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Do Newspapers Really Need More Misleading "Trump Voter" Profiles?

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Old habits die hard.

After four years of settling into a lazy practice of treating Trump voters as inherently newsworthy and deserving of constant friendly news coverage, some outlets are having trouble breaking free of the routine three months into the Biden era. Even after the insurrectionist mob, stocked with Trump loyalists, tried to overturn an election.

This week it was the Washington Post, which inexplicably published a long piece that served simply as a laundry list of quotes from Trump supporters and Republican politicians trashing President Joe Biden's new $2 trillion infrastructure proposal:

• "It's got too much junk in it."

• "It's too much."

• "The wrong prescription for America."

• "It's a coverup for wasteful spending by our government."

• "It's a Christmas list of wasteful schemes radical liberals pushed for long before the pandemic."

The Post felt it was important to fan out across the country and record the objections without offering any counter balance.

Meanwhile, how many Biden voter stories are we seeing, even as the Democrat is riding a robust approval wave? Biden just signed into law the most popular social spending bill in more than 50 years. The U.S. jobs market is roaring back to life as the vaccination rollout continues to post astonishing results, with four million shots now being administered each day. (The U.S.'s runaway vaccination rate is five times faster than the global average.)

Yet reporters still aren't sitting down with diner Democrats in blue states to document just how much they love the new president, the way they did for four years amplifying Trump voters at every possible chance. In the span of just four days in early 2017, the New York Times published a long profile on women who voted for Trump, a piece on Trump fans who traveled to the inauguration, and an adoring profile of a Trump voter who lied about Hillary Clinton during the campaign and profited from his fake news business.

I lost count how many Trump Voter articles the Times published, but it certainly numbered in the dozens. (Here's one from just three months ago.) Even a Trump supporter who had nice things to say about Nazis received a gentle Times profile. Committed to the idea that Trump's white backers were the most important, and most authentic, voices in American politics, the media spent four years glorifying them, marveling at their loyalty in the face of Trump's erratic behavior.

Why newsrooms ever thought that 'Trump Voters Support Trump' articles made for compelling reading, we'll never know. But they did. And now to be fair they ought to be churning out 'Biden Voters Support Biden' dispatches. Biden today is more popular with Democrats than Trump ever was with Republicans, even though the press portrayed Trump as having a magical, unbreakable bond with the GOP "base."

Instead of Biden Voter stories, we get entirely misguided Republican updates like the recent one from the Post.

Let's look at three wrong-headed assertions from the Post piece, crammed into a single paragraph. [Emphasis added]:

But any window for cooperation appears to have already closed for Republicans in Congress — and it may be closing for GOP voters, as well. Interviews with dozens of voters in three swing congressional districts across the country revealed evidence that attacks on the spending push are beginning to take hold, and congressional Republicans said they are well positioned to capitalize on voter doubts and win their way back to power in 2022.

1. Forget about the GOP "window for cooperation" now supposedly closing for the infrastructure plan. The idea it ever existed is pure fantasy. The Post makes it seem like the Republican Party today is stocked with fair-minded men and women who of course, want to give Biden a chance and approach each new initiative with an open mind and the country's best interest at heart. In reality, the Republican Party has embraced a radical strategy where complete obstruction serves as the norm, even on issues where Republican voters support Democrats.

We just saw that with the Covid relief bill, where a clear majority of Republicans nationwide backed the emergency bill — and not one elected Republican in the House or the Senate voted 'Yes.' Yet just weeks later the Post pretends Republicans are all ears when it comes to listening to Biden infrastructure proposal?

2. The Post didn't interview dozens of "voters" in three swing congressional districts to get the nation's temperature on the proposed infrastructure bill, the Post interviewed Republicans. Of the six voters quoted in the article, not one is identified as a Biden supporter. The Post also quoted four Republican Congressmen — and zero Democratic members of Congress.

3. The Post amplifies the absurd Republican spin that the one-week-old infrastructure proposal is going to cost Democrats control of the House in two years — it's absurd because nobody has any idea what the defining issues of the 2022 midterm election cycle are going to be. Pretending that an infrastructure proposal, which is popular in the polls, is going to be a loser for Democrats is just regurgitating Republican talking points.

Our political landscape has shifted under the weight of a popular Democratic president. The press needs to drop those old, useless Trump habits, fast.

New Report Depicts Trump Voters As ‘Angry, Despondent, Powerless’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville, who has been married to conservative consultant Mary Matalin since 1993, has long said that in order to defeat Republicans, Democrats need to understand where their voters are coming from. That includes Donald Trump supporters, who Carville and fellow Democratic strategist Stan Greenberg examined via some focus groups in March.

Carville and Greenberg are the leaders of Democracy Corps, a Democratic polling/research organization. Although its primary goal is to help Democrats win elections, Democracy Corps sometimes studies GOP voters in order to determine why they vote the way they do — its Republican Party Project has been studying trends among the GOP electorate. And in March, Democracy Corps used focus groups to compare diehard Trump voters with "non-Trump conservatives and moderates."

