Democrats Approve of Artists Refusing to Play Inauguration, Republicans Not So Much

 Donald Trump and Kanye West
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump and Kanye West stand together in the lobby at Trump Tower on Dec. 13, 2016 in New York City. 

Kanye West aside, most artists who have said they would not perform at Donald Trump's inauguration have actually seen a spike in their favorability ratings, and a majority of Americans believe artists shouldn't feel obligated to play simply because they were asked, according to a new poll by Morning Consult/Politico.

The poll, conducted late last month among 2,000 registered voters, found that while artists like Justin Timberlake (+9 percent) and John Legend (+8 percent) both saw their net favorability go up after their refusals, West actually crossed into negative territory (-7 percent) after indicating he would not perform.

Respondents were each given a list of celebs and asked to "please indicate if their decision to not perform at the inauguration gives you a more or less favorable view of them, or if it makes no difference either way." Across the board, the most common reply was that it made no difference. For West, it was Republicans who developed a far less favorable view of him over his stance, to the tune of 46 percent, while 20 percent of Democrats indicated they were similarly bruised by it. Forty-two percent of Dems actually said they had a more favorable view of him now, compared to 9 percent of GOPers.

Before the poll was taken, West paid a surprise visit to the president-elect at Trump Tower.

Elton John actually saw the biggest bump in his net favorability following his blanket decision to not perform, with +11 percent. Overall, 59 percent of Democrats had a more positive view of the British star, while 14 percent of Republicans concurred. Republican women were particularly stung by Elton's partisanship, with 50 percent saying they now have a less favorable view of him.

Even artists whose fan bases could be seen as more on the conservative side saw a bump in their favorability ratings. Country superstar Garth Brooks' net favorability is at +4 percent, as explained by 58 percent of Democrats saying his decision left them with a better view of him. On the other side, 55 percent of Republicans now have a less favorable view of him. Rockers Kiss also said no, at least according to Gene Simmons' wife, and that decision has led to 50 percent of Democrats saying they had a more favorable view of them. Republicans on the other hand said the opposite, at 42 percent less favorable.

As for the bigger picture, 53 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats agreed with the sentiment that artists "should perform at the inauguration if invited; the country needs to come together and continue to heal after a long election." On the flip, 77 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Republicans agreed that no, celebs should not feel an obligation to appear and that it is vital they are "free to speak out against a president they do not support and would be a betrayal to their beliefs and their fans if they performed just to show unity."

So far, Trump's transition team has lined up Jackie Evancho to perform at the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Curious as to how Tea Party supporters, Evangelicals or retired people feel about the inauguration-holdouts? How about those who make more than $100,00 a year? Dig into 200-plus pages of crosstabs from the Morning Consult/Politico poll here.

President Donald Trump Inauguration


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