A random survey of 159 University of Louisiana at Lafayette students found that 70 percent of student participants would vote for President Donald Trump a second time.
“He's a businessman and that's what I think the country needs with all the debt we have,” Carrie Boesch, a senior advertising major, said. “I feel like we need a president that can make these trades and negotiations seriously and actually get the job done, not just talk about it.”
A five-question, online survey was randomly distributed to gauge students’ opinions of Trump’s first year in office. Of those within the sample who voted for Trump in the 2016 election, 73 percent said they are satisfied with his accomplishments thus far.
Contrary to this opinion, Joe Shamp, president of the Young Americans for Liberty, a Libertarian student organization, said he is not satisfied, namely with the Trump administration’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“The gridlock in Congress has been frustrating,” he said. “Republicans have been talking about replacing Obamacare for years and it doesn’t seem like they’ve accomplished much.”
Pearson Cross, Ph.D., political science professor and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, added that although president Trump has proposed an “ambitious” agenda, so far he has accomplished little.
Despite the Republican Party having the majority in the House and Senate, Cross said, many say his tax propositions “are in real trouble” and could “go down in defeat.” He added if this does happen, it would equate to an entire year of the Trump presidency “without a single legislative accomplishment of any merit.”
Cross said a contributing factor to Trump’s lack of success in passing legislation is that the Republicans hold a minute 52-48 Senate majority. He added that some Republican senators are more moderate and are not often inclined to agree with Trump.
“As a result, it has been very hard for him to put together a very strong legislative program,” Cross said. “He’s been betrayed, in a sense, by his own party and I think if he governed more for the middle he’d have better results.”
When asked if Trump has done or said anything personally offensive, 80 percent of the participants who voted for Trump in 2016 said no.
Carita Wilson, president of Acadiana Republican Women, said she and the members of her organization do not find Trump’s derogatory comments personally offensive. Specifically in regard to Trump’s comment suggesting previous acts of sexual assault, she said it sounded more like “locker room talk” and that she does not believe Trump would “do the sexually offensive things Bill Clinton did in the oval office.”
Some survey participants who responded “yes” to being offended left additional comments explaining why.
“Yes, I don't think our President should be calling people ‘sons of b****es’ and it hurt to see when he didn't formally condemn the racist actions in Charlottesville,” one survey respondent wrote.
Another respondent wrote, “I think that his ‘damn liberals’ spiel is generally offensive, but not so much to me personally. I just brush it off as senility.”
When survey participants were asked if they trust Trump more than the media, 79 percent of Trump voters answered “yes.”
“I trust neither. It is very difficult to get actual news because every media outlet spins a story in order to obtain more viewers (or) readers,” read a comment left by a survey participant.
Wilson said she feels one of the best ways for the American people to know and trust Trump’s true opinions and future plans are through his Twitter account. According to Wilson, Trump utilizes Twitter to “correct” the media’s portrayal of him and his future plans as president.
“I specifically made a Twitter account to follow President Trump. I think it is a great outlet for him to get his point across in 169 characters,” she said.
Cross said due to the wide divide between the parties with Democrats and Republicans becoming more “ideologically consistent,” while the “vast” middle that previously housed a large amount of voters is shrinking, it is difficult for the media to cover Trump “fairly.”
“Part of his (method) seems to be to stir up controversy and he goes for conflict and it makes covering him very, very hard,” Cross said.
He added Trump is “somewhat truth-challenged.” As a result, media that cover one of these “truth-challenged” comments appear to call the president a liar or challenge what he is saying, creating an “adversarial type of relationship,” Cross said.
“Questions of fairness in the media are hard to resolve,” Cross said. “They are especially hard to resolve with this president because this president is quite unlike any other president that we’ve had.”