President Trump and his aides frequently invoke the will of the voters in advancing his hard-edged conservative agenda, from dismantling the Affordable Care Act and stripping away onerous government regulations to retreating on climate change and banning immigrants from seven terrorism prone countries.
But a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday tells a different story. Just a few tumultuous weeks into the Trump presidency, a majority of Americans sharply disagree with him on many key elements of policy.
“A litany of calls to ‘hold your horses, Mr. President,’” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement summing up the findings. “Americans want President Donald Trump to keep the regulatory reins on business, and voters call for a full stop to laying new pipelines full of oil. They are against taking the knife to Obamacare and opposed to lifting environmental regulations.”
According to the poll, a majority of voters surveyed nationwide (49 percent to 39 percent) are opposed to Trump’s promise to gut Dodd-Frank and other regulations governing Wall Street and businesses. And they say the new president should not decimate regulations and agreements designed to combat climate change, by a two to one margin.
Indeed, 72 percent of the voters surveyed said they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the problem of global warming, which Trump once dismissed as a hoax perpetrated by China. Just 17 percent of voters believe the U.S. is doing enough to address the problem, while 59 percent say that “more needs to be done.”
Moreover, 50 percent of Americans don’t want Trump and his GOP allies to repeal and replace Obamacare, which has provided health insurance coverage to more than 20 million people. Not surprisingly, the issue sharply divides the two parties. Eighty-six percent of Democrats are opposed to repealing President Barack Obama’s signature program, while just 10 percent of Republicans want to see Obamacare survive.
Americans also generally oppose Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border, particularly if U.S. taxpayers get stuck with the bill: 63 percent oppose an American taxpayer-funded wall, compared to 35 percent who support it.
To be sure, the results aren’t all negative: By a margin of 60 percent to 31 percent, the public supports Trump’s plan to renegotiate NAFTA and other international trade agreements. They overwhelmingly support the president’s idea for investing $1 trillion in roads, bridges and other infrastructure. And they heartily approve of his choice of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
But voters are wary of Trump’s emerging global posture, including his complaints that not all European allies are spending their fair share on defense. Americans maintain, 79 percent to 13 percent, that Trump and U.S. forces should defend all of this country’s NATO allies.
Many Americans appear dismayed by Trump’s insistence that he won the November election over Democrat Hillary Clinton despite widespread voter fraud. By 61 percent to 28 percent, voters say they don’t believe Trump’s assertion that three million to five million non-citizens voted in the 2016 election.
The poll didn’t question voters about their stand on Trump’s controversial executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. That order triggered days of chaos and confusions in airports throughout the world and has been put on hold pending ruling by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A separate poll by Morning Consult and Politico shows public support for the president – 55 percent to 38 percent, although support appears to be slipping.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from Feb. 2 to 6 and involved interviews with 1,155 voters nationwide; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.