Poll: Voters divided on Trump meeting North Korean leader

- Maret 14, 2018

Voters are split on whether President Donald Trump should meet with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, without first securing promises from the North on its nuclear weapons program, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted after the announcement that Trump had agreed to meet Kim this spring.

Forty-one percent of voters, surveyed this weekend about a Trump-Kim sit-down, said Trump should meet with Kim without preconditions — slightly more than the 36 percent who said Trump should meet with Kim only if North Korea makes concessions regarding its nuclear program beforehand. Nearly a quarter of voters, 24 percent, had no opinion.

That result comes from a supplemental survey to the regular, weekly POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, which was already in the field when the meeting was announced.

In the regular poll, voters are sharply divided on their trust in Trump to handle threats posed by North Korea. Fewer than a quarter of voters, 24 percent, say they have “a lot” of trust in Trump, 21 percent have “some” confidence, 16 percent don’t have much confidence and 31 percent have “no confidence at all.”

A majority of Republican voters, 51 percent, say they have a lot of confidence in Trump to handle North Korea — but 54 percent of Democratic voters have no confidence at all.

“Democrats and Republicans have drastically different viewpoints on whether President Trump will be able to handle threats posed by North Korea,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “While 81 percent of Republicans say they have a lot or some confidence in Trump’s ability to handle those threats, only 18 percent of Democrats say the same.”

Trump’s overall approval rating in the survey stands at 44 percent, a point higher than last week’s poll.

Asked to evaluate a number of possible measures for handling North Korea, majorities of voters support diplomatic efforts (75 percent), imposing additional sanctions on North Korea (63 percent), imposing sanctions against countries that trade with North Korea (61 percent) and adding North Korea to a list of state sponsors of terrorism (57 percent).

But there is little support for military action: Fewer than a third, 32 percent, support airstrikes against North Korea, while 48 percent oppose them. Only 23 percent of voters support sending ground troops to North Korea, compared with 58 percent who oppose such action.

The initial POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted March 8-12, surveying 1,997 registered voters. The survey taken after the announcement on the North Korea was conducted March 9-11, surveying 1,992 registered voters.

The margin of sampling error for both surveys is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: http://politi.co/2Dpm6DJ | Crosstabs: http://politi.co/2pex0rZ

Supplemental survey — Toplines: http://politi.co/2Hz7cgT | Crosstabs: http://politi.co/2tNdvew


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