Weak March Jobs Report Shows Need for More Reforms in Washington

Friday’s jobs report announced that businesses created 98,000 jobs, underperforming expert predictions, and showing the weakest gains in almost a year.

It appears that the “Trump bump,” based on confidence from President Donald Trump’s election, has subsided as job creators await Washington’s next concrete steps on taxes or trade.

On the positive side, the jobs report shows that the unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent (the lowest since 2007) from 4.7 percent last month, the number of people who were working part time but preferred full-time jobs fell by 151,000 to 5.6 million, and wages rose 2.7 percent from last year.

Of more concern is the labor force participation rate, which factors in people who have given up looking for work, and which remained unchanged at a low 63 percent. This suggests that tens of millions of Americans are still having a hard time connecting with the workforce.
Long-term unemployment—which accounts for those who are jobless for 27 weeks or more—is also still a problem, accounting for 23.3 percent of those currently unemployed. This number, however, is trending downward over the last few months.

Though the payroll survey found only a small increase (due to weather conditions) in construction job hiring, it also found that retail trade (-30,000 jobs) and general merchandise stores (-35,000 jobs) continue to cut jobs, most likely from the increase in online competition.

Taking a broader look at the economy, while this report did not fully meet expert predictions on jobs numbers, various reports do show that business—especially small business—has the highest optimism in decades. This is no doubt due to the change in tone from the White House.

To continue instilling economic confidence, it is imperative that words are backed up with action.

The Trump administration and Congress have made a good start on rolling back excessive regulation, and need to follow up with tax reform that lowers rates on both small and large businesses and allows for immediate expensing for new job-creating investments.

This will bolster confidence for years to come. There are several reasons why the jobs report didn’t meet expectations. But one thing is certain: Employers hire and grow when they have a predictable, friendly business climate.

If conservatives band together and act on the regulatory and tax reforms they campaigned on, the “Trump bump” can become the new “business as usual” in Washington.

Texas Conservatives Send Letter to Trump Supporting Freedom Caucus

“For seven long years, we have been suffering from the rising costs of Obamacare.”

That’s the opening sentence of the letter a Texas grassroots coalition has sent to President Donald Trump this week, in the wake of the House health care bill’s failure to pass and Trump’s criticisms of the House Freedom Caucus, which was opposed to aspects of the legislation.

The letter was signed by 92 conservative Texans, including JoAnn Fleming, executive director of Grassroots America; Dana Hodges, state director of Concerned Women for America; and many other Texas GOP committee members and local tea party organizers.

This is similar to a letter sent by Ohio conservatives last week. Both coalitions were critical of Trump’s recent actions regarding the House Freedom Caucus in the health care debate, yet remained steadfast in their support of his presidency. The Texas coalition reaffirmed its support for Trump, writing:
We, the House Freedom Caucus, and Senate conservatives, are your greatest allies should you sincerely aim to end the decades of Big Government cronyism in D.C. Mr. President, Texas grassroots conservatives are praying for your success as you work to rebuild our nation. Let’s do it together.
However, the letter called on Trump to stop attacking the House Freedom Caucus.

“[W]e urge you to work with, and ally with, the House Freedom Caucus, not actively attack it, and undermine it,” the letter said.

Trump criticized the House Freedom Caucus on Twitter after the health care bill failed to pass.

The coalition also expressed its disappointment in House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the House health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

“To our dismay, the ‘repeal and replace’ plan put forward by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan did nothing to address the core regulatory infrastructure of Obamacare,” the letter said.

Referring to the health care bill as “retain and reform” instead of “repeal and replace,” the group praised Freedom Caucus members for opposing the bill, writing that they had the “American people on their minds and in their hearts when they opposed the [American Health Care Act].”

The letter also held Trump accountable for one of his biggest campaign promises.

“Grassroots conservatives worked tirelessly to give Republicans the House, the Senate, and you, sir, the presidency,” the letter said. “They did so based upon several promises—a major promise being the full repeal of Obamacare.”

After the House health care bill stalled and failed to come up for a vote on March 24, Trump told reporters in a statement: “I think what will happen is Obamacare, unfortunately, will explode.”

