Librarian Approved: The iPoll Databank

Advice & Tips

When I decided to highlight one of my favorite Denison library resources, the iPoll Databank, I thought I’d focus on some of the many issues you can explore. (The iPoll is a comprehensive archive of U.S. public opinion data, searchable at the question level, going back to the 1930’s.)

But, like many of us, I’ve been fascinated with this year’s presidential race, and particularly the candidacy of Donald Trump. So I decided to search for public opinion polling on Trump over the years. (I found over 700 polling questions about Trump, going back to 1989.) And here’s just some of what I found:

  • A 1989 poll asked women what kind of Valentine’s Day companion Donald Trump would be. Just 7% said he’d be the perfect companion, 27% said he’d be acceptable but not their first choice, and 57% said they wouldn’t want to spend Valentine’s Day with him. (Parents Magazine Poll, September 1989)
  • Men appeared to have a more favorable attitude toward Trump. A 1990 survey asked which of five famous men they’d like to trade places with. Trump came in first with 21%. Tied for 2nd at 19% were NFL quarterback Joe Montana and then-President George H.W. Bush. (Men’s Life Survey of Men, April 1990)
  • By the early 90’s, Trump’s financial difficulties resulted in Trump being put on a monthly personal spending allowance by his financial backers. When asked to respond to his financial situation, 13% felt sorry for Trump, while 64% felt he was getting what he deserved. (Gallup Poll, July 1990)
  • In the late ’90’s, Trump commented that he was ‘too honest to be a politician.’ Just 8% agreed with this statement, while 79% disagreed. (Fox News Poll, January 1998)
  • In 1998, Trump said that President Clinton should leave Hilary, resign from office, and go out and have a good time. Most respondents (71%) thought this was bad advice, with 16% calling it good advice. (Fox News Poll, January 1998)
  • In 2004, respondents were asked to take on the role of Santa Claus, and decide whether certain people were naughty or nice that year. For Trump, 47% said he was nice, while 48% said he was naughty. (Gallup/CNN/USA Today Poll, December 2004)
  • Would you rather spend your summer vacation with Rosie O’Donnell or Donald Trump? That question was asked in 2007, and 37% chose Trump, while 15% went with O’Donnell. A plurality of 45% said ‘neither.’ (Fox News Poll, June 2007)
  • As of 2011, the public appeared to be split on the question of whether Trump was likeable: 50% said he was, and 49% said he wasn’t. (CNN Poll, April 2011)
  • In 2015, respondents were asked whether or not they agreed with Trump’s assertion that political correctness was a big problem in the United States. A majority (53%) agreed, while 41% disagreed. (Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, October 2015)
  • Does Trump tell it like it is, or is he insulting and offensive? A small majority (52%) agreed with the former, while 43% chose the latter. (MSNBC Poll, November 2015)
  • As for the media’s treatment of Trump, 45% of respondents claimed the media was biased against Trump, 27% said the coverage was mostly balanced, and 23% found the media biased in Trump’s favor. (Associated Press Poll, December 2015)
  • What kind of president would Donald Trump be? A January 2016 poll found that 29% of respondents thought he’d be a great or good president, 13% said he’d be an average president, and 54% concluded he’d be a poor or terrible president. (Pew Research Center Poll, January 2016)

Whether you’re doing scholarly research on U.S. political opinion on a certain issue, or just curious if there’s ever been any polling about a certain public figure, the iPoll Databank is a great resource!

Posted Date 
Monday, April 11, 2016

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