But—and it’s a big but—those numbers shift dramatically when people considered powers being exercised by a specific president they really like.

The researchers “evaluated whether the public president should be able to exercise unilateral control of the military, keep certain information concealed from Congress and the public, veto legislation passed by Congress, appoint judges of his choice without Senate consent, direct agency implementation of policies passed by Congress, and create new policies through unilateral action without having Congress vote on them.”

“Across each of the six measures, respondents who provided higher approval ratings of the president were significantly more supportive of presidential powers.”

The ability of presidents to harness support to stretch the boundaries of authority might explain why the power of the presidency keeps growing, Reeves and Rogowski suggested.