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Follow Up on Trump Poll

First let me apologize for my broken polling plugin. It works OK if you’re logged in, so I didn’t notice it was broken for those who were not logged in. A lot of WordPress plugins are hot garbage, unfortunately. But I wanted to follow up on some themes from Trump supporters. I am not becoming a Trump supporter myself. Both my preferred candidates are out of the race by this point, and I have no intention of voting for Trump (or perhaps anyone) in the primary because I just don’t trust him, and that’s a low bar as applied to politicians. But I do want to learn the lessons of the Trump phenomena, something that the GOP would be wise to do themselves.

I’ve come to believe the success of Trump in the GOP primary rests on three legs of a gold plated, terrific, really the best stool ever. The first is outrage with the left. A lot of working class voters were fooled by Obama, believing he’d improve their lot after the financial crisis. Eight years later, and it’s very good to be upper middle class, but for everyone else, things have only gotten worse. The people supporting this leg are rough-around-the edges-working class types, and they are not ideologues. These are the folks most receptive to anti-immigration anti-free-trade rhetoric. These are the people who didn’t show for Romney.

The second leg is outrage with the GOP beltway insiders. Even before Trump came along, I’ve long thought that the GOP would do itself a huge favor if it would hire a consultant to go down K street with a flamethrower, rather than hiring consultants to help talentless hacks lose elections. For better or worse, Trump is the first guy to come along in some time that actually has genuine raw political talent. Rubio has talent in abundance too, but Rubio also listened to a lot of talking heads and K-street hacks about how to brand himself for this race, and it was all wrong. A monkey could have told you it was all wrong. The GOP has not had anyone in the White House not named Bush since Reagan, and all the losing candidates have tried to follow the Bush model on how to win. I’ve never been of the opinion the Bush family have remarkable political talents and instincts. In fact, they are about as responsible for Trump as Obama.

The third leg is Trump enthusiastic rejection of political correctness. He says what he wants and gets away with it. There are a lot of people out there who have felt afraid to speak their mind because of the stifling conformity and groupthink demanded by the left. The downside to this is Trump has freed people to speak that I really wish wouldn’t (such as genuine racists and xenophobes). But I think supporters believe Trump is the path to ending the current wave of political correctness. They want to win back some legitimacy for their views.

Let me conclude that I don’t believe all the chicken little predictions that Trump will lose in a landslide to Hillary, and that he’ll throw all the down ticket races to the Democrats, and the seas will rise and skies will blacken. If Trump, or really anyone, can manage to win an election without K-street and the GOP think tanks in their corner (i.e. the real GOPe), they’re done, and they know it. There’s a lot of money made in losing elections for talentless hacks, and less but still good money in flushing real talent down the sewer with focus grouped poll tested bullshit (like they did with Rubio). You can bet they will stop at nothing to prevent anyone from strangling their golden egg laying goose. When he first appeared on the scene, I had hoped Rubio could be the guy who gave the finger to these hacks, and tried to go it on instinct, but unfortunately he disappointed.

Again, I am not a Trump supporter. I am interested in understanding his candidacy as someone who has followed politics closely for a long time.

42 Responses to “Follow Up on Trump Poll”

  1. A Non says:

    You are reading too much of the MSM, who go to all kinds of ridiculous lengths to avoid mentioning the “I” word when seeking to “explain” Trump’s popularity. You are just as blind as they are. Your three legs are (1) outrage on the left (2) outrage with GOP insiders and (3) rejection of political correctness. Where is the “I” word in your list? Nowhere!

    • countertop says:

      Immigration plays a part of it – but that’s basically covered by everything he mentioned.
      The working class base is getting screwed by Obama’s immigration policies. They are also getting screwed by GOP insiders. And well, political correctness makes it impossible to speak your mind about our broken immigration system without repurcussions.

    • Sebastian says:

      The word immigration did appear in that article. Immigration is essentially an economic issue, and despite a lot of lofty rhetoric, the Obama economy has been a disaster for the working class. Immigration is part of that.

      • Will says:

        “Immigration is essentially an economic issue…”

        Wrong. this may be half of the problem. It can’t be separated from the other side of the coin. That is the fact that they make little, if any, attempt to become part of out culture. That multi-culti crap is going to destroy the country. You cannot allow such numbers into a country and expect them to bother to fit in. They have no reason to change. They expect us to accommodate to them. I haven’t spent any amount of time in the Delco area since the 70’s, just a day here and there. I haven’t noticed much of a real change. I’ve seen it in the Wildwood/So Jersey area (very surprised). I’ve been in Silicon Valley since then, and there are problems. It’s worse in SoCal.
        Some make a real effort, most pay it lip service, and a lot of them are in the “don’t give a shit” “why should I bother” group.

