Friday, January 01, 2016

How Big A Part Does Racism Play In The Rise Of Trumpism?


The story of Trumpf's 2015 campaign has been the story of a very successful and very slick carnival barker from the day he made his campaign announcement in front of an audience of paid actors last June right up until the last day of the year when his New Hampshire campaign released a substantial list of New Hampshire town chairs... some of whom aren't even voting for him and others who say they didn't know they were "chairs" until they read it in the newspaper. Could it really have been "news" to anyone when Bernie Sanders released a statement Wednesday saying that "It appears that Donald Trump, a pathological liar, simply cannot control himself. He lies, lies and lies again?"

The comedian insult dog candidate has managed to utterly eviscerate the campaign of the scion of the GOP establishment's top dynasty-- for which the nation owes him a debt of gratitude-- and he has shredded one once-plausible Republican candidate after another. It's startling how Trumpf, after leaving Jeb's corpse on the side of the road to be ravaged by selfish, greedy campaign operatives, didn't even break a sweat while mowing down ex-Texas Governor Rick Perry, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, South Carolina senior Senator Lindsey Graham, Ohio Governor John Kasich... leaving the GOP's much-touted Deep Bench a deep, smoking crater. And this week he's turned his attention to New Jersey's clownish Governor Chris Christie, who he blamed for Mitt Romney's defeat before reminding New Hampshire Republicans about why Christie is the worst possible GOP candidate:
Christie’s record in New Jersey had gone mostly unnoticed during the campaign until recently, as the governor started to climb in the polls in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary on Feb. 9.

On Monday, Trump also declared it was “impossible to believe” Christie “didn’t know about” the George Washington Bridge lane closures in September 2013. Trump has suggested as much before.

“Chris can’t win because of his past,” Trump said. “I don’t believe you’ve heard the last of the George Washington Bridge, because there’s no way he didn’t know about the closure of the George Washington Bridge, and all of his people are now going on trial in the very near future. And they’re going on criminal trial. There’s no way he didn’t know about it.”

Prosecutors say three former Christie allies closed lanes to the bridge as part of a conspiracy to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, in Bergen County, because he didn’t endorse the governor’s re-election.

One has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government. Two others have pleaded not guilty; their trial is scheduled to begin in April.
Last night we looked at how the loss of economic status and cultural status have combined to enable a demagogue to come along and create Trumpism-- a form of classic cult-of-personality fascism-- inside the fertile fields prepared by a cynical Republican Party establishment for decades. New Years Eve's most widely discussed political story was probably Nate Cohn's piece in the NYTimes dissecting who the Trumpf supporters really are. Keep in the back of your mind that the new ARG poll of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters shows Trumpf on the path to victory... but NOT among actual registered Republicans. The poll predicts that Trumpf will get 21% of the New Hampshire primary vote, beating Rubio (15%), Kasich (13%), Christie (12%) and Cruz (10%). But when ONLY registered Republicans are included, the shift is dramatic. Rubio comes out on top with 16%, while Kasich and Trump are tied for second place with 15%, Christie's at 14% and Cruz and Jeb are tied at 10%. Where Herr crushes his opponents is among the 45% of likely primary voters who are not registered Republicans:
Trumpf- 29%
Rubio- 14%
Cruz- 10%
Kasich- 10%
Dr. Ben- 7%
Rand Paul- 7%
Christie- 6%
Jeb 4%
So who are these non-Republicans (technically) propelling Herr Trumpf to a New Hampshire win? OK, time for Nate Cohn's assertion that Trumpf's strongest supporters are a certain kind of Democrat, although "Democrat" isn't as accurate a description as "people on the periphery of the Republican coalition." Think Kim Davis, before someone explained to her that she's actually a Republican prompting her to switch parties. Herr, writes Cohn, "is strongest among Republicans who are less affluent, less educated and less likely to turn out to vote. His very best voters are self-identified Republicans who nonetheless are registered as Democrats. It’s a coalition that’s concentrated in the South, Appalachia and the industrial North."
Trump’s lead is not equal among all groups, or across all parts of the country. His support follows a clear geographic pattern. He fares best in a broad swath of the country stretching from the Gulf Coast, up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, to upstate New York.

