The President's recent Baltimore tweets have caused yet more criticism in the media and online, but will it have any impact on his overall support?
The past two weeks have given us a number of examples that demonstrate the pattern of activity when the President says or tweets something controversial. Tweets about the “Squad” that garnered massive attention, a rally where the “send her back” chant took over the media narrative for days, and the Mueller testimony all made for stories that generated huge volumes of discussion.
Through our partnership with Scott Rasmussen (http://bit.ly/SRTrump), we’ve been monitoring the online sentiment expressed toward the President, which gives us real-time insights into the public reaction to his actions.
If we focus on the last two weeks, we can see the large initial drop in sentiment caused by the Squad tweets. As we discussed in a previous post, we found most of this negativity expressed by people who were previously negative towards the President, and it wasn’t impacting his base of support in a meaningful manner.
From the chart (h/t www.scottrasmussen.com), we see that POTUS’s sentiment started to recover within days. It also appears that the House condemnation of his comments and how that event played out may have provided the impetus for the recovery. The initial negativity of the rally chant the next day put the brakes on the recovery, but it then continued through to the end of the week.
The same pattern occurred when Robert Mueller testified at the end of the past week. Initial negativity drove sentiment temporarily lower, but it is already recovering back to the levels witnessed before the Squad tweets.
It is this recovery from the negative opinion that has been a constant characteristic of the President’s sentiment scores over the past months. While events fuel non-supporters comments in the short term, Trump supporters tend to rapidly come to his defense to change the negative momentum to positive.
This pattern makes sense when we look at what polls have been showing for the President’s approval ratings. Just as our average sentiment tends to stay in a range we would characterize as slightly negative, the Scott Rasmussen/Harris X polling finds the same consistency in their numbers as well. As pointed out in the July 25th update, "since January 28, the number approving of the president’s performance has stayed within two points of 46% every single daily release." The consistency found in the polling results mirrors the consistency we see in the President’s sentiment over the medium to long term.
Overall, for all of the ups and downs that appear to be playing out in the Oval Office, the reality is that public opinion of the President tends to be remarkably consistent regardless of his actions.
Understanding this is likely a key factor in the President’s communications strategy, and Eyesover can provide this information to any organization, in real-time, to help inform strategic decisions.