The next day, Trump tweeted: “Obamacare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!”

Despite Deceptive Headlines, Obamacare as Hated as Ever

The Kaiser Family Foundation runs a monthly tracking poll on health care topics, including Obamacare, that provides those involved in the raging U.S. health care debate some helpful regular check-ins with public sentiment.

The April edition has gotten some increased attention in light of the recent repeal attempts in the U.S. House of Representatives.

CNBC recently published an assessment of some of the findings titled “Big Majority of Americans, Among Them Trump Supporters, Want the President to Try to Make Obamacare Work.

This headline gives a false impression of reality. Reasonable readers would be led to believe that Americans, even Trump supporters, want President Donald Trump to focus on repairing and improving Obamacare rather than repealing it.
That’s not at all what the poll findings say.

The question only gave respondents two narrow options—a false choice that no one on Capitol Hill is facing. The two options were (1) for Congress to help make Obamacare work, or (2) “do what they can to make the law fail so they can replace it later.”

This is a false and unrealistic choice. The real choice is between fulfilling campaign promises to repeal and replace the bill, and reneging on those promises by leaving it in place.

What is news here is that 38 percent of Republicans are so opposed to Obamacare that they see forcing it to fail as a better option than living indefinitely with the law. Frustration among many Republicans is running high.

CNBC also reported that 64 percent of people said it was good that the GOP leadership’s bill did not pass, which is true. However, this disapproval of the Republican bill does not equal support for Obamacare.

CNBC left out that about half of those people (29 percent of the total) said they support efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, but had concerns about the bill itself.

That means just 31 percent of the people opposed to the GOP bill in this poll oppose it because they want to keep Obamacare. Meanwhile, a majority (58 percent) support repeal efforts.

The Kaiser Family Foundation also explored the reasons why the GOP bill failed to pass.

Seventy-four percent of Democrats think the bill failed because it went too far in cutting programs. That’s not surprising, because some Democrats like Obamacare and don’t want it changed.

However, 58 percent of Republicans say it failed because it didn’t go far enough in repealing Obamacare—twice as many as those that said it went too far (29 percent).

When it comes to who to blame for the bill’s failure, Republicans are more likely to blame Democrats (47 percent), and Democrats are more likely to blame the president (43 percent).

That’s nothing surprising. People tend to be partisan when it comes to assigning blame. Similarly, Republicans are more likely to say the problem was with disagreements between the Republicans and Democrats (61 percent), than internal disagreements in the party (35 percent).

Don’t let that distract you though. When Democrats are taken out of the equation, blame falls pretty equally among the House Freedom Caucus (27 percent), House Speaker Paul Ryan (27 percent), and moderate Republicans (22 percent).

Moderate and liberal Republicans are more likely to blame “the conservative Freedom Caucus” (34 percent).

But tellingly, conservatives are more likely to blame Ryan (30 percent) for failing to stand by them and lead than blame moderate Republicans (18 percent) for causing divisions over conservative policies that cost the bill votes.

So what’s next?

Obamacare remains unpopular. After a few months of Kaiser’s poll tracking favorability of Obamacare marginally higher than unfavorability for the first time in years, the two measures have once again converged at 46 percent.

With 61 percent of Americans now saying that Republicans own the still-unpopular bill and its consequences moving forward, and with Obamacare’s problems only multiplying as premiums rise and insurers continue to pull out of state exchanges, a public opinion disaster seems to be looming on the horizon.

Eighty percent of Republicans say they are confident Trump will be able to deliver on his campaign promise to get better health care at lower costs. It’s dropping off slightly from December (85 percent), as expected, but that’s still high.

Seventy-five percent of Republicans also say Congress and the administration need to keep working on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The road forward is clear. They just need to walk it.

Did Susan Rice Commit a Crime in Trump Surveillance?

Political opponents have been quick to suggest that Susan Rice committed a crime in her waning days as national security adviser to President Barack Obama in the way she handled intelligence reports related to those close to the incoming president, Donald Trump.

But to have broken federal law, national security experts told The Daily Signal, Rice would have had to purposefully leak such information to the media or knowingly place it in the hands of someone not entitled to possess it.

