Poll: Voters still see Trump as a successful businessman

Donald Trump in front of the Trump International Hotel & Tower

President Donald Trump’s reputation as a businessman is still strong, despite a New York Times report that he lost over $1 billion between 1985 and 1994. | Charles Rex Arbogast, File/AP Photo

Donald Trump has spent most of his adult life cultivating an image as so outrageously successful that his very name was synonymous with luxury — plastered in gold on airplanes, plush hotels, high-roller casinos and finely manicured public and private golf courses.

Recent information from Trump’s tax filings paints a different picture. But despite news stories about his enterprises running up losses so great that they afforded him massive write-downs, most voters still see the president as a successful businessman, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

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A majority, 54 percent, say they think Trump has been successful in business, the poll shows, while 36 percent say he has been unsuccessful. One in 10 voters say they have no opinion about his success.

Fully 85 percent of Republican voters say Trump has been successful, while only 10 percent say he’s been unsuccessful. Democratic voters see Trump’s business career differently: Three in 10, 30 percent, say he’s been successful, while 61 percent say he’s been unsuccessful. Among independents, 49 percent say Trump has been successful, and 34 percent say he’s been unsuccessful.

The New York Times reported last week that Trump reported more than $1 billion in losses from 1985 to 1994, according to Internal Revenue Service documents. Trump, on Twitter, called the report “a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job” and said his losses were common among real estate developers at the time. (The Times report stated that Trump “appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer” over that time.)

When provided with that information in a subsequent question, respondents split on Trump’s business history: 43 percent say he’s been successful, while 41 percent say he’s been unsuccessful.

The poll shows Trump’s job approval rating slipping to 41 percent, down a tick from 43 percent last week. A majority of voters, 56 percent, disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted May 10-12, surveying 1,995 registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents: Toplines: https://politi.co/2vYqqsl | Crosstabs: https://politi.co/2HjvzSv

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/15/donald-trump-business-poll-1322650