In these divisive political times, the American public actually has a pretty unambiguous message for Donald Trump: “Cool it with the tweets.”
Nearly seven-in-ten Americans say that Trump’s use of Twitter is a bad idea, and only nine percent say they strongly support his use of the 140-character medium to announce policy positions and express his personal point of view.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents in the survey said that Trump’s tweeting is bad, agreeing with the statement that “in an instant, messages can have unintended major implications without careful review.”
Just 26 percent said that his use of Twitter is good, agreeing with the statement that “it allows a president to directly communicate to people immediately.”
Democrats overwhelmingly give Trump’s tweets a thumbs down; 89 percent say his use of the medium is bad, while just 8 percent say it’s good. But Republicans are divided, with 46 percent cheering on his 140-character messages while 47 percent call them a bad idea.
Among independents, it’s 67 percent bad, 27 percent good.
A majority of Americans – 55 percent -- also say that they strongly oppose how Trump uses Twitter to announce policy decisions and his own views on the news of the day, a significant departure from his predecessor.
In contrast, just 17 percent call his tweeting strategy acceptable, and only nine percent of Americans say they strongly support it.
Trump’s daily barrage of Twitter messages has upended the typical flow of communication from a president-elect, and his often-early morning missives throw news cycles into constant flux. Since the election, he has used the medium to attack Rep. John Lewis, Hollywood stars Meryl Streep and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a bevy of journalistic outlets including NBC News. He has also tweeted responses to negative news coverage and announcements about his efforts to keep jobs in the United States.
In an interview with FOX on Tuesday, Trump said he doesn't "like" Twitter but defended his use of the medium nonetheless. "I don't like tweeting," he said. "I have other things I could be doing, but I get very dishonest media. Very dishonest press and it's my only way that I can counteract."
Trump also told the Sunday Times over the weekend that he continues to use Twitter because he believes he doesn’t get a fair shake from journalists. “I thought I'd do less of it, but I'm covered so dishonestly by the press — so dishonestly — that I can put out Twitter,” he told the paper. “I can go bing bing bing and I just keep going and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out — this morning on television, Fox — ‘Donald Trump, we have breaking news.’”