Friday, November 18, 2016

The Legitimacy of a Trump Presidency

A recent post-election poll by Gallup shows surprising acceptance of Donald Trump as America's president-in-waiting despite the headline-making "Not My President" protests that erupted across the country.

Gallup asked respondents the following question:

"Now that Donald Trump has been declared the winner and will be inaugurated in January, will you accept him as the legitimate president, or not?"

Nationally, 84 percent of adults answered "yes" and only 15 percent answered "no".  What was surprising was that 76 percent of Clinton voters answered "yes" and only 23 percent answered "no".

Gallup then asked respondents this question:

"Which comes closer to your view; there has been permanent harm done to the United States as a result of the election process this year (or) there has been no permanent harm done to the United States as a result of the election process this year?"

Nationally, 38 percent of respondents stated that they felt that permanent harm had been done compared to 58 percent who felt that no permanent harm had been done.  Respondent's sentiment varied considerably along party lines as follows:

1.) Trump voters

- 17 percent permanent harm
- 82 percent no permanent harm

2.) Clinton voters

- 60 percent permanent harm
-38 percent no permanent harm

What is interesting to note is that, heading into the election, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were viewed as the most unfavourable candidates in recent history with the exception of Barry Goldwater in 1964 who had a favourable rating of 43 percent.  Hillary Clinton's favourable rating was 47 percent and her unfavourable rating was 52 percent.  Donald Trump's favourable rating was even lower at 36 percent and his unfavourable rating was 61 percent.

For your perusal, here is a table comparing the election eve favourability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary to those of presidential candidates going back to 1956 in order from least total favourable to most total favourable:

In case you were wondering how the candidate favourability ratings were calculated, respondents are asked their general opinion of each candidate using a 10 point positive to negative scale, using a number between +1 and +5 for candidates that they view as favourable (higher number, more favourable) and a number between -1 and -5 for candidates that they view as unfavourable (lower number, less favourable).

Throughout the later stages of this cycle, It became pretty obvious that many Americans weren't particularly enamoured with the offerings that both the Democratic and Republican parties had in 2016.  With over 40 percent of Americans choosing not to vote, it's looking like "Democracy: American Style" is incapable of captivating tens of millions of potential voters.

Given the rather emphatic "anti-Trump" nature of news coverage by the mainstream media since November 8th, it's rather surprising to find that a significant majority of Americans of both political persuasions still see Donald Trump as the legitimate replacement for Barack Obama.  I guess you can't always believe what you read in what passes for mainstream journalism today.


  1. Here in America much of the post-election media coverage has already turned negative. The media has now turned way too much of its focus on protest and plans to destabilize democracy in an effort that appears almost geared to intentionally stir the pot and emotionally agitate Americans.

    During the eight years, Obama has been in office, America doubled the National Debt to 20 trillion dollars. History will likely show it produced a false illusion of prosperity but little more. The article below delves into whether Trump will be allowed an opportunity to govern or his efforts be sabotaged by Washington insiders.

  2. The media turning negative after the election is, in my view, a result of them having elected Trump in the first place. It was the media that gave Trump about $2 billion in free advertising when he first declared his candidacy. Never questioning his weaknesses (climate change, war stances, misogyny, racism, etc) essentially normalized this most unqualified candidate ever to be nominated in our history. They were too much in love with the ratings that Trump rallies brought them that they neglected to do their jobs. Intense focus on HRC's emails? Check. Intense focus on why Benghazi was NOT baggage for her and her emails were? NOPE (hint: the GOPT just HAD to find something to beat up HRC with, so when Benghazi failed, they found another attack line). How about the secret communications between Trump and Putin before the election? NO FOCUS THERE EITHER. How about focus on the President-elect's inability to deal with comedy attacking him (SNL)? NOPE. There are so many lethal problems with Trump that the press ignored for months until it was too late.

    Just take as a FACT that EVERY republican candidate called out Trump for being a con artist -- which he is and which, once again, he is showing those who voted for him: GOTCHA! You LOSE! I WIN!

  3. Those ratings coming from same mass media that said Trump wouldn't win. So, not so accurate and probably made up entirely to affect the election.