Mr. Trump’s best state is West Virginia, followed by New York. Eight of Mr. Trump’s 10 best congressional districts are in New York, including several on Long Island. North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and South Carolina follow.

His strength in the South is blunted only by Ted Cruz in Texas and Mike Huckabee in Arkansas. (Mr. Huckabee, despite his weakness nationally, still holds a lead in the congressional district of his Arkansas hometown.) Mr. Trump fares well in Florida despite the political histories of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in the state.

...Trump’s strength fades as one heads west. Nearly all of his weakest states-- 16 of his worst 19-- lie west of the Mississippi. Mr. Trump’s struggles in Iowa might not reflect a challenge specific to the state; it may simply be the only state from the Great Plains or Mountain West where public pollsters frequently conduct public opinion surveys. His worst is Utah, a traditionally Republican and affluent state.

His geographic pattern of support is not just about demographics-- educational attainment, for example. It is not necessarily the typical pattern for a populist, either. In fact, it’s almost the exact opposite of Ross Perot’s support in 1992, which was strongest in the West and New England, and weakest in the South and industrial North.

But it is still a familiar pattern. It is similar to a map of the tendency toward racism by region... This type of animus towards African-Americans is far more common than just about anyone would have guessed,” said Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

...That Mr. Trump’s support is strong in similar areas does not prove that most or even many of his supporters are motivated by racial animus. But it is consistent with the possibility that at least some are. The same areas where racial animus is highest in the Google data also tend to have older and less educated people, and Mr. Trump tends to fare better among those groups-- though the effect of Google data remains just as strong after controlling for these other factors.

These areas also include many of the places where Democrats have lost the most ground over the last half-century, and where Hillary Clinton tended to fare best among white voters in her contest against Mr. Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries.

In many of these areas, a large number of traditionally Democratic voters have long supported Republicans in presidential elections. Even now, Democrats have more registered voters than Republicans do in states like West Virginia and Kentucky, which have been easily carried by Republicans in every presidential contest of this century. As recently as a few years ago, Democrats still had a big advantage in partisan self-identification in the same states.

But during the Obama era, many of these voters have abandoned the Democrats. Many Democrats may now even identify as Republicans, or as independents who lean Republican, when asked by pollsters-- a choice that means they’re included in a national Republican primary survey, whether they remain registered as Democrats or not.

Mr. Trump appears to hold his greatest strength among people like these-- registered Democrats who identify as Republican leaners-- with 43 percent of their support, according to the Civis data. Similarly, many of Mr. Trump’s best states are those with a long tradition of Democrats who vote Republican in presidential elections, like West Virginia.

Mr. Trump’s strength among traditionally Democratic voters could pose some problems for his campaign. Many states bar voters registered with the other party from participating in partisan primaries. Other states go further, not allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in a primary; in the G.O.P. race, for example, that would mean restricting the electorate to those registered as Republicans-- one of Mr. Trump’s weakest groups. This group of states includes many favorable to Mr. Trump, like Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.

Another turnout challenge for Mr. Trump is that he commands the support of many people who are unlikely to vote. Civis found him winning 40 percent of the vote among those it gave less than a 20 percent chance of participating in the general election-- let alone in the primary. He held 29 percent among those who had greater than an 80 percent chance of voting in the November election.

Mr. Trump’s campaign will need to mobilize these less-likely voters to maximize his strength. But the challenge shouldn’t be overstated, either. Registered Democrats make up just 8 percent of self-identified Republicans in the states with party registration, according to the Civis data. And Mr. Trump still leads, and leads comfortably, among higher-turnout voters and registered Republicans. He may need to reach out to irregular voters to strengthen his advantage, but there is no reason to believe that his support would simply evaporate among a traditional Republican primary electorate.

Ultimately, his coalition may augur a bigger challenge for the Republican Party than it does for his own candidacy.

It has been argued that Mr. Trump’s divisive language may make it harder for the party to broaden its appeal. But the G.O.P.’s increasing reliance on older and less educated white voters, often from the South, made this challenging long before Mr. Trump mounted a campaign. Over the long run, the party will need to figure out a way to satisfy its newest converts while maintaining a message that’s appealing to the rest of the country.

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At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How Big A Part Does Racism Play In The Rise Of Trumpism?"



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