These experts said Rice likely did not commit a crime by asking to see the names of persons close to Trump whose communications were captured after the election in surveillance of foreigners by U.S. spy agencies.

That’s because, under federal law, government officials such as Rice have broad powers to request and receive information about Americans permitted by eavesdropping rules that civil liberty advocates long have viewed as overly expansive.

“I don’t see any illegal activity here,” said Patrick Eddington, a former CIA analyst who is now a policy analyst in homeland security and civil liberties at the Cato Institute, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “What this does do, however, is raise a larger question, which is whether the U.S. government should be allowed to collect and retain Americans’ data for any amount of time in the course of incidental collection, unless there is a real, legitimate investigative predicate for doing so.”

Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, intelligence agencies frequently monitor the conversations of foreigners—including officials with allied or hostile countries—in what supporters view as one of the key government tools to keep the country safe.

Americans whose communications are incidentally captured—meaning somebody else was the target—in surveillance of foreigners generally are not named in intelligence reports unless there is a specific request to reveal, or “unmask,” their identities.

Under FISA, the standard required to ask for a name to be unmasked is easy to meet—it has to be necessary to understanding the value of the intelligence—meaning it’s unlikely Rice did not follow the rules if intelligence officials ultimately granted her requests.

“There is a set of procedures in place whenever a policymaker wants to have specific data unmasked to make a determination on its significance and whether further action is required,” Eddington said.

“The only way we really determine if those rules were not followed [in cases involving Trump associates] is when we have all the data out, proper interviews have been conducted, and ideally, there is a public hearing where all of this gets fairly hashed out.”

Determining Criminal Activity

In a Wednesday interview, Trump told The New York Times that he thinks Rice may have committed a crime. The president did not provide evidence for his claim, or expand upon what he thinks Rice specifically did wrong.

Experts note that any requests Rice made would have had to be granted by the intelligence agency that produced the report. The intelligence agencies say that once they receive a request, a small group of analysts and lawyers adjudicate it.

National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, in testimony before the House intelligence committee last month, said 20 people at the NSA have the authority to grant a request, including himself.

“Susan Rice did not unmask anything,” Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “She asked the NSA or whoever the source agency is to unmask. So even if it were a crime to unmask, it wouldn’t be one she committed. There is absolutely no reason to even be talking about criminal activity here.”

Experts say it could be a crime, though, if Rice leaked the name of any American caught in surveillance reports. Rice denied doing so in a Tuesday interview with MSNBC.

In an interview last month with “PBS NewsHour,” though, Rice appeared to deny that conversations involving Trump officials were incidentally collected during surveillance.

The government has a range of criminal statutes it may use against leakers, including the Espionage Act of 1917, which prohibits the improper accessing, handling, or transmitting of “information respecting the national defense” with the intent of injuring the U.S. or aiding a foreign nation.

Another related statute prohibits disclosure of classified information, including information “concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government.”

It’s also possible Rice abused her lawful authority, the national security experts told The Daily Signal, although there is no evidence she has done so.

An example of this would be if Rice sought the names of Trump transition or campaign officials and then spread the information in an improper way.

The Times reported in March that Obama’s aides sought to preserve intelligence on Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, and about potential ties between Russian officials and Trump.

As part of that effort, the Obama administration in its final weeks allowed this type of information to be distributed more widely across the government.

“She might not necessarily be the leaker, but she could pass the information to unauthorized people who may have a security clearance, but who don’t have a ‘need to know’ status,” David Shedd, an acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama who also served in the George W. Bush administration, said of Rice in an interview with The Daily Signal.

“Those people could then pass the information on to people who do the leaking,” added Shedd, who is now a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “There is still no evidence that this is what happened, and she could easily defend herself by saying she had no way of knowing information would be leaked.”

Leaks about Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador forced his resignation after less than a month on the job. The Wall Street Journal reported that Rice was not the person who requested Flynn’s name to be unmasked.

Ongoing Probes

The FBI, in addition to the House and Senate intelligence committees, is currently investigating Russia’s interference in the presidential election, including whether Trump campaign or transition officials colluded with Moscow.

