Most Americans Think Trump's Tweets Are Hurting His Cause
But a majority don't think that tweets count as official statements.
Most Americans believe President Donald Trump is hurting his cause by tweeting, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday, following up hours later to lob attacks against his onetime rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton.
A 53 percent majority of the public says that Trump’s tweets generally hurt his cause, with just 14 percent believing that they help. The remainder say his tweets have no effect, or that they’re not sure.
Even Trump’s voters aren’t entirely convinced of the benefit of his missives: While 34 percent say Trump’s tweets help his cause, 26 percent say they hurt, and 27 percent say they neither help nor hurt.
Most of the public ― 53 percent ― say they don’t feel that Trump is speaking for them with his tweets, while just 23 percent say they do.
Trump’s aides haven’t always been on the same page as to whether or not the president’s tweets count as official statements. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this month that they were, while other advisers have argued otherwise.
“I think [Trump’s tweets] matter in the sense that it gives him a communications tool that isn’t filtered through media bias,” deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said recently. “But at the same time, I think that the media obsesses over every period [and] dot.”
Those polled say, 56 percent to 44 percent, that Trump’s tweets should not be seen as official statements. His opponents take his tweets more seriously ― 62 percent of Clinton voters say the posts are official statements, while 69 percent of Trump voters say they are not.
Americans largely agree with Sanders that Trump’s tweets receive too much coverage ― 63 percent say they’ve heard a lot about Trump tweets in recent months, up from the 54 percent who said the same just before Trump was inaugurated. Half currently say the media gives those tweets too much attention.
But few are seeing Trump’s tweets in a totally unfiltered way. Just 11 percent say they usually see Trump’s posts directly on Twitter, while 65 percent generally hear about those posts through news stories discussing them.
Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:
The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted June 13-14 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.
HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.
Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.