Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A plurality of Americans base their opinions of a president on their ability to manage the government while fewer consider the leader's positions on issues or moral values, a Gallup poll released Thursday indicates.
Thirty-seven percent of those questioned said management skills are a bigger factor when considering favorability, compared to issue positions (29 percent) and moral values (21 percent).
Americans have always considered management skills the key factor dating back to 1996, when Gallup first began asking the question. The portion who said it is the most important thing to consider, though, has declined since 1996 (51 percent) and 1998 (55 percent). Those years, issue positions (24 percent and 22 percent) and moral values (18 percent and 16 percent) were less compared to 2018.
This year's split between the three qualities is roughly the same as the last time Gallup asked the question -- in 2002 during President George W. Bush's first term. Then, 37 percent considered management most important, 26 percent focused on moral values and 25 percent on issue positions.
Among Republicans, 42 percent said managing the government was the most important factor, with issue positions at 33 percent and moral values 14 percent. Democrats were more evenly split at 34 percent, 25 percent and 24 percent, as well as independents at 35 percent, 30 percent and 24 percent.
Republicans' emphasis on moral values declined by more than half from 2002 to 2018 under President Donald Trump, from 36 percent to 14 percent.
Meanwhile, Democrats' emphasis on moral values in 2018 is higher than it's ever been, up 7 points from 2002, 16 from 1998 and 9 from 1996.
The poll questioned 1,505 adults between July 30 and Aug. 5, and had a 3 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level. Trump had a 41 percent job approval rating during the week ending Aug. 5.