The Journal reported the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence wants Rice to testify as part of its investigation.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of that committee, temporarily recused himself from the investigation Thursday after critics said he is too close to the White House to lead the probe impartially.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Tuesday his panel could be interested in interviewing Rice as well.

The FBI generally does not confirm the subjects of its investigations.

Shedd said the FBI, NSA, and other government agencies keep logs of unmasking requests.

He said investigators likely will review Rice’s requests to get a better understanding of whether she and intelligence officials followed proper procedures. Whether the compilation of those requests provides circumstantial evidence of her intent would be difficult to prove, he said, because of the natural overlap of national security and politics.

For example, Rice could have been concerned Trump transition officials communicated with foreign governments and tried to interfere with diplomatic relations under the Obama administration, thus violating the Logan Act.

No one ever has been convicted of violating this 1799 law, and the Trump administration has said such conversations were a normal function of a presidential transition.

“Let’s say Rice for a variety of reasons was worried that somebody in the Trump campaign was attempting to violate the Logan Act, meaning they were trying to undermine the existing foreign policy of the Obama administration,” Shedd said.

“That has political and national security implications. If Rice is requesting names to just kind of keep tabs on who Trump transition officials are talking to, that’s different. But proving that is what she is doing it for would be hard, because you have to prove it didn’t have a national security purpose.”

5 health facts that are actually myths

(BPT) - Get eight hours of sleep at night, eat your vegetables, and an apple a day keeps the doctor away – these are all common health sayings you’ve heard and probably believe to be true. While commonly told health myths may have some truth to them, there are some that don’t hold up to further examination.

1.) Starve a cold and feed a fever. This one has been told for years, though most people can’t remember which one you starve and which you feed. However, according to WebMD, the best advice is to starve neither. You’ll recover from the flu or a cold more quickly with a healthy, balanced diet, so eat sensibly and you’ll be yourself again in no time.

2.) Small and soft toothbrushes make for an ineffective clean. This one isn’t true. The American Dental Association actually recommends using a small brush head with soft bristles. Using a brush like Oral-B’s new Compact Clean provides a small brush head that can get to those hard-to-reach places and provide a precise clean. Because of its unique ultra-dense feathered bristles which offer multiple cleaning tips per filament, Compact Clean will also gently remove plaque in a comfortable, effective way. “As a hygienist, one of the biggest obstacles my patients face is finding the balance between using a brush that is soft enough and achieving an effective clean,” says Andrew Johnston, RDH. “Compact Clean's design allows you to remove plaque while keeping your teeth and gums safe against toothbrush abrasion.”

3.) Cold weather increases your chance of catching a cold. It seems to make sense, but it’s not true. There is no proof colder temperatures increase your chances of catching a cold, according to LiveScience.com. Instead, research shows the spike in colds during the winter months is actually due to people spending more time indoors, around one another, making it easier for the cold to spread from one person to the next.

4.) Reading in poor lighting is bad for your eyes. While it certainly makes it more difficult to focus on what you're reading, there is no evidence that reading under such conditions will cause any permanent structural or long-term damage to your eyes according to WebMD.

5.) An aerobic workout will significantly boost your metabolism all day long. Nope, but you will enjoy a nice boost while you’re actually doing the workout along with a small boost throughout the day, though only about 20 extra calories according to WebMD. If you want improved all day benefits, strength training is actually the better way to go because it conditions your body to burn calories more efficiently.

So the next time you’re tempted to starve your cold, or only read a book with lights blazing, remember that these five commonly held health myths are now debunked! To learn more about how Compact Clean can lead to powerful results, visit www.oralb.com.

Take a Holistic Approach to Retirement Planning

(Family Features) Although retirement is a milestone for all working adults, decades of hard work may not pay off if you haven’t planned for your financial needs once a regular paycheck stops coming.

According to research by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), millions of Baby Boomers stepping into their retirement years have unrealistic expectations and lack a full understanding of the danger of running out of money during retirement. However, the challenges do not stop with Baby Boomers. A recent study indicated 47 percent of Gen-Xers and more than half of Millennials believe a secure retirement is beyond their reach.

