In the Los Angeles Times Politics Faculty Samuel Abrams Discusses How Americans Judge Presidents

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In an opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times, politics faculty member Samuel Abrams discusses a recent survey from the American Enterprise Institute that focuses on voter values and how Americans evaluate presidents and presidential candidates.

"The data show that in aggregate 60% of Americans say their opinion of Trump is based more on what he has done as president, while 39% say it’s based on who Trump is and what he stands for," Abrams writes. "This suggests that attacks on Trump's character won’t resonate much with the majority of the electorate.

"In fact, this result holds true with little variation among survey respondents by income, geographic location, education or gender differences. Even the opinion of immigrants and native-born Americans converge on this question — 64% of Americans born outside the U.S. judge Trump by his actions in office rather than his character and values, as do 59% of people born in this country."

While much of the country may be more focused on presidential actions, there is one generation that weighs things differently, Abrams writes: "The most fascinating part of this story is the generational difference in how Trump is viewed. Of the Generation Z group (teens and young adults), 59% report evaluating the president based on who he is and what he stands for, with only 40% saying they judge him based on his actions. This is the inverse of the overall survey response."


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