To hear the media tell it, one would believe that President Donald Trump is universally reviled, particularly among Democrats, but even among many Republicans as well.
But a narrative-busting new poll from Rasmussen shows that nearly one of every five Democratic voters actually views themselves as aligning more with President Trump than with congressional Democrats, a potential sign that his chances of re-election in 2020 are better than many would assume.
17% of Democrats identify with Trump
The biggest takeaway from the most recent Rasmussen national poll of likely U.S. voters was that 17% of respondents who identified as Democrats reportedly viewed themselves as being more in line with the views of President Trump than with those of the average member of Congress from their own party.
Granted, 73% of likely Democratic voters viewed themselves as in line with the average congressional Democrat, but the 17% who were more aligned with Trump represent a surprising increase over the 12% of Democrats who saw themselves that way at the start of 2019.
Meanwhile, among likely Republican voters, 61% viewed themselves as being aligned with President Trump, while 20% were aligned with the average Republican member of Congress. Just 9% actually felt they were most in line with the average congressional Democrat.
Among all likely U.S. voters, regardless of party affiliation, 36% identified primarily with Trump, compared to 42% who identified mainly with Democrats in Congress. Only 11% of all likely voters felt they were most aligned with congressional Republicans, and another 11% were unsure to whom they viewed themselves as aligning most directly.
Collaboration with Congress
The relationship, or lack thereof, between President Trump and Congress appears to be an issue that has a significant number of voters feeling flummoxed, as 36% said it was important for the president to work collaboratively with the legislative body, while 26% said it was more important for Trump to pursue his own agenda. A total of 38% were undecided either way. Both of those first numbers represent declines from the results of a poll conducted in July of 2018, when 40% said Trump should work with Congress and 31% said he should ignore them in favor of his own agenda.
One area in which there is some semblance of bipartisan agreement is that President Trump governs more like an unaffiliated third-party candidate than a traditional Republican president. Indeed, 47% of Republicans, 46% of Democrats, and 40% of independent voters all shared that view of Trump as a non-traditional outsider.
However, even among Republican voters — by a two to one margin — and those who “strongly approve” of the job the president is doing — 48% to 41% — it was believed that Trump should try harder to work with congressional Republicans than attempt to go it alone to achieve success with his policy agenda.
Perhaps the most unsurprising result of the poll was that 82% of those who “strongly disapprove” of the president’s job performance thus far identified more with congressional Democrats than Trump.
Rather interestingly, however, is that while voters are generally split on whether President Trump is “politically savvy” or not, a majority of all voters believe that Trump actually listens to and cares more about their concerns than does the average member of Congress.
President Trump’s chances of re-election in 2020 are far from certain, but given the fact that nearly one in five likely Democratic voters identify more with him than members of their own party in Congress, it seems he has a pretty good shot at remaining in the White House for another term.