The word many in NJ use to describe Trump? ‘Hopeful’ … but also ‘scared’
A new survey finds New Jerseyans have widely differing opinions about president-elect Donald Trump.
According to Krista Jenkins, director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll, Garden State voters are expressing excitement and despair about the upcoming Trump presidency.
She said when people were asked to give the one word they would use to describe the president-elect, “hopeful was mentioned the most often, with responses like happy, scared, horrified, excited and disgusted not too far behind.”
She added “shock is probably a good word to describe president-elect Trump, as only a fifth of voters said they expected him to win.”
Jenkins said these descriptions of Trump would suggest “he’s a force unto himself and voters see him as somewhat of a political chameleon. For some, he’s an inspiring agent of change, but for others he appears to be an embarrassing, unqualified racist.”
With Hillary Clinton winning New Jersey rather handily, 55 to 42 percent, “you might have expected there to be more unpleasant things about Donald Trump said, but again in reality, the most offered response to the question of what word would you use to describe him was 'hopeful,' so many people are at least being cautiously optimistic about his tenure, even if they didn’t vote for him.”
She also pointed out with controversy over the Electoral College continuing to swirl, opinion is divided in the Garden State over whether to keep or abandon it.
“51 percent would prefer to let the popular vote decide presidential elections, with 43 percent who say they are okay with the way things are, which means letting the Electoral College remain in place,” she said.
The poll also found voting was not the only activity taking place on Election Day, and in the weeks preceding it.
“It looks like social media was a meeting place for many who were looking to express themselves politically and react to others,” she said.
“56 percent said they engaged in a political disagreement with somebody who supported a candidate other than the one they were supporting, and 36 percent said they took to social media to express their personal political opinion by posting something.”
The poll also found 29 percent said they expanded their news and information universe by subscribing to a new source, and 13 percent of respondents said they unfriended or unfollowed someone on social media because of a political post.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.