President Trump tweets — whether you have an account or not, this is widely known. And according to a survey conducted over the holidays by The Economist/YouGOV, more Americans disapprove than approve of what he puts out there for the world to see.
Participants were asked: “Do you think the way Donald Trump uses Twitter is appropriate or inappropriate for the President of the United States?” Of the 1,500 U.S. adults surveyed between Dec. 24 – 26, only 26 percent said they thought the president’s Twitter use was appropriate.
Of those surveyed, 59 percent said Trump’s Twitter use was inappropriate and 15 percent were unsure.
Trump’s Twitter approval vs. presidential approval
According to a CNN poll conducted Dec. 14 – 17, Trump’s presidential approval rate is 35 percent. This number came from 1,001 respondents.
Presidential approval ratings are conducted to gauge public opinion in the hopes that the population sample is a representative slice of America.
Looking at the percentages (26 percent Twitter approval vs. 35 percent presidential approval), Newsweek concluded that “Americans approve even less of President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter than they do his presidency.” But this claim is only looking at part of the picture.
When you calculate the numbers — 26 percent of 1,500 and 35 percent of 1,001 — more respondents actually approve of his Twitter use than his presidency (390 vs. 350). Going by this logic, Americans would technically approve less of his presidency, contrasting with Newsweek’s claims.
The CNN poll came after Trump tweeted results from a Politico/Morning Consult poll saying his presidential approval rate was 45 percent. In that poll, 1,997 voters were surveyed between Dec. 1 – 3.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/64a93S07s7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2017
A day before that, a Pew Research Center poll conducted between Nov. 29 – Dec. 4 revealed an approval rate of 32 percent, which they noted declined over the course of his first presidential year. The Center surveyed 1,503 adults, and they also reported that the rating is “lower than those of recent presidents dating back to Ronald Reagan near the end of their first year in office.”
On paper, these presidential ratings are all higher than the 26 percent Twitter approval calculated by The Economist and YouGOV, but when it comes down to it, you have to truly do the math to judge them.
Other Twitter surveys
One take away is this: at the least, there is an existing trend of distaste for Trump’s Twitter activity.
In a NBC and WSJ poll conducted before his inauguration, almost 70 percent of Americans said his use of the platform was “a bad idea,” and only 9 percent said they strongly supported his tweeting strategy. Information for the poll’s sample size was unavailable.
However, a different NBC and WSJ poll conducted from July 8 – 12 showed a 62 percent dislike of his Twitter use and a 24 percent rate of support. This data was based on 600 interviews conducted in “Trump Counties.”
In a Quinnipiac University national poll conducted from Oct. 5 – 10, 70 percent of voters thought Trump should stop tweeting from his personal account, while only 27 percent said he should continue. This data was based on 1,482 responses.
In a Fox News poll from 1,017 interviews back in June, a mere 13 percent approved of Trump’s tweeting and 46 percent disapproved, while 39 percent said they neither approved nor disapproved but “wish he’d be more cautious.”
In this same survey, 71 percent of voters said the president’s tweets “hurt his agenda.”
Trump on Twitter
In an interview with FOX News back in March, Tucker Carlson asked the president if he “talks to anyone” before he tweets, to which Trump replied: “I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter because I get such a fake press, such a dishonest press.”
He continued on to say that “much of the news is not honest,” and that since he has “close to one-hundred million people watching” on the social media platforms combined, it makes for his “own form of media.”
“When I say things, the press doesn’t cover it accurately…and if they’re not going to do me the honor or the public the honor of spreading my word accurately as it was meant…when I can reach that many people, Twitter is a wonderful thing for me because I get the word out,” Trump said.
In an October interview with FOX, President Trump further told Maria Bartiromo, “I can express my views when somebody expresses maybe a false view that they said I gave.”
“When somebody says something about me,” he continued, “I am able to go ‘bing, bing, bing,’ and I take care of it.”