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If you could do it again, would you still vote for Trump?

By Mary Kilpatrick • Mar 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM

CLEVELAND — Most Ohioans felt strongly about their decision in the 2016 presidential election -- and weeks into Donald Trump's bumpy presidency, an overwhelming majority say they wouldn't vote differently, a new Baldwin Wallace University survey shows.

More than 94 percent of those surveyed said that they would not alter their decision at the ballot box given the outcome of the race. Trump won Ohio by about 8 points.

The survey of 1,019 Ohio registered voters was designed by 23 Baldwin Wallace students under the supervision of political science professor Lauren Copeland. It was conducted from Feb. 24 to March 8.

That was after Trump had ordered a controversial travel ban barring refugees and citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, and after his national security chief, Michael Flynn, was forced out after admitting he may have spoken with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office about U.S. sanctions against the country.

"Really, I think what you're seeing is the political dynamics of the state really have not changed since before the election," Baldwin Wallace political scientist professor Tom Sutton said. "We talk sometimes about the concept of an equilibrium of public opinion -- that you don't see radical shifts over time."

It's pretty simple: Most people really didn't like the opposing candidate, Copeland said. And, she noted, most Republicans voted for Trump, and most Democrats voted for his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Still, Copeland said, "we were surprised to see that more people didn't have buyer's remorse."

Friends along party lines

About 55.5 percent of Ohioans said most people they know supported the same candidate that they did. And 48.7 percent of Ohioans said that they trusted the media to report news fairly.

People sometimes favor specific media outlets to get their news that reflect their own views.

"The segmentation of media consumption -- that's definitely having an echo chamber effect on people's views," Sutton said.

Most people trust the media to tell the truth about important issues only a tiny bit more than they trust Trump. About 33.1 percent trusted Trump to tell the truth more than the media. And 33.2 percent trusted the media to tell the truth more than Trump.

Making a difference

The survey indicates that there's a disparity in the way Ohioans view the government. For example, a large majority of people believe their vote counts, which could be attributed to Ohio's swing state status. That's a positive view of government.

But most people surveyed didn't have faith in the two-party system. And the majority believe that the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. Both viewpoints indicate a more cynical outlook of the government.

About 84 percent of Ohioans surveyed said that they believe that their vote can make a difference. But about 66 percent of people said that they believe that the two-party system does not represent the average citizen.

And about 53 percent of Ohioans said that they are satisfied with the way democracy works in the United States.

"Clinton voters are much less satisfied with democracy than Trump voters, and that's not surprising given Clinton's loss in the electoral college, but big win in the popular vote," Copeland said.

About 65 percent of Republicans felt satisfied with the way democracy works, but only about 42 percent of Democrats felt that way.


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