All Political Conversations Strongly Negative Toward the Parties, Trump
Kitchen-table conversations about President Trump and Republicans in Congress became slightly more negative this week as the public became aware of an accusation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. For the week ending Sunday September 16, conversations 57 percentage points more negative than positive for Republicans in Congress and 43 points more negative than positive for President Trump. Democrats were also more negative than positive with a “net sentiment” score of -41.
Using a methodology that helped explain why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, the data are based on an ongoing online survey in which prior day conversations are reported by American adults. News of an accusation of attempted rape by Judge Kavanaugh when he was in high school occurred during the middle of the survey week, and the accuser was named only during the last day of data collection, thus we will need to wait one more week to see the full impact on the national political conversation.
“Net Sentiment” Drops for President and “Republicans in Congress” Through Sept. 16, 2018
In the recent week, 39% of negative conversations about Republicans in Congress related to the Supreme Court, up 6 points from a week earlier, reflecting a full week of conversations about the Brett Kavanaugh nomination Senate hearings, but only a few days after an accusation of sexual misconduct against him surfaced.
Similar to the week before, the biggest topics of negative conversations regarding Republicans in Congress were the upcoming elections (53%), corruption in Washington (52%), the President’s performance in office (50%), and the Russia investigation (41%).
Topics of Negative Conversations about Republicans in Congress, Through September 16, 2018
The Supreme Court also featured in 25% of positive conversations about Republicans in Congress against 39% of negative ones, for a net-negative score of -14. For Democrats in Congress, the Supreme Court was a topic in 31% of positive conversations and 25% of negative ones, for a net-positive score of +6.
At this point, Supreme Court has not been a big factor in recent conversations about President Trump, which are dominated by talk about his performance as president (71%), the Russia investigation (41%), corruption in Washington (40%), and immigration (35%). The Supreme Court is mentioned in just 20% of negative Trump conversations, roughly the same frequency with which it comes up in positive Trump conversations (19%).
Engagement Labs conducts an online survey continuously, with weekly reports. Conversations are reported by a representative sample of American adults via survey, a day after those conversations occurred. Most of these conversations happen face-to-face, whether at home, work, or someplace else. Overall results in this report are based on 4-week rolling averages of about 2,500 respondents 18-69 years old.