Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were not only divided on their candidate of choice, they voiced widespread differences on major issues including immigration, gun violence and climate change, and see themselves differently, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday.
A two-week Pew survey of 4,265 individuals, including 3,788 registered voters, conducted through Election Day, indicated they do not expect the next administration to be transparent, improve the way government works or set a high moral standard for the presidency. About half (52 percent) said they expect Trump to use the presidency to enrich himself or his friends and family.
Those queried perceived little progress in the last eight years, with Trump supporters seeing things as having gotten much worse.
Trump supporters say they see themselves as traditional and typical Americans (72 percent) while Clinton supporters describe themselves as open-minded (87 percent) and compassionate (75 percent). Thirty-three percent of Trump supporters said they are blue collar, compared to 19 percent of Clinton supporters.
Trump spent much of the campaign railing against undocumented immigrants, promising to build a wall along the border with Mexico to keep people from crossing illegally. Seventy-nine percent of Trump supporters said illegal immigration was a major problem compared to 20 percent of Clinton supporters. Among those backing Clinton, 75 percent cited gun violence as the biggest problem, compared to 31 percent of Trump supporters.
Trump has promised to reduce crime and create jobs. Crime and job opportunities for working-class Americans were seen as more serious problems by Trump supporters (55 percent and 63 percent, respectively) than Clinton supporters (38 percent and 45 percent, respectively).
Clinton supporters ranked climate change as a very serious problem (66 percent) while Trump supporters exhibited little concern (14 percent).
When it comes to sexism and racism, Clinton supporters were more concerned (37 percent and 53 percent, respectively) than Trump supporters (7 percent and 21 percent, respectively).
On two issues — drug addiction and the condition of the nation’s roads bridges and other infrastructure — the gaps was relatively narrow.
Trump supporters also are impatient. Fifty-three percent said new approaches are needed to solve the nation’s problems quickly, even at the risk of making things worse. Eight-four percent of Clinton supporters said they prefer a slow and steady approach, using tried-and-true methods.
Half to two-thirds of those queried said things like crime, the U.S. standing in the world, immigration and race relations have gotten worse since President Barack Obama took office. Nearly half said the economy, the job situation and security from terrorism had gotten worse. Among Trump supporters, the pessimism was as high as 87 percent. By contrast, Clinton supporters said things had mostly gotten better.