Many Americans Are Disinterested in Trump’s Post-Presidential Aspirations
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Many Americans Are Disinterested in Trump’s Post-Presidential Aspirations

By  |  January 20, 2021  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

President Donald Trump will reportedly be ensconced in his Palm Beach, Fla. home on Inauguration Day, breaking with a century-old tradition and skipping Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

That’s his short-term plan. Longer range goals are still vague, though the 45th U.S. president has said he might launch a conservative media company.

But public sentiment could make any Trump-led business effort an uphill climb, according to a joint poll from Adweek and Morning Consult, which found 48% of Americans say Trump’s tumultuous presidency has damaged his brand. (Only 23% say his presidency improved their perception of the Trump brand, while 29% said the past four years did not change their perception of products named for the outgoing president.)

Looking across many of the industries in which Trump has been involved—hotels, golf, TV programming—the survey consistently found a low level of mainstream interest in supporting Trump financially, though he clearly maintains a loyal niche audience that might be large enough to keep his future business efforts afloat.

A Trump book or TV show? Maybe—if it’s free

The study found that just 37% of Americans would read a book from Trump about his political career, with nearly half of those saying they’d only read it if they got a free copy. And 33% would watch a Trump-centric reality or news show, though more than half of those said they’d only watch if they already subscribed to the network.

Public speaking is also a lucrative path for most former presidents, but Adweek’s survey with Morning Consult found 71% of those polled would not pay to attend a Trump speaking gig.

The survey also revealed that 69% would not buy pro-Trump political merchandise, 61% wouldn’t stay at a Trump hotel and 67% wouldn’t visit a Trump golf destination.

‘Hateful.’ ‘Scam.’ But also ‘luxurious’

Asked to identify words that best describe Trump’s brand, the most frequent responses were “hateful” (43%) and “scam” (42%), though 42% also cited “luxurious.”

Trump’s four years in the White House have left 46% of respondents less willing to buy anything with the Trump imprimatur, with only 18% now more willing to spend money on his resorts, high-rise condos, hotels or swag.

In general, the 2020 election led to more negative opinions of Trump as an individual versus a brand for 52% of the study’s respondents. Meanwhile, 23% said their opinion now is more positive, and 25% said their opinion didn’t change.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 13 and 16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. It surveyed men (48%) and women (52%), with 41% identifying as Democrats, 29% as Republicans and 30% as Independents. Baby Boomers and millennials each made up 29% of the sample, Gen X accounted for 25%, and Gen Z made up 14%.

The group was weighted to those living in the South and West (61%), with 39% residing in the Midwest and Northeast. Of those responding, 48% said they watch Fox News at least once a month, and 20% are Newsmax fans. A question about ideology saw a fairly even split among the study subjects, with 30% calling themselves liberal, 30% conservative and 27% moderate.

Worth dropping the Trump name?

Trump’s wide-ranging namesake businesses once spanned menswear, cologne, mail-order steaks and an online university. These days, it consists of 10 hotels, 19 golf clubs and 33 residential buildings around the world. Most of these are licensed rather than owned, including the Trump International Hotel in the heart of Washington, D.C.

About the Author: T.L. Stanley

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