The results of this year’s annual straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday showed overwhelming approval of President Donald Trump, his executive order immigration travel ban and his United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch.
The CPAC/Washington Times straw poll – conducted on 1,447 CPAC attendees on Saturday – divulged that support for the Trump administration is extremely high one month after the president’s inauguration.
Thumbs up for Trump and justice
When asked about what kind job they believed Trump was doing during his first month in office, an overwhelming percentage of those attending the conservative political event expressed that Trump is meeting or exceeding expectations.
“Overall, Mr. Trump had an 86 percent approval rate from CPAC attendees, with 55 percent saying they ‘strongly’ approve of the job he’s doing,” the Washington Times reported from its poll. “And 67 percent said Republicans in Congress ‘should be doing more’ to support him, while just 8 percent wanted the GOP to throw up roadblocks for the president.”
On the topic of Trump’s SCOTUS pick, conservatives were nearly unanimously behind the president.
“One clear unifying factor for conservatives was Mr. Trump’s pick of Judge Gorsuch to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia,” the Washington Times’ David Sherfinski and Stephen Dinan reported. “A staggering 94 percent said they approved, and 83 percent approved ‘strongly’ of the choice.”
Addressing the Democrats’ staunch opposition to Gorsuch’s induction into the Supreme Court, three out of four CPAC attendees insisted that Republicans should do all they can to straight-arm him through the process and bypass the strategized obstacles erected by Democratic leaders.
“Three-quarters [75 percent] also said they want to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell use the ‘nuclear option’ – using a shortcut to change the rules and curtail the power of the filibuster – should Democrats rally to try to block the judge,” Sherfinski and Dinan revealed from the survey.
One conservative participating in the poll at the event just outside of the Washington, D.C., 74-year-old real estate agent Steve Savarese, maintained that going nuclear would be justified because the Democratic Party is doing all it can to dismantle anything Republicans are trying to do to repair the nation from eight years of destructive policies under the Obama administration.
“I don’t think the Democrats are going to do anything at all to help this country, so we got to do it on our own,” the conservative New York resident told the Washington daily.
Savarese also agreed with the general consensus of CPAC voters – with 70 percent approving of Trump’s continued use of Twitter as president – insisting that nothing is wrong with Trump’s regular use of Twitter.
“He communicates directly with the people – it doesn’t get filtered by the media,” the longtime Republican Savarese added. “There are some media outlets that are not [fair]. They twist it and then they present it as news when it’s not.”
New champion of conservatives?
Most in attendance at CPAC saw Trump as a conservative leader who is moving the nation in a new and better direction.
“[The CPAC poll] showed a movement that is now firmly in Mr. Trump’s corner: They believe he is realigning the conservative movement, they generally don’t mind his frequent use of Twitter, and they approve of his extreme vetting executive order,” Washington’s conservative paper indicated.
Participants in the poll agreed with Trump’s action so far, but some were not as adamant as the president on some of his major priorities.
“But even as they like what he’s doing, their top priorities align more closely with long-standing Republican orthodoxy: Tax reform and repealing Obamacare – which have been congressional Republican goals for years – are by far at the top of the activists’ list,” Sherfinski and Dinan explained. “Mr. Trump’s border wall, his call for an infrastructure package and even the extreme vetting all place lower.”
As a businessman, Trump’s aggressive action to bolster the American economy and keep jobs in the U.S. was a topic of debate among some conservatives near the nation’s capital.
“Mr. Trump, during the presidential transition, enticed air conditioning manufacturer Carrier to keep a plant in Indiana by having the state offer an incentives package – delivering an early talking point to the president-elect,” Sherfinski and Dinan noted.
When polled on Trump’s trade policies, most conservatives were mixed in their support.
“Conservatives also seem to slightly prefer Mr. Trump’s approach to trade, with 38 percent saying they back his desire to slap tariffs on foreign countries,” the Washington Times revealed from the results. “Just 33 percent, meanwhile, back the House GOP’s preferred option of a border-adjustment tax. Another 13 percent said Congress should ditch both ideas and work on something else, and a large share (17 percent) were unsure.”
More on the major issues
After being asked about their general feeling about Trump’s leadership so far, some conservatives at CPAC were divided.
“The poll also revealed that 44 percent believe America is heading in the right direction, while 47 percent believe the country is on the wrong track,” Fox News reported. “In response to the statement, ‘President Trump is realigning the Conservative Movement,’ 80 percent agreed, while 15 percent disagreed.”
Going back to former President Bill Clinton’s famous words on the campaign trail decades ago, “It’s the economy, stupid,” the largest percentage of Americans in 2017 still agree that the economy should be Trump’s central focus.
“For the most important issue facing the nation, 46 percent voted in favor of the economy, jobs and tax reform,” Fox News announced from the CPAC poll.
Trump’s stance on immigration drew overwhelming support from the CPAC crowd.
“On the issue of immigration, 91 percent are in favor of the government cutting off federal funding to any sanctuary city, county or public college that refuses to cooperate with authorities to enforce immigration laws,” the conservative news outlet relayed from the straw poll Saturday. “Additionally, 81 percent approve of Trump's executive order on immigration temporarily halting citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations until a more thorough vetting process is put in place.”