        Individually, some can be good people. As a whole, they are trouble, because they bring their home country attitudes and political thinking here, and it is only going to get worse. People in the western states bitch about CA people moving to their state and bringing along their socialist thinking, and trying to replicate CA in their new home. Lots of them don’t even realize what they are doing. They may have left due to taxes and regulations and such, but they still want all the services they left behind. They want to be comfortable, so they knowingly or unknowingly want to bring all their baggage along with them. These idiots are causing real problems, and they were BORN HERE. You think it works any better if they grew up in some other country?

  2. countertop says:

    Ha,

    That sounds almost like it was informed by what I’ve been saying for months and months and months and months.

    • Sebastian says:

      I was playing Devil’s advocate when I asked you that question in the last thread. I don’t believe that shit either. This is from a GOP fundraising e-mail I got:

      Something truly remarkable is happening across Pennsylvania.

      62,828 Democrats have changed their party registration to Republican this year!

      Voters are excited to vote for our great candidates for President, and — for the first time in a generation — Pennsylvania’s Primary Election may decide who will be the Republican nominee for President.

      That’s about 1.5% of registered Dems switching, which I’m sure they’re all doing to vote for Ted Cruz. I’m not saying I believe for sure Trump will win, but I see a lot of trends he’s driving that should be raising alarm bells in the Democratic Party.

      Trump has done nothing but defy conventional wisdom and confound the consultant class. I don’t see any reason to believe anyone has a slam dunk campaign against him.

      • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

        I believe that Trump will be decimated against Hillary for two reasons:

        1. He’s hated more than Hillary.
        2. A substantial minority of the right will never vote for him.

        That’s to say nothing of how the media will treat him and Hillary.

        • I think you don’t understand Trump’s appeal. Why does the average Republican or average American hate Donald Trump? Unless they are programmed by the TV they don’t.

          • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

            I do understand Trumps appeal. He appeals to those who are angry. Its not about policies.

            And actually the average Republican does hate Trump, and its nothing to do with programming by TV. They average Republican cares about whether someone is a conservative. Trump is not.

          • Ollie says:

            I’ve hated Trump for years, and not because I have been programmed by TV. I hate him because he is enthusiastic about using eminent domain to steal from the poor to give the rich (namely himself). Anyone who would do that is a person who has absolute contempt for the rights of little people.

            I hate him because he has contempt for the 4th Amendment (warrantless wiretapping).

            I hate him for his long history of giving large amounts of money to vile politicians (Chuck Schumer, Hillary, Rahm Emanuel).

            I hate him because he wants to “open up libel laws” to sue people who say bad things about him.

            Some of the things he says I agree with (immigration). But his history shows he is untrustworthy. And this does not override his disregard for American’s rights.

            • Alpheus says:

              Amen!

              I would add that there are a lot of Republicans (like myself) who cannot trust Trump. He has said too many expedient things to be trusted with power.

              He also strikes me as someone who will compromise with Democrats at a drop of a hat. How is this any different from Boehner, McConnel, and Bush?

              I am convinced that while he paints himself as anti-establishment, he’s going to disappoint a lot of supporters when he demonstrates that he’s just as much an insider as anyone in Washington DC.

      • Whetherman says:

        “…about 1.5% of registered Dems switching…”

        Serious question: How many Rs switched to D, and how many Rs and Ds switched to “No Party?” The bottom line question is, which classification is gaining?

        • Sebastian says:

          Good question. I’ll have to look into that.

        • Sebastian says:

          According to the PA Department of State, in November 2008:

          Dem: 4,479,513
          GOP: 3,243,046
          Other: 1,033,029

          November 2014:

          Dem: 4,088,149 Change: 391,364 lost since 2008
          GOP: 3,030,017 Change: 213,029 lost since 2008
          Other: 1,132,884 Change: 99,855 gained since 2008

          November 2015:

          Dem: 3,973,115 Change: 115,034 lost in previous year
          GOP: 2,980,464 Change: 49,553 lost in previous year
          Other: 1,119,596 Change: 13,288 lost in previous year

          They don’t have numbers yet. They will in May. Then we’ll see whether the GOP is full of shit or not. But the numbers say all the parties are bleeding, but that the GOP is not bleeding out as quickly. It also seems to say overall, that people are just checking out of the process. Especially in the past year.

