To listen click here
Aug 20 – Despite being prosecuted four times, former US President Donald Trump maintains strong support inside his Republican Party and among the electorate.”So far, Donald Trump remains the clear Republican frontrunner, unscathed among his Republican base amid mounting indictments,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
According to his research conducted immediately before the latest charges were filed against Trump in Georgia, 66% of Republicans and sympathisers said they will support the former president in next year’s election, an increase of 8% from a poll conducted three weeks prior.
According to the RealClear Politics poll aggregate, Trump has 44% support in the general election, almost the same as incumbent President Joe Biden’s 44.4 percent.
The key to understanding Trump’s fervent support may be an offhand remark made by his adversary Hillary Clinton in 2016 when she ran for president, referring to half of his followers as “the basket of deplorables.”
Trump’s constant popularity stems from his supporters’ resentment of the condescending elites.
Her remark highlights the chasm between the Democratic Party, which has become increasingly elitist despite having a majority of minorities, and the Republican Party, which has become a haven for Whites without college degrees — the working class and underclass, who were once the Democrats’ mainstay, but now feel disadvantaged.
This has produced a schism between Whites from such backgrounds and the Democratic Party, which Donald Trump has exploited to emerge paradoxically as their champion through his emphasis on social issues.
Tech millionaires and their well-paid staff, as well as celebrities in show business and entertainment who promote their Democrat affiliation, exacerbate their wrath.
The sharp contrast is written in the elected leadership of Rockland County to the west of the nation’s liberal capital, New York, and Nassau County to the east, which is Republican and where “Trump 2024” flags fly here and there.
According to Pew Research, the demographics of the two parties have shifted.
While the Republican Party was backed by 50% of college graduates in the mid-1990s, it was only 37% by 2019, while Democratic Party support among graduates increased from 42% to 57% over this time period.
The Democratic Party is now a coalition of elites and minorities, with support falling among some groups such as Latinos and African American men.
The Democratic Party’s ideological and social agendas are being driven by the college-educated elite, a considerable percentage of whom are Whites from the other end of the spectrum.
The party is increasingly associated with elite-driven issues such as lax immigration – bordering on open borders – crime, education and parental rights, and transgender and LGBT issues, which overshadow its economic message.
The elite is usually immune to the consequences of these policies, whereas the working class of all colours is more directly harmed.
While these effects are mitigated for minorities by social justice issues such as empowering them and combating police brutality and racial profiling – as well as unwavering support for civil rights, which has benefited Indian-Americans as well – they are not as relevant to working-class – and underclass – Whites.
In addition to crime and immigration issues, social issues such as transgender (boys allowed to use girls’ bathrooms in school if they consider themselves transgender, teachers allowed to use cross-gender names and pronouns for children while keeping it secret from parents), teaching homosexuality to children under the third grade, and lessons inspired by the so-called “critical race theory” that call the US’s independence cause into question and paint Whites as exploited
Support for the Republican Party is increasing among Latinos and African-Americans, maybe as a result of some of these factors.
According to a Wall Street Journal poll conducted last year, African-American support for party candidates in Congressional elections increased from 8% in 2018 to 17%.
According to an EquiLab analysis of the 2020 elections, around 30% of Latino voters supported Trump.
The strong nationalism he promoted – the “America First” and “Make America Great Again” slogans – is another motivator for Trump’s supporters.
The nostalgia for Trump’s pre-Covid era’s low inflation, low interest rates, and robust employment are all influences.
There is considerable validity, however, for some in the Democratic Party’s perception that some of these Whites are motivated by resentment that their position of supposed superiority has been eroded by improvements in the status and empowerment of minorities.
Religion also enters the picture, with Christian Evangelicals – the fundamentalists – being a sizable portion of Trump’s base, but a crack looks to be appearing.
In 2020, 76% of them voted for the twice-divorced self-proclaimed playboy, and in a Monmouth University poll last month, 83% said they had a favourable opinion of Trump now embroiled in a messy suit involving a porn star, despite the fact that only 51% wanted him to be the Republican candidate in 2024.
The Republican Party’s leadership, if anyone other than Trump can be accorded the title, is scared to challenge him and fears his anger.
Trump, who is boycotting the party’s presidential selection debate on August 22, threatens the party with an independent candidature if he is not the nominee.
Only Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, former governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, and Governor Doug Burgum have ventured to challenge him directly in the Republican primary.
Even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is spearheading the charge against Trump, has avoided explicitly confronting him, preferring to turn the other cheek to Trump’s repeated slaps.
A strategy plan prepared for DeSantis’ debate on Wednesday suggested that he “defend Donald Trump in absentia in response to a Chris Christie attack.”
DeSantis and the majority of the candidates have taken cues from Trump’s strategy.
Other leaders have gathered with Trump.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the party’s highest-ranking political official, termed the Georgia indictments a “sham,” accused Biden of “weaponizing” the legal system.
According to an NBC News study, just three megadonors who contributed millions to Trump’s campaign in the previous election have shifted to his opponents’ campaign apparatus known as SuperPACs (Political Action Committees), which can evade the limits on direct contributions to candidates.
While conventional wisdom is that another Republican contender could have a significant edge over Biden next year, current polls do not reflect that, giving key Republicans concern.
While the RealClearPolitics poll aggregate gives Biden a 0.4% edge over Trump, he leads DeSantis by 2.4% when paired up against him.