Central Mass. Still Loves Donald Trump

Voter's remorse? Hardly.

The first 82 days of Donald Trump’s presidency have seen, among other things, the Hindenburg-like collapse of the Republican’s long-awaited repeal of the Affordable Care Act; botched roll-outs and subsequent, court-ordered roll-backs of his Muslim travel ban; the quiet repeal of internet privacy laws, effectively handing your browsing history to multibillion-dollar corporations; deep, devastating cuts to health and science research, the arts, public broadcasting, and the high-and-mighty Meals on Wheels; and a little military action on the other side of the world, met with unctuous plaudits from the sentient jawlines on cable news.

And yet, the Trump Train still runs through Central Mass.

new WBUR poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group and released Wednesday indicates that communities like Townsend and Hardwick that went red for Trump in the 2016 presidential election still support him. Asked if they could do it all over again, 40 percent of the Central Mass. voters surveyed said they would pick Trump again, while 30 percent said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and 26 percent said “somebody else.” (Keep in mind, only 15 percent of registered voters in the surveyed communities are registered Republicans.)

Fifty-five percent of voters believe that Trump will be able to achieve some or most of his campaign promises. One fifth of respondents believe Trump will grow manufacturing jobs quickly, while 33 percent believe the economy will get better, but slowly. Despite their apparent confidence in Trump’s ability to grow the economy, nearly half of voters said the next generation will be financially worse-off at their age.

Trump’s failure to cajole the Freedom Caucus into backing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ACA replacement last month notwithstanding, 57 percent of Central Mass. voters still fashion the president a “good negotiator.” Trump’s missile strikes in Syria were exceedingly popular, boasting 61-percent approval.