Michigan poll: Trump biblical photoshoot caused immediate drop in support

Support for President Donald Trump among Michigan voters plunged in polls taken immediately after protesters were forcibly removed so Trump could have a picture taken holding a Bible outside a historic church.

Two polls of Michigan voters conducted by Lansing’s EPIC-MRA polling firm revealed a widening gap between Trump and alleged Democratic candidate Joe Biden after protests against police brutality began outside the White House and across the country . A poll conducted from May 30 to June 3 found Biden leading by 12 percentage points, but the second poll, which started and ended just a day later, saw a 16-point lead for the former vice-president.

EPIC-MRA investigator Bernie Porn attributed the rapid drop to negative public reaction and negative press resulting from Trump’s staged photo on June 1.

“That’s, through the process of elimination, the only reason you go from a 12 point lead to a 16 point lead,” Porn said. “(Trump) went from 38% of people saying they would definitely vote to re-elect him to just 33% saying they would definitely vote to re-elect him.”

Both polls showed that the percentage of voters in Michigan who felt the country was heading in the wrong direction had increased from 63% to 70%, and the percentage of voters who had a negative opinion of the president’s professional performance had also increased. from 56% to 61%.

Respondents in western Michigan, an area of ​​the state that largely voted for Trump during his 2016 campaign, also saw a drop in support. The first poll showed Trump leading 57% to 41%, which narrowed down to a 48% to 46% lead for Trump in the second poll.

Porn said the poll indicated that Trump’s religious supporters may not agree with the treatment of protesters.

Trump has been widely criticized, even by some in his own party, after peaceful protesters outside the White House were dispersed by law enforcement using chemical irritants, smoke cans, rubber bullets and other riot control measures.

Protesters gathered between the White House and St. John’s Episcopal Church to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man who was killed after a white Minneapolis policeman shot him nailed to the ground for nearly nine minutes. Attorney General William Barr would have ordered Law enforcement must wipe out protesters before Trump delivers a speech in the White House rose garden.

The president then crossed the street to the historic church with a security guard and other members of his administration. Trump posed with a Bible outside the church, which had been damaged by fire during protests a day earlier, but made no formal remarks.

Neither poll included questions about Trump’s response to police brutality or the Black Lives Matter movement. Porn said he was confident survey respondents were affected by media coverage of the incident, which lasted for several days.

“All of this suggests that the saturation coverage of an event had an impact,” Porn said.

Porn said the big difference between Biden and Trump is notable. Trump lagged behind his Democratic opponent in the 2016 election, but Hillary Clinton never led by more than 11 percentage points.

Trump won Michigan in 2016 by 10,704 votes, a narrow 0.3% margin. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell D-Dearborn has warned Michigan Democrats not to read too much in the polls during a virtual event hosted by Biden’s campaign this week.

“Things can obviously change, and I fully expect the race to tighten up again as we move towards the election, but it was such a glaring difference,” Porn said.

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