alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Trump's Twitter habit makes him ineffective and too distracted to keep his promises: voters

Trump's Twitter habit makes him ineffective and too distracted to keep his promises: voters
President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017. This was the President’s first Trip aboard Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

How exactly do you run against the squirming sack of narcissism, distraction, anger, and hate that is Donald Trump? New polling data suggests that the most effective message against Trump may be one that’s right out there in the open: his Twitter use.


A study conducted by Civis Analytics for the Center for American Progress tested six anti-Trump messages, and the winner was that he’s “ineffective” because he is “more focused on his Twitter account than on delivering on his promises.” That follows polling by Navigator finding that just eight percent of voters think Trump has kept all his promises and that half of the people who don’t think Trump has kept all his promises—including 60% of independents—think it’s because he’s “distracted by other unimportant priorities like petty disagreements and Twitter.”

“I think only the hardest core Trump believers think he should spend more time on Twitter. But that is the reality of his presidency. For better or worse people think he spends most of his time on Twitter and the way he engages on it is mostly negative,” according to Navin Nayak, executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

But it’s not just a criticism of Trump that hits home, according to Nayak. It’s a way to give his supporters an out: “Juxtaposing that becomes a very powerful way of underscoring how he has not accomplished anything economically for the American people. Going after that is an effective way of attacking Trump without impugning the motives of anyone who voted for him.”

There’s some question how careful we should be of the tender feelings of white Trump supporters who don’t want to believe they’re racist, when majorities believe that Trump is racist and the "Send her back" chants were racist, and there’s evidence independents are turned off by Trump’s racism. But the effectiveness of the (completely true) message that Trump is weak and distracted and obsessed with Twitter to the detriment of the work of the presidency? That’s good to know.z

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close