Most Americans Expect Trump To Bring The “Right Kind” Of Change In The Way Things Are Done In Government

Public Opinion Strategies conducted a national survey of 800 adults January 18-22, 2017, that asked respondents how likely it is Donald Trump will bring real change to the direction of the country, and whether that change is the right kind or the wrong kind.

The results may be a shock to most Americans who have, over the past week, been bombarded by a steady stream of images and stories about the number of protesters in the streets of major U.S. cities and the urgent voices of bow-tied movie stars at the podiums of entertainment award ceremonies.

 The expectations for Trump to bring change are about the same as they were for Obama 8 years ago. A plurality, 42{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}, said it is “very likely” Trump will bring real change with another 12{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying it was “fairly likely,” and 19{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying  he was “somewhat” likely. Twenty-two percent (22{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of Americans say Trump is “not that” likely to bring real change in the direction of the country.  And, the 5{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} balance of respondents was unsure or didn’t answer.

Americans were similarly expectant of change just after Obama first occupied the Oval office. In February 2009, The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found 43{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} said it was “very likely” Obama would bring real change with 18{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying it was “fairly likely,” and 20{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying  he was “somewhat” likely. Seventeen percent (17{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of Americans said Obama was “not that” likely to bring real change in the direction of the country.


Most Americans expect President Trump to deliver the RIGHT kind of change to how things are done in government. The 73{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of respondents that expected real change from Donald Trump were asked whether they expected his presidency to bring the right kind of change or the wrong kind of change in the way things are done in government.  By more than two-to-one margin (63{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-26{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}), Americans say the “change” they believe that Trump will bring will be “the right kind of change.” Fully 90{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Republicans, 66{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Independents, and 21{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Democrats who expected change said they expect the “right kind.” NBC-WSJ did not ask the follow-up question about Obama’s change in 2009.


The follow-up question was only asked of the 73{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of respondents who expect Trump to bring real change. When we look at the results across the two question based on all respondents, which is a representative sampling of all American adults, this data says more than twice as many Americans overall are positive instead of negative about Trump’s brand of change.

  • A plurality, 46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}, of Americans expects Trump’s presidency to bring the RIGHT kind of change in how things are done in government.
  • Just 19{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans expect Trump’s presidency to bring the WRONG kind of change in how things are done in government.
  • Another 35{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans don’t expect any real change (27{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) or aren’t sure whether he will bring good or bad change (8{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).

Positive expectations for Trump’s brand of change remained strong in interviewing conducted the days immediately following Trump’s Inaugural address.   Trump’s inaugural address, much like his subsequent executive actions, was notable in that it closely matched and reflected Trump’s campaign in tone and substance.

In the interviewing following Trump’s Inaugural address (January 20-22), the more optimistic view about the change expected from a Trump presidency held steady.

Actually, the data shows Democratic voters interviewed after the inaugural address moved more toward saying Trump will deliver the “right kind of change” with most of that movement coming from Democrats that were previously undecided or mixed about the type of change a Trump presidency would bring to the way things are done in government. Some of that movement could be due to a higher percentage of White Democrats in the post-inaugural interviewing. But directionally, we can say from this data that the inaugural address was not a flash-point that drove Democrats (or anyone else) sharply away from the Trump brand of change and, actually, for some chunk of Democrats, the inaugural struck a positive clarifying chord.



Like in 2008, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 was America voicing their strong desire for a change agent that could fix Washington and the way government works. America has nearly exactly the same expectations for President Trump to bring real change in the direction of the country as they did about President Obama 8 years ago. Of those Americans who expect Trump will change the direction of the country, by more than two-to-one they say it will be the right kind of change. There is evidence that the inaugural worked to strike a positive clarifying tone among Democrats who had not formed a strong opinion before then.

After among the most consequential first days in office in American history, this question and its follow up will be critical to track – and we’re looking forward to tracking it – to continue to monitor American attitudes about the new president and the dimension of “change” that is central to his presidency.

Similar Articles

  • Public Education Update
    read more

  • Americans See China And Russia As Adversaries Posing Two Different Threats
    read more

  • A New Look At Ideology
    read more

  • Is social media your friend or a frenemy?
    read more

  • Trump’s numbers tied for his peak high as impeachment talk looms
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :