Monday, April 24, 2017


Hot Air's Allahpundit flags one data point from a Washington Post/ABC poll released over the weekend:
Poll: Trump would beat Clinton in a rematch among 2016 voters

Good lord. It’s one thing to blow an election once, but to lose hypothetically to a guy with a 42 percent approval rating again? Is there no limit to the humiliation the Clintons will suffer at Trump’s hands?

... given the option of a do-over, virtually no Trump voters would switch their votes. Clinton voters, on the other hand...
While just 4 percent of Trump’s supporters say they would back someone else if there was a redo of the election, fully 15 percent of Clinton supporters say they would ditch her.

That 15 percent is split up between those who say they would vote for Trump (2 percent), Gary Johnson (4 percent), Jill Stein (2 percent), and either other candidates or not voting (7 percent).
Clinton loses, 43%-40%. But is this surprising? A lot of Trump's press coverage is critical, but there's still a large segment of the media, over on the right, that treats him as a conquering hero whose reign is glorious, and in the mainstream there's a lot of coverage that, despite some skepticism, is still awestruck. (Why is he so good at manipulating us? Who are his voters, and will we ever truly understand America if we don't interview all of them?)

But virtually no one in the media likes Hillary Clinton -- not on the right, not in the center, not on the left. Some of this is normal -- as a rule, failed presidential candidates don't get much respect. But most failed candidates are ignored. Clinton is being actively vilified. And even though her opponent is broadly unpopular, no one interviews her voters to plumb the depths of their souls. The negative coverage of Clinton implies that harboring good feelings for her is shameful. So to me it's remarkable that she lost in this poll by only 3.


Allahpundit notes one more weekend poll result, from a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey:
Not all the news is bad for liberals, though. Who’s winning the battle of ideas? NBC offers a clue:

The 57 percent who say government should do more is the highest number NBC has recorded in 20 years of polling, higher even than it was in 2007 at the height of Bush malaise following the Democratic takeover of Congress. And the trend towards more active government is found in all three partisan groups. Republicans are still strongly opposed to the idea at 28/69, but that’s up from 17/79 shortly before the GOP took back the House in 2010. The real sea change, though, has come among independents, who were net -22 in October 2010 on the idea of government doing more and are now ... net +22.
Why is this happening? Allahpundit has a couple of theories that can't both be true:
Is that mostly a reaction to the party in power, i.e. when a Democrat is president indies perceive government as being too big whereas when a Republican is president they perceive it as too static? Or is it part of the Trumpian drift towards making big government great again on the right?
I think Trump has made government action seem more acceptable to at least some on the right. I think white voters are seeing dysfunction in white communities and saying, "Now I believe in government assistance." (The media helps by covering drug addiction in white communities much more sympathetically than in non-white communities.) I think Bernie Sanders has made a strong case for government help aimed at the 99%. But I also think the Democratic Party deserves some credit -- Obamacare happened, and even though, yeah yeah yeah, it was a corporatist neoliberal pseudo-Republican fraud, it persuaded many Americans that health care should be available and affordable, and now even (some) Republican are forced to pay lip service to that idea. Score one for incrementalism.

Message to Democrats (and too-cool-for-the-Democratic-Party Sandersites): Stop fighting with one another and unite around an agenda of helping Americans. The agenda is likely to be Sandersite, but that shouldn't cause a conflict -- Hillary Clinton's platform was Sandersite. (Her problem with many Sanders voters was that they refused to believe she endorsed her own platform.) It won't happen, though -- some mainstream Democrats won't want to commit to every Sanders goal exactly the way he does, and so Democrats and Sandersites will, alas, keep fighting.

(Which leaves me wondering, after a French presidential election in which no establishment party made the final round: What happens in America if both parties are experiencing a crack-up, but the structure of our elections, unlike that of France, makes it next to impossible for any third party to win elections? Are we now going to alternate Republican presidents who can't get legislation passed even when their party controls Congress and Democratic presidents who have the same problem?)

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