Letter from the Editor – Are polls premature?

Prince Frederick, MD - Perhaps we should wait another week, or at least until Monday when it will have been a month that Donald Trump became president. But everybody else is weighing in and has featured readers’ polls about the early days of the Trump presidency.

If you want to get a glimpse of how the heartland of America feels, check out one of Iowa’s great publications, the Des Moines Register. The paper conducted a readers’ poll and found 42 percent of Iowans polled approve of the job Trump has done to date, but 49 percent disapprove. Trump won Iowa by nine percentage points, his widest margin of victory among the perceived “swing states.” The swingers that swung his way definitely made “The Donald” the president. One Iowa woman who identifies herself as an Independent admitted to a Register reporter that Trump scares her every time he tweets.

The has conducted four Trump-related reader’s polls since the new year began. Admittedly these polls are not scientific and the answers given are terse. The first poll—“will you watch or attend the Inauguration?”—was the only one in which Trump didn’t fare so well. In that one 47 percent said “no,” 46 percent said “yes” and six percent said “maybe.” It was the Trump poll that drew the least number of participants.

The poll with the largest number of participants—“Do you agree with Trump’s seven-nation travel ban?”—67 percent of our readers who participated said “yes” while only 33 percent said “no.” The second largest number of participants was the “approve or disapprove” question. Trump garnered the approval of 62 percent of our participating readers. The other Trump-related poll was about the federal hiring freeze and how it affects the individual reader. Only 21.5 percent of the participants indicated it affected them.

So, are Southern Marylanders not as well-informed as Iowans? I don’t believe they are. It’s possible, maybe even probable, that Trump has earned support here in our region because he has worked rapidly to make good on many of his campaign promises. If you didn’t like what he promised to begin with then of course, you are going to be critical.

The travel ban is significant and, anecdotally, it could have sad, unintended consequences for some who pose absolutely no danger to Americans. But the initiative is not unprecedented.

There’s another reason Trump may be faring well in our region and it has to do with a Democratic Party mainstay—labor. Two days after his inauguration President Trump met with labor leaders at the White House. His pledge to rework America’s trade pacts and put the blue collar force back to work has been lauded.

In Southern Maryland, people want jobs and they want to feel safe. It’s too early in the new administration to predict what lies ahead but there appears to be—albeit very unscientifically—an abundance of confidence in this region going forward.

Contact Marty Madden at

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