“Most people recognize the need to grow their wealth before retirement, but getting there isn’t always a clear path,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and CEO. “Starting early and taking a holistic approach to financial planning is truly essential for a safe and dignified retirement.”

Experts generally concur that it’s never too early to begin planning for retirement, but depending on your stage of life, your approach may vary. Consider this advice from the experts at IRI to get on a path toward financially secure retirement.


Forming good money habits can set you up for a lifetime of success. An act as simple as putting spare change in a jar can help you start saving. Talk to adults you trust about how to create a budget and work toward a financial goal. Auto insurance and cell phone bills are important expenses to factor into your budget.

Building a career

Once you have a solid budget, stick to it and set aside some money to save. Compound interest adds up over time and the earlier you start compounding, the better. Credit will also start to play more of a factor in your life, as major expenses like buying a house or car, or starting a business rely greatly on your credit.


At this stage, your employer may offer a retirement savings plan. Whether you have various investments to manage or not, you should start to look at your building your portfolio and retirement plan. This mid-career life stage is a good time to set a retirement savings goal, and now is also the time to consider hiring a financial advisor.

A professional can help you explore less understood but worthwhile approaches to holistic retirement planning such as annuities. Annuities are essentially insurance contracts that come in different types and offer several options to meet a variety of financial objectives. They are a guarantee of income as you age.

Late career

At this stage, you probably have a better idea as to when you will be able to retire, but it’s important to review your savings on an annual basis and make adjustments, if needed, to stay on track. As you approach retirement, you’ll want to research Social Security, Medicare and long-term care options to ensure you have a comprehensive view of your future finances.

Ready for retirement

If you haven’t already done so, the time has come to better research your Social Security benefits (and when it’s best to start accessing them), Medicare coverage and long-term care options. This is the time to start making some choices, such as whether you will downsize your home and how to eliminate as much debt as possible. One of the more complex aspects surrounding retirement can be determining which of your accounts to tap and in what order, and a professional can help guide you.

Explore more resources and tools to aid your retirement planning at retireonyourterms.org.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Insured Retirement Institute

Conservatives attack proposed US border tax

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative activist groups that generally support Republicans but oppose a pro-export, anti-import Republican tax proposal, released a study on Thursday estimating its impact on individual U.S. states, underscoring the party's division over taxes.

With taxes at the top of Republican priorities, the two groups, backed by the wealthy Koch brothers, reported that seven states won by President Donald Trump in November's election would be among the 10 hardest hit by the proposal.

Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity, both based in the Washington area, said the "border adjustment tax," or BAT, would harm all 50 states, but that those heavily dependent on imports could suffer most.

The report predicted economic harm to Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas - all states Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. The list of hard-hit states also includes California, New Jersey and Illinois, which were carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The study was sharply criticized by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican who intends to include the BAT in tax reform legislation this spring.

"That so-called study will be easily discredited and probably fits the definition of fake news," Brady told reporters. "It takes one provision, pretends the economy freezes ... applies it in our current tax code and comes up with fantasy figures."

BAT, billed as a way to boost U.S. manufacturing, would exempt export revenues from federal tax, while ending the deductibility of import costs by corporations, making imports for production or resale costlier.

The plan is part of a tax reform blueprint supported by House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump is also working on a tax plan.

Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch have funded both groups behind the study. The Kochs exert strong financial and ideological influence on the Republican Party.

Opposition to BAT from the Kochs and import-dependent industries suggests a rocky road ahead for Trump's stated priority of tax reform.

The proposal is also opposed by a number of Senate Republicans who could prevent its passage, should the House approve a tax reform bill that contains it.

Koch organizations, including the brothers' privately held conglomerate Koch Industries, have warned that BAT could devastate the U.S. economy by raising prices on consumer goods, including gasoline. Refineries owned by Koch Industries rely on oil imports from Canada.

The Koch groups say they support tax reform but oppose BAT.

 (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Dan Grebler)

Is the sky blue? For millions, that depends on what Trump says.

By Chris Kahn and James Oliphant

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans generally agree that politicians should not enrich themselves while running the country. Yet most think it is okay for President Donald Trump to do so.

