Sunday, January 20, 2019


At the new anti-Trumpist right-wing site The Bulwark, Bill Kristol posts a message from Bruce Gyory, a longtime New York state political operative.
... The slippage we anticipated for Trump’s standing in terms of public opinion from the shutdown is coming to pass.

The slippage is the worst kind—the slow erosion of support from key blocs: swing voters (independents and suburbanites) and those who put Trump over the top (blue collar white men and Republicans over 60).

... Trump’s job approval rating is down to 31 percent among independents in Gallup.... The Marist data for PBS shows a drop of 10 percent in job approval among Republicans and a decline of 11 percent among white evangelicals and 17% among suburban men.

... Blue collar white men being turned off from Trump shouldn’t surprise anyone, for they know the difficulty of living paycheck to paycheck. This, plus the skew of the tax cut package, spells political trouble for Trump long term, especially if a slow down, much less a recession, looms in 2020.
Gyory adds:
As an aside, it’s fair to ask why hasn’t this decline in the polls registered more with pundits and pols. I wonder if it’s because Gallup is not doing daily tracking polls anymore?
No, that's not the reason, at least when it comes to pundits.

Mainstream media commentators don't want to believe that Trump is unpopular. They like the legend of 2016: that nobody saw Trump's victory coming because frou-frou elitist journalists (i.e., themselves) didn't spend enough time in Pensylvania diners absorbing the raw, elemental essence of Real Americans.

Even after the 2018 midterms, they want to believe Trump is still popular. They believe that the House election results (40 new Democrats) prove only that the Democrats are a niche party, competitive in cities and Whole Foods-y suburbs, especially when they're running female candidates. In 2020, they still expect Republicans to run the table in America, which is elsewhere.

This point of view would have some validity if commentators acknowledged the GOP's anti-democratic approach -- prevent portions of the Democratic-leaning majority from voting; take advantage of gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and the small-state skew of the Senate; use Trumpian rhetoric to sustain the loyalty of Republican niche voters. If pundits believed that this was a shrewd GOP strategy for maintaining minority rule of America, then you'd understand why they might not be willing to acknowledge Trump's poll decline -- he might still have the voters he needs to win this rigged game. (That's basically what I believe.)

But they seem persuaded that Trump's voters are the true Americans, while Democratic voters are rootless cosmopolitan interlopers. I think they want Trump to be five points down in the polls on Election Eve 2020, so they can beat themselves up again for missing the True American mood.

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