Political affiliation influences views regarding the ethics of U.S. presidents, a new Gallup report revealed.
Released on Sept. 14, the survey asked, “Are Donald Trump’s ethical standards higher or lower than those of each of the following when he was president?”
Respondents were asked to compare their view of President Trump’s ethics to those of seven modern U.S. presidents – Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon.
A strong majority of respondents who self-identified as Democrats said Trump’s ethical standards were lower than all of these prior leaders.
The closest margin of “lower” to “higher” was in comparison to Richard Nixon, with 72 percent saying Trump’s ethical standards are “lower” and 12 percent “higher.”
All other comparisons were 80 percent or higher, saying Trump’s ethics were “lower” than his predecessors were.
Republican responses tended to break along party lines, with a few exceptions.
A strong majority of Republicans said Trump’s ethics were higher than the previous two Democratic presidents.
Seventy-three percent rated Trump’s ethical standards as higher than Obama’s, and 78 percent said they are higher than Clinton’s.
The comparison to Jimmy Carter was more evenly divided at 47 percent seeing Trump’s ethics as higher than Carter’s and 36 percent lower.
When lined up against other GOP presidents, Trump received more mixed reviews from Republicans.
A majority (69 percent) said his ethics were higher than Richard Nixon’s, and a majority (58 percent) said his ethical standards were lower than Ronald Reagan’s.
The Bush presidencies were more evenly split. Compared to George H.W. Bush, 38 percent said Trump’s ethical standards are higher and 44 percent lower, while Trump received 48 percent higher and 37 percent lower responses when compared to George W. Bush.
A majority of independent respondents said Trump’s ethical standards were lower than Obama, W. Bush, H.W. Bush, Carter and Reagan.
Only when compared to Bill Clinton (38 percent higher; 50 percent lower) and Richard Nixon (38 percent higher; 41 percent lower) did Trump receive more evenly divided responses.
There was a plus-minus 4 percent margin of error.
The full report is available here.