Fewer Republicans say moral leadership ‘very important’ for president: Gallup

Fewer Republicans say moral leadership ‘very important’ for president: Gallup
© Greg Nash

Fewer Republicans are likely to say now that it is important for the president to provide moral leadership than they were under the Clinton administration, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday.

Overall, U.S. adults see moral leadership as a less important task for the president than they did roughly two decades ago, the poll found. Sixty-six percent said it is an important responsibility of the president, compared to 72 percent who gave that response in polls between 1994 and 1999. 

But Republicans showed the biggest drop in how much they value moral leadership from the president, from 86 percent to just 63 percent, the Gallup poll found. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Independents saw a seven point drop, with the number who said the valued moral leadership falling from 69 percent to 62 percent. 

The only group that saw an increase in a perceived importance of moral leadership in the White House was Democrats. From 1994 to 1999, an average of 64 percent of Democrats said moral leadership was important, compared to 77 percent today.

The poll is indicative of the partisan divide when it comes to the moral character of presidents. Clinton was surrounded by scandal for much of his time in the White House, as his personal and business dealings came under scrutiny from an independent counsel.

Likewise, Trump has come under public scrutiny on multiple fronts, ranging from allegations of an affair to a special counsel investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. 

The Gallup poll also found that a majority of Americans — 59 percent — believe that Trump provides weak moral leadership for the country. Conversely, 40 percent said that he offers strong moral leadership. 

Republicans and Democrats diverged sharply on the president's moral leadership, with 77 percent of Republicans saying that he provides strong moral leadership and 91 percent of Democrats saying his moral leadership is weak. Sixty percent of independents said they view Trump's moral leadership as weak. 

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,024 U.S. adults nationwide from May 1-10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.