It’s often assumed that Trump has a solid 40 percent base. But that’s not true on ethics matters. Ethics surveys reveal a split between strong supporters and softer supporters.
When the Pew Research Center asked in January whether Trump was separating his business interests from his official duties, only 28 percent expressed strong confidence that he was doing so. Another 13 percent described themselves as “somewhat” confident. While 66 percent of conservative Republicans expressed strong confidence in Trump’s integrity, only 39 percent of self-described moderate Republicans did so.
It’s unrealistic to imagine a split within the GOP over these issues, but it’s easy to imagine a continued melting away of Trump’s support on questions of ethics. Nearly two-thirds of Americans now agree that Trump should release his tax returns, again according to Pew.
Polls will not bend Trump on an issue as seemingly existential to him as keeping his tax returns concealed. But the issue of the tax returns may bend Trump’s polls.