Bucknell Institute of Public Policy finds Trump down in the polls

Matilda Melkonian, Contributing Writer

Between Nov. 10 and 14, the University’s Institute of Public Policy (BIPP) conducted a poll which examined U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval rating among young Republicans. The results were released to the University community on Jan. 29.


The numbers demonstrated that among Republicans under 35 years old, 37 percent feel that Trump should not be the Republican candidate in the 2020 election. “While I feel that he is trying to stay true to his promises he made during his campaign, I feel he is very harsh regarding issues of families and current undocumented immigrants,” James Page ’22, who supported Trump is his 2016 run for the presidency, said.


The poll showed that not only are younger voters turning their backs on Trump, but they are also turning away from the Republican Party as a whole. “Those under 35 not only dislike Trump, but also think less of the Republican Party because the party is now seen as Trump’s party,” Associate Professor of Political Science Chris Ellis said.


Many young voters are not dissatisfied with the decline in Trump’s approval ratings being reported in national polls. In fact, they are not surprised. “[His] approval ratings are going down because the public is seeing that respected American institutions are more and more disagreeing with the president over important issues,” Nina Duffy ’22 said. Duffy referred specifically to the occasion when Trump tweeted that ISIS had been defeated, followed by the U.S. Intelligence Chief’s reply to dismantle and disprove the claim.


Political discourse is generally encouraged on campus. “Bucknellians are always willing to discuss politics,” Nikki Marrone ’20, an intern at the BIPP, said. Marrone also shared that the University is accommodating to students who want to advocate for either side of an issue. Therefore, the conversation about Trump did not end on campus after he was elected. “Students here act like mature adults that can handle conversations about controversial topics with people they disagree with,” Ellis said.


With the exception of the topic of abortion, Ellis shared that it appears young people are shifting further left when it comes to issues regarding cultural or social topics. Views of the younger generation highly oppose those of older generations because older generations never experienced that shift. As the age of voters increases, however, the more economically conservative they become, which is a strength for Trump’s campaign.


Luckily for Trump and his supporters, the healthy state of the economy at the moment helps to keep some of his supporters on his side. “I knew he was a good businessman and am not shocked to see how he has helped the economy grow, creating more jobs as we have seen unemployment plummet,” Page said.


As for right now, though, especially in light of the recent government shutdown, it appears that the Republican Party will have to put in some effort in gaining the support they lost during Trump’s presidency.


“There is at least a possibility, “that Republicans end up with a bit of a ‘lost generation’ because of Trump’s essentially hostile takeover of the Republican party,” Ellis said.


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