In a March 26 report, Democracy Corps explained, "We conducted focus groups in March with Trump loyalists in Georgia and Wisconsin and Trump-aligned, non-Trump conservatives and moderates in suburban and rural Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin. It took a long time to recruit these groups because Trump voters seemed particularly distrustful of outsiders right now, wary of being victimized, and avoided revealing their true position until in a Zoom room with all Trump voters — then, they let it all out."

Democracy Corps found that "the Trump loyalists and Trump-aligned were angry, but also, despondent, feeling powerless and uncertain they will become more involved in politics…. The Trump loyalists and the Trump-aligned are animated about government taking away their freedom and a cancel culture that leaves no place for White Americans and the fear they're losing 'their' country to non-Whites."

Democracy Corps also found that "Trump loyalists and the Trump- aligned" were "angered most of all by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa" and believe those movements "were responsible for a full year of violence in Democratic cities that put White people on the defensive — and was ignored by the media."

Meanwhile, Democracy Corps found "the non-Trump conservatives and moderates bloc" to be "marginally smaller but vocal in opposition to Trump's direction and animated by his alienation of non-Republicans, the extremism, the 2nd Amendment and guns, and role of government and more."

During the 2020 election, President Joe Biden enjoyed a broad range of support. Everyone from progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City to prominent conservatives like Cindy McCain, former Sen. Jeff Flake, and columnist Mona Charen endorsed him. But diehard Trump voters were bitterly disappointed that he lost the election, and Democracy Corps' focus groups found that they are in a state of total despair.

Democracy Corps explained, "They felt powerless to reverse these important national political decisions, and frustrated that their divided party failed to act with the same determination and unity as the Democrats. They believed Democrats were smarter, rigged the election, had a plan to grow their support, and stuck to their guns — unlike the fickle Republican leaders who gave up on Trump."

Democracy Corps found that the "Trump loyalist" voters didn't feel threatened by Biden himself the way they felt threatened by President Barack Obama — as Biden is a White male in his late seventies. But they viewed Biden as a puppet of the far left. Meanwhile, the "non-Trump conservatives and moderates" expressed a willingness to give Biden a chance.

"The moderates and non-Trump conservatives are just 30 percent of their party, but it makes clear how divided the Republican Party is," Democracy Corps explained. "They know they are a minority, but events since the 2020 election are forcing them to challenge Trump and his party."

Democracy Corps concluded its report on the focus groups by stressing that opponents of Trumpism need to understand the divisions among conservatives.

"Forestalling the worst scenarios and empowering those intent on marginalizing a Trump-dominated Republican Party begins with understanding its new factions and what motivates them," Democracy Corps concluded. "These first focus groups provide rich insights into an angry, despondent and divided party. And Democracy Corps hopes to use these groups and innovative survey methodologies to understand this Trump-dominated party and all its factions and provide its opponents with the tools they need to defeat it."

Millions Of Trump Voters Ready To Abandon GOP For His New Third Party

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Fully 81 percent of Republican voters still get warm fuzzies when they think of Donald Trump, with 54 percent feeling "strongly" about their adoration, according to a newly released Politico/Morning Consult survey taken Jan. 23-25. That whole attack Trump orchestrated on the homeland—whatevs. In fact, positive views of Trump have bounced back a handful of points since the outlet's Jan. 10-12 survey taken shortly after the Capitol riot. The survey also found that 75 percent of GOP voters disapprove of the Senate following through with an impeachment trial for Trump, with just 18 percent backing it.

So if you're wondering why 45 Senate Republicans just voiced their opposition to putting Trump on trial for his role in inciting the Capitol siege, it's because none of them have the faintest idea how to win elections without Trump — the guy who helped the GOP forfeit the White House, the House, and the Senate in just four years' time. Impressive.

On top of that, Trump's musings about forming a so-called "Patriot Party" have piqued the interest of more than a third of 2020 Trump voters (35 percent) and 30 percent of Republican voters overall. In fact, Trump's Patriot Party splits both groups of voters —Republicans and Trump voters — roughly into thirds, with a third sticking with the GOP, a third interested in joining the new party, and a third who say they aren't interested in affiliating with either party or else hold no opinion on the matter.

Trump, the great divider, is working his magic on the Republican Party and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And no one in the Republican Party is inspired enough to chart a new course to winning more voters over to their side.

Loser Trump is all they've got.

#EndorseThis: Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Hosts Focus Group Of Real Trump Voters

What makes Trump supporters so loyal to a president who is wrecking the country and the world is one of the great mysteries of our time. And the latest political scientist to ponder this problem is Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, whose obscene, cigar-chomping wisecracks you may recall from his many appearances on Saturday Night Live.

Now working as a "correspondent" for Stephen Colbert's Late Show, Triumph recently convened a focus group of real live Trump supporters to discuss current issues, such as the dismantling of Confederate statues and unemployment. The group watched some fictional Trump-Pence campaign ads to gauge their reaction to potentially extreme proposals by their idol.

Even Triumph, who always presumes human stupidity, was exasperated by their answers.

It's uproariously funny, the way only a gang of mindless Trumpists can be.