Greek Americans Think Trump Sides with Turkey But Still Support Him, Poll Finds

Support for US President Donald Trump has increased compared to 2016, despite negative views of his handling of Greek issues, according to the findings of an electronic survey conducted by the well-respected pollsters of Signet Research on behalf of Greek Reporter.

The objective of the survey answered by more than one thousand Greek Reporter readers who are eligible to vote was to better understand the political opinions of Greek Americans regarding the upcoming 2020 United States Presidential election.

“The findings of this survey may be accepted as accurate, at a 95% confidence level, within a sampling tolerance of approximately +/- 2.9%,” notes Signet Research head Joanna Zanopoulo.

The survey ran between February 19 and March 9, 2020.

Key Findings:

Support for Donald Trump has increased

Support for President Trump has increased by four percent. Whereas 44 percent said they voted for Trump in 2016, 48 percent say they will now vote for him in the upcoming election.

Trump and impeachment

The majority of respondents — 67 percent — said that Trump’s impeachment had “little to no” effect on their opinion of him. Out of those who were influenced by the impeachment, 51 percent said they have a negative view of the President and 49 percent positive.

Joe Biden Most Popular Opponent

Former VP Joe Biden. Credit: Gage Skidmore

According to the results of the survey, 22 percent would vote for a Democratic nominee, whereas seventeen percent say they would vote for “anyone but Trump,” and 11 percent replied they would probably vote for a Democratic nominee.

Joe Biden is the strongest candidate among the Democrat candidates. From those who responded that they would probably vote for a Democratic nominee, depending on whom, Biden gets 56 percent, whereas Bernie Sanders is at 50 percent. The rest say they would either vote for Trump or not vote at all.

Economy rules

The vast majority of respondents — 67 percent — say that the economy is the most important issue when it comes to influencing their vote in the 2020 elections.

Healthcare, at 58 percent, and immigration, at 42 percent, followed. The candidate’s stance on Greece is in seventh place on a list of factors potentially influencing respondents’ vote, at 29 percent.

Greek PM Kiriakos Mitsotakis meets President Trump at the White House Credit: WH

Trump and Greek issues

The majority of respondents say that President Trump has not been good for Greece. Fully 44 percent say that his presidency was not good for Greece, against 37 percent who say it was good. There is significant percentage of “don’t knows” at 19 percent.

In welcoming Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the White House in January, President Trump referred to Greece as a “reliable partner” and congratulated the country for its recent rapid economic development. “Greece and its recovery are a huge success,” the US President underscored at the time.

Yet his reluctance to openly condemn Turkey’s aggressiveness in the eastern Mediterranean has been a significant factor in shaping negative news of his presidency among Greek Americans.

Still, according to the survey, respondents believe that President Trump helped Greek causes more than previous American Presidents. The mean score of each of the last four Presidents is as follows:

Donald Trump 2.48
Bill Clinton 2.28
Barack Obama 2.19
George W. Bush 2.05

Trump and Turkey

On the question of how President Trump’s actions/reactions in regard to Erdogan and/or Turkey have affected the public’s opinion of him and the likelihood of voting for him, the majority — 55 percent — say it has a negative impact. Only eight percent say that it has positively affected their opinion of him and the likelihood of voting for him.

Trump has been criticized for inviting Erdogan to the White House in January 2020, when Turkey was repeatedly contesting Greek sovereignty, including calling for the demilitarization of sixteen Aegean islands and signing a maritime agreement with Libya which Athens describes as illegal and void.

Views on Greek Politics

By a wide margin — 59 percent — respondents say that Kyriakos Mitsotakis does a better job as the Prime Minister of Greece, whereas former PM Alexis Tsipras receives only eight percent support.

The decision by Mitsotakis’ government to grant Greeks who live abroad the right to vote in the country’s national elections — a long-overdue demand by organizations of the Greek diaspora — has apparently helped the Prime Minister’s popularity.

On the question how they would vote if a Greek election was being held now, the ruling New Democracy party gets 44 percent, followed by Not sure/Don’t know/Not applicable at 37 percent.

The former governing party of SYRIZA receives only five percent of the vote while DiEM25, headed by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis receives 4% of the vote according to the poll, which was targeted toward the Greek Diaspora in the United States.

See the full report and results here.