Trump’s Twitter Habit Is a Growing Problem Among Voters

(Morning Consult Illustration)
June 7, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

To hear President Donald Trump tell it, the people most bothered by his Twitter habits work for the mainstream media.

But the general public is growing increasingly concerned with his tweeting, according to a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey that shows growing discontent — even among the president’s own base — with his use of the social media platform.

In the poll, 69 percent of registered voters said Trump tweets too much, up 13 points from a similar survey in December. Americans of all political stripes are increasingly coming to that consensus. Fifty-three percent of Republicans and 51 percent of voters who helped elect Trump said the president tweets too much — increases of 11 points and 14 points, respectively. Among independents, the share of voters who said Trump tweets too much was up 22 points, to 70 percent; 82 percent of Democrats agreed, up from 75 percent in December.

The most recent poll was conducted in the days before Trump used the platform to set his sights on London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the aftermath of the latest terror attack in the United Kingdom; undermined his own administration’s legal argument regarding his stalled executive order banning travel from six predominantly Muslim nations; and appeared to publicly accuse the leaders of Qatar, home of the U.S. Central Command base, of harboring terrorists.

A growing number of Americans, from 49 percent to 59 percent, said Trump’s use of Twitter is a bad thing, including 77 percent of Democrats (up 5 points from December) and 61 percent of independents, an 18-point increase among that demographic. While a plurality of Republicans (41 percent) and Trump voters (43 percent) said Trump’s tweets were a good thing, the share of those voters who said the opposite also grew. Thirty-five percent of Trump voters said his use of Twitter was a bad thing, up 11 points from December, while 37 percent of Republicans said the same, up 8 points from late last year.

While some of Trump’s advisers, such as Kellyanne Conway, have sought to downplay the importance of the president’s statements on Twitter and have accused the media of needlessly creating controversy, many members of the public disagree. Fifty-seven percent of voters said it hurts his presidency, 53 percent said it hurts the U.S.’ standing in the world and 51 percent said it hurts national security interests. Viewing the issue through a political lens, 48 percent of voters said it hurts congressional Republicans up for re-election in 2018, while a smaller plurality (35 percent) said it helps Democrats on the ballot next year.

With regard to undermining his own administration and agenda, there’s a Trump critic much closer to home for Conway. In a “tweet storm” — an increasingly ubiquitous feature of the platform — Conway’s husband argued Monday that the president’s tweets doubling down on the nomenclature of his travel ban were imperiling the Justice Department’s chances of having his controversial executive order reinstated by the Supreme Court.

The national, online survey polled 1,999 registered voters June 1 through June 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See the full results here.

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