Democrats largely support the idea of government-run healthcare. But their support plummets when they learn that Trump once backed the idea.

At a time of already deep fissures among American voters on political, cultural and economic issues, Trump further polarizes the public as soon as he wades into the debate, according to the results of a Reuters/Ipsos poll. The poll suggests any effort to reach a consensus on key policy issues could be complicated simply by Trump's involvement.

The survey from Feb. 1 to March 15 of nearly 14,000 people asked respondents to consider a series of statements Trump has made on taxes, crime and the news media, among other issues. In many cases, the data showed that people will orient their opinions according to what they think of Trump.

Republicans, for example, were more likely to criticize American exceptionalism – the notion that the United States holds a unique place in history - when told that Trump once said it was insulting to other countries. They were more likely to agree that the country should install more nuclear weapons, and they were more supportive of government spending for infrastructure, when they knew that Trump felt the same way.

Democrats moved in the opposite direction. They were less supportive of infrastructure spending, less critical of the judiciary and less likely to agree that urban crime was on the rise when they knew that those concerns were shared by Trump.

For a graphic on the poll results, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2o5nbfF

“I’m basically in disagreement with everything he says,” said Howard House, 58, a Democrat from Jacksonville, Florida, who took the poll. “I’ve almost closed my mind to the guy.”

Trump is not the first president to polarize the public. A 1995 poll by the Washington Post found that Democrats appeared to favor legislative action when they thought it was then-President Bill Clinton’s idea, and a 2013 survey by Hart Research Associates showed that both positive and negative attitudes about the 2010 Affordable Care Act intensified when called by its other name, Obamacare.

But previous presidents were more popular than Trump at this point, according to the Gallup polling service, and they may have been better positioned to address the public divide because of it. Gallup had Trump at a 42 percent approval rating on Tuesday. He was as low as 35 percent last week.

That leaves Trump facing a largely disapproving electorate, even as the White House signals that in the coming months it wants to pass a sweeping tax-reform package, a large infrastructure plan, and perhaps try again to supplant the Affordable Care Act.

The White House said that Trump has tried to reach out to those who did not support him during the campaign in an attempt to build political consensus.

“The door to the White House has been open to a variety of people who are willing to come to the table and have honest discussions with the President about the ways we can make our country better,” a White House spokeswoman wrote in an email.


Poll respondents were split into two groups. Each received nearly identical questions about statements Trump has made in recent years. One group, however, was not told the statements came from Trump.

The poll then asked if people agreed or disagreed with those statements. In a few cases, Trump made little to no impact on the answers. But most of the time the inclusion of his name changed the results.

A series of questions about conflicts of interest produced the biggest swings.

Some 33 percent of Republicans said it was okay if “an official” financially benefits from a government position. However, when a separate group was asked the same question with Trump’s name added in, more than twice as many Republicans – 70 percent – said it was okay.

When interviewed afterward, some respondents said they knew they were making special exceptions for Trump.

Susie Stewart, a 73-year-old healthcare worker from Fort Worth, Texas, said it came down to trust. While most politicians should be forbidden from mixing their personal fortunes with government business, Stewart, who voted for Trump, said the president had earned the right to do so.

"He is a very intelligent man,” Stewart said. “He’s proved himself to be one hell of a manager. A builder. I think he has the business sense to do what’s best for the country.”

On the other side of the political spectrum, House, the Democrat from Florida and a Hillary Clinton supporter, said he also made an exception for Trump. But in this instance it meant that House disagreed with everything Trump supported.

If Trump said the sky was blue, “I’m going to go outside and check,” he said.

It is impossible to say exactly what motivates people to answer a certain way in a political poll, said John Bullock, an expert in partisanship at the University of Texas at Austin.

Some respondents may have looked past the question and answered in a way that they thought would support or oppose Trump, Bullock said.  But he said it was also likely that others simply have not thought deeply about the issue and are looking to Trump as a guide for how to answer.

    “They think of him either as a man who shares their values or someone who manifestly does not,” Bullock said.

 (Editing by Jason Szep and Paul Thomasch)