who have no opinion) have thoroughly different worldviews on “all things Trump.”

“Demographically, Trump Supporters are disproportionately white, male (representing the decided gender gap regarding the President), slightly more likely to be represented among the 30 to 44 age group, and Republican. Non-Supporters, conversely, are more likely to be African-American, female (with two-thirds of Arkansas Non-Supporters of the President being female), from the youngest portion of the electorate, and Democratic. Interestingly, while Trump supporters are slightly more likely to show themselves among Third Congressional District voters, there is not the decided geographic skew between Supporters and Non-Supporters that we might expect.

“As noted above, Trump Supporters’ passion for the President extends to all aspects of his personality. Trump Supporters even defend the President’s use of Twitter by a nearly two-to-one margin (although approximately a third of Supporters say they “don’t know” regarding the propriety of Trump’s Twitter practices). Trump Supporters are thoroughly optimistic about the Trump Presidency, saying it has exceeded their expectations in a positive direction. Non-Supporters dislike of everything we asked about the President is even slightly more intense — in the opposite direction — than the positive perspectives of Supporters. Nearly all say that the Trump Presidency is either “worse” or the “same” as they expected.

“The polarization between Trump’s Supporters and Non-Supporters is most intense on the issue of whether or not the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government and the related issue of whether or not the President should be removed from office. Of those who have a clear opinion, almost all Trump Supporters believe there not to be collusion and, as a natural extension, believe he should remain in office. Those who believe there has been coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia and think it was a serious enough offense to justify removal almost entirely come from the half of the Arkansas electorate that are Non-Supporters.

“Evaluations of Trump are less consequential in driving attitudes about health care reform. While most supporters of the “repeal and replace later” plan that the U.S. Senate considered as one of its options regarding Obamacare also support Trump (and Trump Non-Supporters opposed this concept), Trump Supporters are thoroughly split on the continuation of Medicaid expansion with half having no clear opinion on that topic. Non-Supporters are decidedly supportive of the continuation of Medicaid expansion in Arkansas through the Arkansas Works program.

“Finally, while Non-Supporters overwhelmingly say that they will consider a different option to represent them in the U.S. House, Trump Supporters are a more complicated group. While a majority do say they will support their GOP incumbents in 2018, there is an important one-quarter of that group dubious enough about those incumbents that they say they will look at another option. This suggests that, assuming Democrats are able to recruit legitimate congressional candidates across the four congressional districts, 2018 could be filled with political landmines for Arkansas’s four GOP congressmen created by the polarization regarding Trump.”

This survey was conducted on Thursday, July 20, 2017. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-4.3%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 511 Arkansas voters statewide.

Age and gender were weighted. The results of weighting did not alter the raw data results by more than one percentage point in any direction.

Age (weighted)
12% Under the age of 30
24% Between the ages of 30 and 44
39% Between the ages of 45 and 64
24% 65 or older

10% African-American
1% Asian-American
1% Latino
78% Caucasian or White
10% Other

Party Identification
35.5% Democratic
37% Republican
23% Independent
4.5% Other

Gender (weighted)
48% Male
52% Female

All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.

For interviews, contact Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock by email at [email protected] or Dr. Jay Barth by email at [email protected]