President Donald Trump‘s frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago estate and his time on the golf course are not wearing well with American voters, a new Quinnipiac University poll finds.
And a Democratic candidate for governor — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum — is injecting Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits into the 2018 campaign, issuing a statement today calling on the president to help local taxpayers get reimbursed for security expenses when Trump visits.
Quinnipiac’s poll of 1,062 voters nationwide was conducted April 12-18 and has a 3 percent margin of error. The poll doesn’t mention Mar-a-Lago specifically, but asked voters “Do you think that President Trump spends too much time at properties that his company owns, or not?”
Fifty-five percent say he’s spending too much time at his properties, with 34 percent disagreeing and 11 percent not having an opinion.
Trump has played golf an estimated 16 times as president, including 14 outings when he’s in Palm Beach County. Voters were also asked how “comfortable” they are with the amount of time Trump spends “golfing and doing other leisure activities.”
Fifty-two percent say they’re “not so comfortable” or “not comfortable at all” with Trump’s golf and leisure time, with 42 percent saying they’re comfortable.
On a separate question, 50 percent of voters say Trump is not spending enough time at the White House, while 38 percent he’s spending the right amount of time there.
Asked about security costs associated with the president and his family when he is away from the White House, 60 percent say they are uncomfortable with the costs to some degree and 35 percent say they are comfortable.
Gillum, who has picked up big early money from high-profile liberals as he seeks the Democratic nomination, today called on Trump to “step up and repair the financial damage he’s done” to local taxpayers when he visits.
Palm Beach County taxpayers have spent more than $3.7 million on Trump’s visits, mainly to pay sheriffs deputies who assist the Secret Service. Local officials have called on the federal government to reimburse the costs, and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has raised the issue personally with Trump.
“President Trump’s frequent jaunts down to Mar-a-Lago have taken a toll on Floridians’ wallets, and as we approach the 100th day of his presidency, it’s time for him to step up and repair the financial damage he’s done,” Gillum’s statement says.
“According to reports, Palm Beach taxpayers are spending millions of dollars for law enforcement protection, while small businesses are losing thousands of dollars in reservations and bookings. Local institutions like the Lantana Airport are falling on hard times thanks to the President’s inability to spend the weekend in Washington. On my trips to Palm Beach I’ve heard from residents that it’s an enormous concern, and I hope the President treats this issue accordingly. I commend Senator Nelson and Reps. Frankel, Hastings and Deutch for their fearless advocacy on behalf of Palm Beach taxpayers.”