Former President Donald Trump tosses Save America hats to the crowd at a campaign rally on Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona.
Former President Donald Trump tosses Save America hats to the crowd at a campaign rally on Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Republicans in the United States continue to have generally positive views of Donald Trump, but the share expressing warm feelings toward the former president in Pew Research Center surveys had fallen off by the run up to this month’s midterm elections.

A bar chart showing that a declining share of Republicans say they feel warmly toward Donald Trump

Six-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (60%) say they feel warmly toward Trump, including 41% who feel very warmly, according to a Center survey conducted in October. Trump is expected to announce another run for president in 2024.

The share of Republicans who feel warmly toward Trump is down modestly since last summer, when 67% expressed warm feelings toward him, including 48% who expressed very warm feelings. In April 2020, during Trump’s reelection bid, 79% of Republicans said they viewed him warmly.

Related: A majority of Republicans want Trump to stay in politics; about four-in-ten say he should run for president in 2024 (August 2022)

How we did this

Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand how Republicans currently view Donald Trump. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,098 members of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology.

Here are the questions used for the analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

The latest survey, conducted Oct. 10-16 among 5,098 adults, asked respondents to rate Trump on a “feeling thermometer” in which 100 represents the warmest, most positive rating and 0 represents the coldest, most negative score. A quarter of Republicans expressed cold or very cold feelings toward Trump, up slightly from 20% in 2021.

Among all U.S. adults, 30% offer positive ratings of Trump, while nearly twice as many (58%) feel cool toward him; just 11% are neutral. These ratings are little changed in the past year. An overwhelming majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners continue to rate Trump negatively: 89% express cold views of him, identical to the share of Democrats who offered cold evaluations of Trump in July 2021.

Sizable age, educational differences in Republicans’ views of Trump

Among Republicans, opinions of Trump vary widely by age, education, ideology and other factors.

A bar chart showing that older Republicans and those without college degrees are more likely to feel warmly toward Trump

Older Republicans view Trump far more positively than do younger Republicans. Two-thirds of those ages 50 and older express warm feelings toward Trump, including 49% who feel very warmly. Among Republicans younger than 50, a smaller majority (54%) have warm feelings, with just 32% saying they feel very warmly about Trump.

Educational differences are about as wide: 45% of Republicans without a college degree – who make up 71% of all Republicans and GOP leaners – have very warm feelings toward Trump, while 30% of Republicans with at least a bachelor’s degree say the same.

When it comes to ideology, conservative Republicans are twice as likely as moderate and liberal Republicans to offer a very warm rating of Trump (50% vs. 25%). 

Religiously unaffiliated Republicans are less likely than those from any religious group to give Trump highly positive ratings. About three-in-ten Republicans with no religious affiliation (28%) express very warm feelings toward Trump. Larger shares of religiously affiliated Republicans – ranging from 45% of Catholics to 48% of White evangelical Protestants – give the former president very warm ratings.

Positive views of Trump have declined in GOP

A line graph showing that over the past year, positive ratings of Trump have slipped among Republican groups; the decline is most pronounced among GOP college graduates

Since last summer, positive views of Trump have slipped across many Republican groups. The share of conservative Republicans who rate him warmly or very warmly has declined by 7 percentage points since July 2021, while the share of moderate or liberal Republicans who rate Trump positively has fallen by a similar amount (6 points).

The decline in positive views of Trump is more pronounced among Republican college graduates than among those without degrees. About half of Republicans with college degrees (49%) offer positive evaluations of Trump, down from 63% in 2021. By comparison, 65% of Republicans without college degrees rate Trump warmly, compared with 69% in July 2021.

Note: Here are the questions used for the analysis, along with responses, and its methodology.

Andy Cerda  is a research assistant focusing on politics at Pew Research Center.
Andrew Daniller  is a research associate focusing on politics at Pew Research Center.