Donald Trump on the campaign trail in Arizona. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Survey: Trump’s first year

Published Dec. 17, 2017

How has the President been doing?

A survey of Minnehaha student shows that two-thirds disapprove of Trump’s performance

As the first semester comes to an end, students at Minnehaha will soon get their first grades of the year, but they have also handed out some grades of their own. In a recent Talon survey, a majority of Minnehaha students said they would give President Donald Trump a negative report card for his first year in office.

In the survey of Minnehaha students, a total of 120 students ranging from seniors to freshman participated. Two-thirds of students that took the survey disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job after his first year. Only 20 percent approve, and 12 percent said they had no opinion.

“I think that he has made America look like a joke to other countries and has tried to oppress and take away the rights of American citizens that do not fit into his idea of a superior people,” said sophomore Jordan Brown.

The results of the survey were similar to a mock election done last year at Minnehaha’s Upper School. When students were asked to vote, 57 percent voted for Hillary Clinton, 21 percent voted for Donald Trump and 22 percent voted for another candidate.

With low approval ratings at Minnehaha, Donald Trump also has to worry about ratings nationwide. In a recent nationwide Gallup poll, from Nov. 2017, 56 percent say they disapprove of Donald Trump’s presidency, and 37 percent say they approve. Meanwhile, 7 percent say they have no opinion.

When he was inaugurated in January 2017, 47 percent disapproved of Trump, 45 percent approve and 8 percent had no opinion. From Minnehaha, to nationwide, Trump has had poor approval ratings. The Star Tribune did a poll about Trump’s ratings in Minnesota on April 30, a day after Trump’s 100th day mark.

Their poll found that voters in Minnesota gave President Trump a 40 percent approval of his first 100 days, while 51 percent disapproved. Sophomore Isabelle Peterson said her reasons for disapproving of Trump’s presidency were that “he is extremely disrespectful, racist, sexist, manipulating and sadly enough, it is very obvious.”

Junior Hannah King approves of Trump because, she said, of the “fact that he is clearly is willing to say anything, so much so that you never have to take him seriously.”

Adam Brown, a sophomore who had no opinion about Trump’s first year, said, “He has had troubles, but I think he makes a better president than some of the other candidates.”


Some who took the survey called Donald Trump racist. One question in the survey asked of the student’s ethnicity.

The survey found that 75 percent of students who identified as Asian, African American, Latino or mixed-race disapproved of Trump, 12.5 percent approved, while 12 percent had no opinion.

Political parties

Minnehaha has a wide range of students on the political spectrum. Participants of the survey were asked what political party they identify as.

The survey found that 36.8 percent of the students say identified as Democrats, 27.4 say identified as Republicans and 35.8 percent identified as other political parties. Similarly, 13.3 percent say they are very liberal, 24.2 percent say they are somewhat liberal; 10.8 percent say they are very conservative, and 20 percent say they are somewhat conservative.

Male vs. Female

During Donald Trump’s candidacy, there was some controversy with his views on women, especially when the Access Hollywood tape was released.

Of students that took the survey 61.7 percent were male, while 38.3 percent were female. In last year’s mock election, the results showed that of the females, 70 percent would’ve voted for Clinton, while 11 percent would’ve voted for Trump.

Out of the males, 47 percent would’ve voted for Clinton, and 28 percent would’ve voted for Trump. The survey found that of all the females who took the survey, 86 percent disapprove of Trump’s presidency, while 9 percent approve and 5 percent have no opinion.

“I believe he is unfit to be the President of the United States,” said senior Greta Hallberg. “He has done little to positively affect this country and is more of a bully than a true leader.”

For males, 57 percent disapproved, while 27 percent approved, and 16 percent had no opinion.

Following politics

A year later, Trump has made some people talk about him and politics more.

“I think people are talking more about politics now that Trump has been elected because he has made some incredibly controversial comments that cause Americans to discuss different political topics,” Percich said.

The Minnehaha survey showed that 50.8 percent of students said they follow politics more after Trump became President, while only one in 10 students said they follow politics less. Senior Percich was among many who were very frustrated when Trump was elected.

“I immediately felt disappointed,” she said. “Prior to Trump’s election, I had an idealistic view of American society that we had moved past our racist and sexist past as a nation.” However, many have hope for the future.

“Going into the new year, I hope to see progress towards the depolarization of our political system,” said senior Tristen Tew.

“We are going down a dangerous and unproductive path with the current division in our country. I hope that can be fixed before we reach a point that we cannot reconcile politically.”



About Rebecca Skweres

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