          • Whetherman says:

            Something else that would complicate this is, when the statistics are recorded. For example, in a pre-primary period you have a lot (?) of people changing registrations to vote for or against candidates. Right now I know of a very right wing guy who has registered “D” so he can vote for Bernie Sanders, on the theory that Sanders will be the easier candidate for the “R” to beat.

            I myself have from time to time registered as an “R” to vote for a specific candidate in the primary, but I always pick up two registration cards; the first I use to register as an “R”, and the second to drop in the mailbox on my way home from the polls, returning my registration to “No Party.” I don’t know how many people do similar things, but I suspect the registration statistics could swing wildly and unpredictably in the spring.

            • Sebastian says:

              I’m going off the assumption that not many people switch around like that. That may be wrong. I only base that on the fact that I’m too lazy to engage in that kind of thing. I switched from L to R a few years back to vote for Fred Thompson, and I’ve never switched back despite not having anyone worth voting for in a GOP primary (that I can remember) since. Fred never made it to Pennsylvania, because he didn’t really seem to want the job. That’s kind of what I liked about him.

  3. A Non says:

    You live in PA. Look at the demographics of Hazleton PA over the last ten years. Maybe then you can see what drives Trump followers. You aren’t living the same life as most Americans, and not seeing what they see.

    • Sebastian says:

      Can you elaborate?

      • Jeff O says:

        I’m not speaking for Anon, but I think he means Hazelton has turned into a complete hell hole, complete with large NY and NJ crime influences and gangs of all types (primarily Hispanic). Tax rates are up, home values have tanked, and public education and city services are non-existent.

        I wouldn’t stop there unless it’s before high noon and I’m armed twice over!

        • Whetherman says:

          “…Hazelton has turned into a complete hell hole…”

          But it sounds like it is only going through what Reading has been experiencing for years. I’m told that by most standards Reading is the poorest and most depressed city in the United States. I wonder how Hazleton’s statistics compare?

        • Sebastian says:

          I’d be curious as to why. A lot of the near suburbs around here like Darby, Collingdale, Yeadon, Bristol, etc are explainable by people leaving the city and bringing the city’s problems with them. Hazleton seems an unlikely place.

          • Jeff O says:

            I-80: straight to Newark and NYC in about an hour. Hazelton has cheap cost of living, good PA welfare programs, and police that don’t really understand the workings of big city crime and drug running (yet). They also have a decent Hispanic population base that is willing to accept more of the urban youth and look the other way when it comes to gangs and drug activity. All the same socio-economic factors that sent Reading into the crapper 20+ years ago.

          • Whetherman says:

            “Hazleton seems an unlikely place.”

            In Reading’s case, I understand that employment in the mushroom industry attracted a lot of Mexicans to the area. I don’t know if there is anything comparable in the Hazleton area. Another factor is that the presence of large state or federal prisons attracts family members of prisoners to nearby cities. I’d have to look up how far Frackville is from Hazleton.

            • Sebastian says:

              Another factor is that the presence of large state or federal prisons attracts family members of prisoners to nearby cities.

              We’ve seen that with Bitter’s hometown in Oklahoma. Only in her town’s case it’s a state prison. But Oklahoma is a much smaller state.

              • Whetherman says:

                I did look it up, and it’s about 21 miles from Frackville State Correctional Facility (with around 1200 inmates) to Hazleton, on I-81. Given that that would be a quick trip, and Hazleton is the most significant small city in the region, I suspect the prison is a factor.

  4. dwb says:

    Not just a flamethrower to the K street consultants. I would also take one to the technocrats running every federal agency and the Federal Reserve monetary policy committee. How is it that no one has been fired at the VA?

    It is not just that they are wrong, its that they are famously totally completely wrong and never get fired.

    And you know I am not a Trump supporter, but I can see the appeal of taking a flamethrower to the technocrats.

    The reality is though, to really kill the golden goose, we have to significantly reduce government spending and reduce regulations. Lobbyists can only lobby for money and regulatory influence. Take away the trough, they vanish.

    • Sebastian says:

      I’m only speaking in the context of elections here, not in terms of governing.

      • dwb says:

        The mystery surrounding what happens with President Trump on Jan 22nd is why I am not a supporter. But I suspect all that gets ironed out between now and August. Cruz just needs to win enough delegates to extract guarantees (for example, on Supreme Court nominees).

        • CarlosT says:

          Could those “guarantees” be trusted though, or are they simply the “bargaining position” of the day? That’s what I don’t trust about Trump.

          • dwb says:

            Well, it’s only a guarantee if it can be trusted.

            The form of the promise (e.g. delegation of a Supreme Court pick to Cruz) is an important tell whether it’s truly can be trusted or not.

