Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly poll summary.
Poll (s) of the week
Facebook said last month that it plans to at least get Donald Trump for that the next two yearswho, paired with his permanent suspension from Twitter, probably takes away two of the former presidents The biggest political megaphones.
A slim majority of voters also agree with Facebook’s decision. According to a Politico morning consultation In a poll released this week, 51 percent of registered voters either strongly or somewhat supported Facebook’s decision. Unsurprisingly, Democrats and independent voters (86 percent and 46 percent, respectively) were more supportive of the platforms’ decision than Republicans (15 percent), reflecting results of previous polls on the former president’s Twitter ban. After the platform blocked Trump’s account, 52 percent of Americans got it, according to a January SurveyMonkey surveysaid they supported the decision. Here, too, support fluctuated across party lines: 69 percent of Republicans and Republican supporters strongly opposed it and 79 percent of Democrats and Democratic supporters strongly supported it.
Since Trump was booted from social media, he’s started a blog that he has killed after 29 days, supposedly because of the poor readership. But that doesn’t mean the former president’s message isn’t getting through – or not getting through to the republican base.
Indeed, an analysis of The New York Times noted that since the Facebook and Twitter bans, Trump’s messages are still heavily liked and shared on social media – especially because they are picked up by far-right media and its supporters with a large fan base. For example, three of the top dividers of one of Trump’s March statements on his website were Breitbart News, a Facebook page called President Donald Trump Fan Club, and Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who worked with Trump’s team in its efforts to overturn the 2020 elections. Together, the three generated almost 250,000 likes and shares from Trump’s post. (Before the ban, the median social media post would generate 272,000 likes and shares, the Times noted).
In addition, Trump maintains his influence on the GOP by speaking at a number of public events, including his address in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference and republican conventions. He should give one too CPAC speech in Dallas next month.
Because of this, experts I spoke to said Trump’s removal from two of the largest social media platforms is unlikely to detract from his impact on the GOP – at least not in the short term. “The larger right-wing media ecosystem is not going to go away anytime soon,” said Daniel Kriess, Professor at the University of North Carolina. “To the extent that they continue to give him a platform and treat him as the leader of the Republican Party, Trump will keep and keep his influence.”
For most politicians, social media has become a powerful tool in creating their campaigns. Indeed, a Study 2016 found that new candidates seeking office can get a significant boost of support through the use of social media channels. These platforms can also help level the playing field in politics, the researchers found, as both Twitter and Facebook are free, and money and access to communication channels are barriers for new political candidates.
In the case of Trump, this investigation may not be applicable as he is a fairly well-established candidate. But there’s one place where a social media ban could really hurt him: fundraising. In the past, Trump was the candidate I used Facebook productively. After the 2016 election, former digital director Brad Parscale told CBS “60 Minutes” that the campaign spent most of his digital advertising money on Facebook. The campaign’s high spending on the platform continued through 2020, with Trump spending on the re-election campaign billion dollars. “Facebook is a powerful fundraising tool, and if the president cannot or is unable to regularly inform and engage supporters and regularly appeal for money, it will absolutely affect his election chances,” said Kreiss.
And while Trump may not need social media to build a loyal fan base – he already has one – He could get in trouble when it comes to controlling the media narration without the megaphone on a social media account. As a candidate and president Trump often went to Twitter to spread complaints, launch personal attacks, or spread disinformation (including Lies about the 2020 elections), essentially Set the news cycle of the day with his tweets. Should he run for president again in 2024 (as he allegedly contemplates), it’s likely that his campaign would suffer without a Facebook or Twitter account.
But it is also possible that the bans do not harm Trump, but have the opposite effect: encourage the republican base to is skeptical of the already major tech regulations and didn’t support the two-year Facebook ban as much as Democrats and independent voters. Still, Kreiss said he believes it is unlikely that a technology policy issue alone will win voters for a particular party or candidate – even Trump. What really matters, he said, is that Trump’s ban is part of a wider story Republicans can tell about gatekeeping institutions they feel Silence conservative voices. “Republican candidates, Republican media, and certainly Republican activists love to tell the story of tech giants who censor their views,” he said. “It reinforces this story that power institutions are biased against conservatives … and plays into the discourse that freedom of expression is being attacked.”
