Thursday, May 16, 2019


The headline statistic here is noteworthy:
Extended term for Trump? No way, most Americans say

The lion’s share of Americans believes that respecting the results of elections and the peaceful transfer of power are essential elements of American democracy, according to a new national poll conducted by Ipsos in conjunction with the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

By a 77%-16% margin, respondents did not think that the 2020 election should be delayed and President Donald Trump given an extra two years in office.
And I suppose we should feel grateful that the people who think Trump's term should be extended include only about a third of Republicans:
There were partisan differences on this question: Democrats said no overwhelmingly, 89%-9%, while Republicans said no by a smaller 62%-31% margin.
And hardly anyone thinks it would be okay for Trump to barricade himself in the Oval Office if he loses:
Just 7% of respondents said that if Trump loses the 2020 election, he should ignore the results and stay in office.
(The total for Republicans is a surprisingly low 11%.)

But I find this unsettling:
Just 33% of respondents agreed with the somewhat authoritarian proposal that to fix the United States, “we need a strong leader willing to break the rules.” Less than a quarter of Democrats (23%) agreed with that statement, but about half of Republicans did (53%).
A majority of Republicans feel this way. That's why we can't change minds on Trump. Every time we point out one of his bad acts, we remind that majority of Republicans precisely why they like him. We think we're criticizing Trump, but what his base hears is that, yes, he is "a strong leader willing to break the rules." When we say he's an obstructor of justice or a taker of emoluments, we're affirming the notion that he's the kind of leader they want.

69% (64% Democrats, 74% Republicans) agreed that “traditional parties and politicians don’t care about people like me.”
It's odd that voters from the party in power are more dissatisfied with "traditional parties and politicians" than voters from the party out of power -- or it would be odd if the head of the in-power party weren't Trump. This tells me that Republican voters are wary even of traditional pols from their own party, which might explain why so many of those pols want to be seen as unsocialized Trump clones (see, e.g., Lindsey Graham at the Kavanaugh hearings).

This and the rule-breaking "strong leader" result above are more evidence that Republicans won't be picking Nikki Haley, John Kasich, or Larry Hogan in 2024. They'll want either an angry outsider (Donald Trump Jr., Laura Ingraham) or someone from within politics who seems willing and able to break the rules and smash the furniture (Tom Cotton, Dan Crenshaw).

In other words: No, the fever won't break.

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