            Keep in mind, Trump will likely face a divided Senate (close to 50-50 split), so not all promises are within his power to keep.

  5. Richard says:

    Not a Trump supporter so I didn’t respond to the last one. When I talk to Trump supporters, I hear rage about the GOPe and the media (sort of a composite of your points about the left and PC). I don’t hear much about immigration and nothing about economics. I feel the rage but think he is the wrong solution and really distrust him on 2A issues.

  6. CarlosT says:

    Both parties are going to have major reunification projects on their hands after the candidates are nominated. The leaders on both sides are extremely polarizing. If it’s Trump vs. Clinton, then it’s who can convince alienated members of their own side that they’re actually trustworthy, while convincing the unaligned they’re a better choice than the other side. That’s a very difficult proposition for either Trump or Clinton.

  7. Archer says:

    Don’t discount the fact that early on, Trump promised to self-fund his entire campaign, which (on the surface, at least) removes all the “moneyed special interests” from the equation.

    People read that as Trump representing their interests rather than those of “the establishment” and nameless-faceless “corporate donors”.

    That, and both sides — left AND right — are fed up with and pissed off at their respective “establishments” (the right more so than the left, but both sides are showing it). It’s why Bernie is doing so well against Hillary, when Every. Last. Pundit. out there predicted she’d take the lead and run away with the nomination. Instead, the Dems have a fight on their hands, and Hillary’s current lead is ENTIRELY because of “super-delegates” not beholden to primary voters.

    I’m no fan of Trump, but he IS doing better than expected, and doing it by completely rejecting the normal set of rules.

    • Sebastian says:

      Hillary is leading Bernie in pledged delegates (delegates won through the primary process). If there were no super delegates, or they were splitting along the lines of how the primaries were going, Hillary would still be ahead.

      Bernie’s problem is he’s not playing well in the South. Bernie does well in states with a lot of white liberals. He does a lot less well in states where the Democratic Party is composed more heavily of minorities. Even in areas in the South with a reasonable number of white Dems, they don’t dig too much on socialists.

    • Thirdpower says:

      Bernie is a foil/safety valve to give the nutball lefties someone to vote for in the primaries. He never would have been allowed to run if they thought he had a chance. They’ll fall into line and vote for Hillary for the general. The DNC knows this.

      • CarlosT says:

        That’s still very much up in the air. No Sanders supporter would ever vote for a Republican, but there’s every chance that they could decide to sit the election out. The super delegate shenanigans that the Democrats have had stowed in their back pocket all along works against them in this case, because it’s so blatantly a pro-establishment “dirty trick” waiting to be played if necessary. Even if it ends up not being relevant, it just goes to show that the deck was stacked against Sanders from the beginning.

        I know a good number of Sanders supporters and they’re in the bargaining phase right now, having to talk themselves into general election support for Clinton. If she turns out a disappointing general election campaign, or somehow the Republican turns out not to be such a big boogieman (slim chance with Trump leading), their support could flag.

        • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

          I think once they realize the horror that Trump will be, they will hold their nose and vote for Hillary. Nowadays, the left rarely turns on their own, especially after the primaries.

        • Donny Anonny says:

          I’ve never heard of democratic constituencies opting to sit out of elections en masse.

          That seems to be a phenomenon that is mostly limited to Republican voter groups.

  8. Whetherman says:

    “…Trump promised to self-fund his entire campaign…”

    Is it true that so far Trump has been lending his own campaign the money, reportedly at 7 percent interest? If so, that would seem to imply that in the future he intends to pay himself back handsomely out of campaign funds obtained elsewhere. Gosh, I wonder where?

  9. Ahnold says:

    I think if trump does win the nomination and faces clinton he will lose easily. Clinton’s biggest weakness is she is disliked- the problem is Trump is disliked even more. He is especially disliked by independents (which the republicans will need if they have any shot of taking back the white house).

    IMHO Trump’s success mainly comes from his pandering to the very low educated portion of the republican base that is often either forgotten about or taken for granted (in a way sanders does the same thing).

  10. Brad says:

    I’m no chump for Trump. I’ll be voting for Ted Cruz in the California primary election.

    And should Trump be elected, I believe Trump will disappoint Republicans worse than GHWB did when GHWB violated his ‘read my lips’ pledge.

    However all that said, if Trump is the nominee I’m voting for Trump in the general election. Why? Because Hillary, her campaign promises, and the Democratic Party are that bad. That dangerous. So dangerous even risking Trump is the better option.

    I remember Waco.

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