Other polling bites
- As more people say they are getting or will be vaccinated against COVID-19, new polls suggest that more Americans are now ready to return to their pre-pandemic lifestyle. According to Axios / Ipsos coronavirus index, 69 percent of adults now say they see a small risk of going back to a life before COVID-19 (compared to 39 percent who felt the same way in March). And the number of Americans who say they have returned to activities that they used to enjoy has risen sharply. The survey found that two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) said they’d seen family members and friends in the past week (compared with 44 percent in early March), while 61 percent went to eat out. But when it came to companies and industries that required proof of vaccination when reopening, Americans were more divided: while a majority said they were in favor of proof of international travel (67 percent) or participation in sporting events (56 percent), just about half of Americans said they advocate vaccination for dining indoors (47 percent), going to a salon (49 percent), or returning to work (52 percent).
- Speaking of the pandemic, new research also suggests that the role of friends in Americans’ social lives is diminishing. A recent survey by the American Life Poll Center says more people report having fewer close friendships than they did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Young women are particularly hard hit: 59 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 29 lost contact with either most or a few of their friends (compared to 52 percent of men in the same age group). There is a silver lining, however. Despite prolonged isolation for many during the pandemic, nearly half of Americans (46 percent) say they made a new friend in the past year.
- With Pride month in progress, Gallup reported this week that U.S. support for legal same-sex marriage has hit a record 70 percent. And the recent surge in support has been largely driven by Republicans. Fifty-five percent are in favor now – the first time a majority of Republicans have said this since Gallup was interviewed on the matter in 1996. (Back then, only 16 percent of Republicans supported same-sex marriage.)
- A few weeks ago, I researched support for Roe v. Wade after the US Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on a Mississippi law challenging the constitutional right to abortion. New survey by Data for progress reflects what previous polls found: a majority of voters do not want the Supreme Court to see Roe v. Calf tilts. 57 percent of likely voters believe the Supreme Court shouldn’t overturn the ruling, while 32 percent said the court should do so so states can pass laws that prohibit abortion. In addition, nearly half of voters – both Republicans and Democrats – say they oppose efforts by state governments to pass restrictive abortion laws. According to the poll, 42 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats say state governments should protect women’s ability to have access to an abortion rather than creating more barriers.
- Recently, news reports surfaced that Trump told people it will be him reinstated as president in August. That is of course not possible – even Trump’s top advisor have said that there is no constitutional mechanism that would give him back the presidency. But some Republicans seem a new one, according to data Morning counseling Survey. While most GOP members (61 percent) say it is unlikely that Trump will return to the presidency, another 29 percent believe it is very or fairly likely. But regardless of whether voters believe Trump will be reinstated, an overwhelming proportion of Americans – 82 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats – believe America’s democracy is currently under threat, the poll found.
- The election of President Biden, meanwhile, has improved America’s image among other nations compared to that under Trump, according to a poll from increased the Pew Research Center. Throughout Trump’s presidency, Pew noted, many countries held the US down and opposed its foreign policy overwhelmingly. But of 12 nations surveyed both this year and last year, an average of 75 percent said they were confident that Biden would be able to do the right thing about world affairs (only 17 percent felt the same way at the end of Trump’s presidency).
According to FiveThirtyEights Presidential Approval Tracker, 53.0 percent of Americans approve of the work Biden does as president, while 40.6 percent disagree (a net approval rating of +12.4 percentage points). (a net approval rating of +12.8 points). A month ago, Biden had an approval rating of 54.0 percent and a disapproval rate of 39.6 percent (a net approval rating of 14.4 points).