On a host of issues ranging from abortion, immigration and national defense to climate change, tax cuts and race relations, a majority of voters disagree with President-elect Donald Trump on how best to proceed, according to a national poll by Quinnipiac University released Wednesday.
Perhaps the sharpest divide between the Republican president-elect and voters is over immigration policy, the issue that helped catapult Trump to victory. Trump rallied his core supporters with fiery vows to deport millions of illegal immigrants, oppose measures allowing undocumented aliens to obtain legal status or a path to citizenship, and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
But according to the Quinnipiac University findings, voters by a margin of 55 percent to 42 percent are opposed to building a wall along the southern border, notwithstanding Trump’s boast that he would persuade the Mexican government to pay for it. Moreover, 60 percent of all voters are in favor of allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country and be offered a path to citizenship, compared with just 25 percent who say they should simply be deported.
The pollsters noted that the 60 percent share of voters in favor of a more humanitarian immigration policy was the largest percentage since Quinnipiac University first began asking that question four years ago.
However, the polling results confirm once again a sharp partisan divide over this and other questions. Among Republican voters, only 38 percent agree that illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. and seek legal status, and only 20 percent of the Republicans surveyed are opposed to building a wall along the border.
In similar fashion, voters take exception to Trump’s opposition to Supreme Court rulings in support of abortion rights and his insistence that any Supreme Court nominees must be opposed to the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision upholding women’s right to an abortion.
By 67 percent to 30 percent, voters said they agree with Roe v. Wade, although Democrats were far more supportive than Republicans.
Fifty-one percent of voters said that in choosing nominees to the Supreme Court, Trump should consider only a nominee’s qualification, not his or her stand on abortion and other issues, while 40 percent said he should also take into account their stands on abortion.
But again there is a partisan divide. Among Republicans who say a prospective Supreme Court justice’s views on abortion should be taken into account, 64 percent say that Trump should pick someone who opposes abortion. Among Democrats, 77 percent say Trump shouldn’t pick a justice who opposes abortion, while 20 percent say he should.
“Two of President-elect Donald Trump’s signature campaign mantras get a hearty thumbs down,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. “Voters to Trump: No way on reversing Roe v. Wade and not a chance on building that wall.”
“And though it drew cheers on the campaign trail, the fiery rhetoric about redirecting the path to citizenship in the U.S. back to the Mexican border is actually losing support,” Malloy added.
Among other revealing findings in the poll:
* Voters say 57 to 38 percent that reducing taxes on the wealthy will not improve the economy and create more jobs. They also say, 67 percent to 29 percent, that Congress should not lower taxes for the wealthy. Trump is promoting a massive tax cut that would especially benefit the wealthiest Americans. He and his economic advisers contend that across-the-board tax cuts will spur the economy.
* By a margin of 77 percent to 16 percent, voters say that Trump should defend all of America’s NATO allies, regardless of how much money they invest in defense and regional security. Trump at one point threatened to withhold assistance from NATO countries that don’t devote an adequate share of their annual budgets to defense.
* A total of 68 percent of American voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about climate change and assert by a margin of 59 percent to 31 percent that Trump should not “remove specific regulations intended to combat climate change.” Trump once dismissed global warming as a “hoax” perpetrated by China and has threatened to withdraw the U.S. from participation in a new international climate change accord negotiated by the United States and nearly 200 other countries last year in Paris. However, he said during a meeting with New York Times editors and reporters on Tuesday that “I have an open mind to it.”
* Americans oppose eliminating regulations on businesses and corporations, by a margin of 48 percent to 38 percent. Trump has promised a major initiative to reduce or eliminate government red tape. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats surveyed oppose elimination of government regulations, but only 21 percent of Republicans shared that sentiment.
* Some 76 percent of voters say prejudice against minority groups is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem in this country. What’s more, 43 percent are more concerned about discrimination and violence against minorities since Trump won election, compared to 17 percent who are less concerned.