Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest poll of 2,500 respondents in the United States, which was conducted after the first debate and after Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, finds the public broadly more aligned with the President’s views on ten key issues. Critically, the debate was an opportunity for many viewers to directly hear from the President without the filter of the news media.
To identify how closely the public identifies with the President’s views, we presented respondents with a list of issues and asked them to indicate on a 0 to 10 scale how closely they believed they aligned with Donald Trump’s stance on that issue. Across the ten issues, an average of 19% of respondents said they are fully aligned (a ten out of ten score) with Donald Trump, an increase of four points since last week’s poll. Depending on the issue, 17% to 22% expressed full alignment with Donald Trump. Those fully aligned with the President on the economy now form 22% of our sample. Moreover, around a fifth say they are fully aligned with the President’s views on free speech (21%), policing (21%), America’s history (21%), China (20%), and immigration (20%), all of which have increased by three to five points in the past week.
Nevertheless, on nine of the ten polled issues, a near equal, if not slightly greater proportion (20-27%) consider themselves completely unaligned (a zero out of ten score) with the views of President Trump. A particularly substantial proportion of respondents wholeheartedly disagree with the President’s views on immigration (27% not at all aligned), healthcare (27%), and cultural issues (26%). However, the average proportion who say they are completely unaligned with Donald Trump’s views is 24% across all issues, a significant decline of seven points since last week.
When viewed as a net rating of those fully aligned against those fully unaligned with Donald Trump’s views, the President’s net alignment has improved compared to last week, when he scored below -10% on every issue. The economy (+2%) clearly emerges as the President’s most popular position, followed by China (-1%), free speech (-1%), and policing (-2%). On the other end of the scale, the President continues to struggle on healthcare (-10%), cultural issues (-9%), immigration (-7%), and religion (-6%). Altogether, the average net score of those fully aligned against those fully unaligned with the President now stands at -5%, representing a double-digit improvement from last week’s -16%.
Close analysis of opinion from each candidates’ support base reveal two key findings. Firstly, the views of Donald Trump’s own likely voters are becoming increasingly aligned with the President, with the proportion of those fully aligned with him ranging between 37-47%, at an average of 43%, up by five points since last week. Likely Donald Trump voters have become more convinced about the President’s stance on all ten issues, with increases varying from 2% to 7%. At this stage, his views on policing (47%), the economy (46%), immigration (46%), free speech (46%), and America’s history (46%) are the most appealing to likely Donald Trump voters.
The second key finding is particularly interesting and suggests that Joe Biden’s support base are now far less forcefully opposed to the President than before the debate and his coronavirus diagnosis. Currently, an average of 45% of likely Biden voters say they are completely unaligned with the President’s views, which is a considerable decline of twelve points from last week (57%). In a similar vein as likely Trump voters, likely Biden voters are now six to fifteen points less likely to be fully unaligned with the President. This group is altogether relatively less unified in its opposition to Donald Trump’s stance on the economy (38% fully unaligned) and China (40%), yet a majority are still deeply opposed to his views on healthcare (53% fully unaligned), immigration (51%), and cultural issues (50%).
Previously, 38% of likely Donald Trump voters had on average been fully aligned with the President, while 57% of likely Joe Biden voters had on average been fully unaligned with the President, a difference of 19%. Now, that margin has dropped to just 2%, as 43% of Likely Trump voters say they are fully aligned with the President, and 45% of Democrats say they are fully unaligned with the President.