President Trump may not be well-served by his primary spokespeople, but he is probably his own worst mouthpiece, according to the latest
Monmouth University Poll.
More Americans say that Donald Trump, press secretary Sean Spicer, and counselor Kellyanne Conway tend to hurt rather than help the administration’s cause when they step in front of the media.
Reviews are mixed for deputy
press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Vice President Mike Pence is the only official tested in the poll who has a net positive impact when he speaks on behalf of the administration.
Fully 6-in-10 (61%) Americans say Trump does more to hurt his own cause when he speaks on behalf of the administration. Just 33% say he does more to help
his administration when he speaks publicly.
More say that Spicer hurts (42%) rather than helps (28%) the president when he takes to the press room podium, with 3-in-10 registering no opinion.
A similar number say that Conway hurts (40%) rather than helps (28%) the president when she hits the cable news circuit, with about 3-in-10 registering
Opinion is divided on Sanders at 23% helps and 22% hurts, although more than half of the public have no opinion of her performance.
Pence is the only one of five officials tested who usually puts his best foot forward according to the poll. A majority (53%) say he does more to help
the president and just 29% say he does more harm when he speaks on behalf of the administration.
“This is the epitome of a no-win situation. It’s not as if Trump’s appointed spokespeople are doing worse than the man himself. It may simply be an
impossible task to represent this president and come off as credible,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
The usual hyper-partisan splits in American public opinion also apply to these results. Republicans tend to see all of these officials as doing a
good job making the president’s case, including Pence, (87% helps – 4% hurts), Trump (67% – 25%), Spicer (53% – 15%), Conway (53% – 16%), and Sanders (40% – 5%).
Democrats tend to think four of these officials are hopeless as administration spokespersons, although they are somewhat more divided on Mike Pence
(32% helps – 48% hurts). No more than 1-in-10 Democrats think that Trump (10% helps – 86% hurts), Spicer (11% – 61%), Conway (9% – 57%), and Sanders (11% – 36%) do a good job in front of the cameras – or on Twitter, as the case may be.
“It shouldn’t escape DC’s attention that the vice president is seen as a better mouthpiece for the administration than the man who actually occupies
the Oval Office, even among their fellow Republicans,” said Murray.
Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from May 13 to 17, 2017 with 1,002 adults in the United States, although no interviews were conducted on Sunday May 14. The results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The poll
was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
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