Post-Election Poll Explores After-Effects of Presidential Election

December 09, 2016

A new national survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) shows the political mood of the country was still divided and raw following the election of Donald J. Trump as president. The nonpartisan survey was conducted with 1,001 adults nationally from November 27 through November 30, 2016.

The polling institute wanted to see how people were feeling since the presidential election results were announced. Less than half reported some level of satisfaction with the outcome. Specifically, the survey asked:

Please think about the final outcome of the presidential election. Regardless of your voting preference, please indicate how satisfied you are with the final outcome – the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president.  Would you say you are…

                                           

Very satisfied

25.3%

 

Somewhat satisfied

16.2%

 

Combined percent of satisfied responses

 

41.5%

Somewhat dissatisfied

11.1%

 

Not at all satisfied

38.4%

 

Combined percent of dissatisfied responses

 

49.5%

Unsure

9%

 

 

The respondents included roughly even percentage levels of Republicans (27.6 percent) and Democrats (26.6 percent), and 39.2 percent who consider themselves independent.

Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, analyzed the results. “Even though the Trump campaign has claimed this election as a landslide and a mandate, the public is clearly not buying it,” he said.

Whitehouse

The survey also noted the occurrence of protests following Trump’s election, and asked respondents which of two possible reactions came closest to their views. The question was asked this way with the following results:

Protests that are permitted under the United States Constitution have occurred in several cities and on campuses since the election of Donald Trump as our next president. Which of the following best reflects your views on these protests?

 The protests are reasonable and warranted

35.2%

The protests are unreasonable and have gone too far

57.1%

 Unsure/unaware of the protests

7.7%

 

“These numbers show that there are a decent number of citizens who don’t like Trump, but also don’t approve of the protests. If protests grow and intensify throughout the Trump presidency,” Orlando commented, “it could lead to a backlash against the causes of the protests which President Trump could take advantage of.”

In addition to gauging the level of disagreement among the public at large, the survey asked people about their family situations in light of the election and with respect to the influence and guidance of Pope Francis. As a Catholic institution, Saint Leo University regularly polls on the impact of the pontiff and his continued popularity with the general public.

As it happened, the election season overlapped with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which was opened by Pope Francis in 2015, and which officially ended on November 20. Pope Francis called for continuing the year’s essence as a time of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The post-election time might be an apt time to practice that, the survey suggested.

Nearly a quarter of people, 23.8 percent, were at odds with family and friends over the election. Among Catholics, the election was the source of tension for 31 percent of respondents. And some people were unsure about mending relations, which itself was a source of concern to Dr. Marc Pugliese, assistant professor of theology and religion at Saint Leo University.

Pope -Francis -Mercy -book

“The Jubilee Year of Mercy had the greatest impact on Catholics by far,” Pugliese said. “Should we not at least have expected Catholics to be more forgiving with family and friends with whom they found themselves at odds during and after the election?” Pugliese asked. He suggested Catholics could concentrate more on “our individual responsibility to forgive others in our personal relationships.”

For more stories and results from the survey, visit http://polls.saintleo.edu.