A majority of voters believe President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed is harmful to his presidency and the nation’s standing in the world.
The president‘s Twitter feed, which has more than 52 million followers, is his primary communications tool. But more than three-in-five voters, 62 percent, think Trump’s use of Twitter is “a bad thing,“ up from 59 percent a year ago. Only 20 percent call Trump’s tweeting “a good thing,“ down slightly from 23 percent last June, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Nearly three-in-four voters take issue with the frequency of his habit — 72 percent say Trump uses Twitter too much, up from 69 percent last June.
Even among Republicans, a majority says Trump tweets too much: 58 percent, up from 53 percent this time last year.
Still, there’s little evidence it’s costing him with the GOP base.
"Although Republicans voters agree President Trump’s use of Twitter is excessive, they do not necessarily think it’s damaging his agenda,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “While 58 percent of Republicans say President Trump uses Twitter too much, only 38 percent say his Twitter use is a bad thing.”
In the last few days alone, Trump and his political operation have used his Twitter account to amplify his message, attack his enemies in the press and in the political arena and advance the cause of several Republican candidates.
He’s shared video of his signing of “right-to-try” legislation and commemorating Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetary; encouraged Californians to vote for Republican John Cox in next week’s all-party gubernatorial primary; endorsed Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) over his primary challenger, former Rep. Michael Grimm; disparaged special counsel Robert Mueller and the team investigating Trump’s 2016 campaign as “13 [a]ngry and heavily conflicted Democrats (though some of them, including Mueller, are actually Republicans); said he wished he hadn’t chosen Jeff Sessions for attorney general; criticized The New York Times for undercounting the attendees at his campaign rally in Nashville on Tuesday; posted a photo with reality-TV star Kim Kardashian; and slammed Disney CEO Robert Iger for apologizing to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett after comedian Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets, but not apologizing to Trump for “the HORRIBLE statements made and said” about him on ABC.
But despite the megaphone Trump’s Twitter account represents, few voters think he is doing himself — or the country — much good on the platform. A 59 percent majority say Trump’s use of Twitter hurts his presidency, compared to only 19 percent who say it helps. Fifty-one percent say Trump’s Twitter use actually hurts national security; 13 percent say it helps, and 22 percent say it doesn’t have much impact either way. And 57 percent say Trump’s tweets hurt the country’s standing in the world; just 14 percent say they help the nation’s standing.
Trump has used his Twitter account to promote Republican candidates since he became president, but few voters surveyed in the poll see a political benefit for the GOP: Only 17 percent say Trump’s use of Twitter will help congressional Republicans running for reelection in 2018, while 47 percent say it will hurt GOP members.
Asked whether Trump’s tweeting will help or hurt congressional Democrats up for reelection this year, voters are split: 31 percent say it will help Democrats, 31 percent say it will hurt and 21 percent don’t expect it to have much impact either way.
As for another of Trump’s frequent targets — news organizations — fewer than a quarter of voters, 23 percent, think Trump’s tweets help the news media, while nearly half, 47 percent, say Trump’s use of Twitter hurts the news media.
Trump’s approval rating in this week’s survey is 43 percent — unchanged from last week. A 52 percent majority disapproves of the job Trump is doing as president in the new survey, down a single point from last week.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted May 23-29, surveying 1,995 registered voters. The margin of error 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.