Friday, July 31, 2020

Must Read: Swing Voters Stay Swung

In other words, Obama voters who swung to Trump in 2016 are not only favoring Trump, they actually prefer Trump in a hypothetical matchup against Obama. Uh oh!

That's from a long running series of CNN focus groups. You may have seen this story referenced in the last week or so, but RedState has an excellent summary of it: CNN Piece on What Critical Swing Voters Are Thinking Now and It’s Dynamite.

Just a few excerpts:

Not only are they overwhelmingly with Trump at this point, upon reflection, these voters who voted Obama [2008, 2012] and [swung to] Trump [2016] would now vote for Trump over Obama in a hypothetical match-up, according to Thau.
Beyond the numbers, though, it’s critical to understand why so many of them continue to support Trump.
They think a businessman is best suited to turn the country around economically. They feel Covid-19 was not Trump’s fault, and he’s doing the best he can to contain it. They conflate the Black Lives Matter protesters with the rioters attacking federal buildings and retail shops. They don’t want historic monuments torn down. And they dismiss defunding the police as ridiculous.

In other words, virtually everything the Dems embrace is causing these people to double down in their support for Trump. That's pretty big!

Further, these people are far from being part of the GOP base:

These voters may sound like typical Fox News watchers, but, significantly, the overwhelming majority are not. Many are, instead, people who get their news disproportionately from local television, regional websites and Facebook. Compared to the kinds of people who seek out news from national cable channels, many swing voters reside in a national politics desert.

Nothing about Biden personally is about to change their minds:

According to Thau, most of them can’t name anything that Biden has achieved in almost 50 years in politics. ... 
Worse for the former vice president, several told me Biden would be a “puppet” of others if he were elected. That’s because many are convinced he has “dementia,” and they mocked him after seeing videos of his misstatements online.

But as for Trump personally, there's a lot they like. And what they like about Trump is fundamental to his appeal for them:

... they want a non-politician who relentlessly fights back, after witnessing too many office holders fold in the face of special interests. 
They hate the tweeting, but some tolerate it as the price for hiring the relentless fighter they want.


  1. I'm afraid I don't read it as such a slam dunk for Trump. The author is quoted saying "22 of 33 respondents in these four most recent locations feel this way."

    Doesn't this mean that Biden has successfully peeled off 1/3 of the swing vote that pushed Trump over the top?

    Then we need to delve into those state numbers to see how that diminished support for Trump would affect the electoral map.

    Am I reading this wrong?

    1. I believe so. There have been numerous articles stating that Trump voters are sticking with him--enthusiastically.

    2. I do get that vibe, in general..especially re: enthusiasm.

      There's always the soccer mom problem, but my sense is that working class Americans are even more solidly behind Trump than before.

      I've heard some especially encouraging stuff coming out of Pennsylvania - at least, the Alabama part of PA.

  2. ".......but some tolerate it as the price for hiring the relentless fighter they want."

    That's me in a nutshell.

    1. To me it's outright trivial (i.e. not worth even looking at), given the tremendous stakes of this current fight.

  3. I'll preface my remarks by saying that I don't live in a swing state and therefore can neither challenge or confirm these observations.

    That said. On the week beginning 15 March of this year if you had asked me my impression of the President, I would have told you that I had not supported him in 2016 but thought he'd done a pretty bang up job, best we've had this century (as low a bar as that is) and that as long as he's spared a force majeure he'll beat any reelection margin since Reagan.

    Then he gave 2 mendacious mask wearing morons the White House Press Room podium so they could tell the nation we all needed to stay inside for 15 days. Instead of reminding them that April Fools Day was still 2 weeks off or warning them of the dangers of smoking crack, the nation's governors, including a majority of the Republicans, went along with this never before tried, asinine scheme that predictably destroyed the livelihoods of the small businesses and working people that formed the president's base.

    I can see them giving him a mulligan maybe IF he fired Fauci, but he's actually defended him against a perfectly reasonable and correct op-ed by Peter Navarro.

    Now I can think of worse eff ups than the lock down in the Bush 43 and Obama administrations, but at least those decisions destroyed foreign countries, not America.

    1. MP. I feel the same. It is incomprehensible to me how Trump could keep Fauci et al in positions where they continue to do so much damage. Can't he reassign F to some obscure lab with "top secret" work so he is under threat of prosecution if he says even one peep? Perhaps the election will be one by whatever side has the fewest stay home in deapair?

  4. To make the same point more succinctly--I simply don't see how he keeps his base and swing voters on board without firing Fauci. I wanna root for the President, I really, really do, and I feel like so many others do too, but these lockdowns have been so demoralizing, destroyed so many of our lives and livelihoods.... Without an unequivocal refutation of them and those that called for them, then what's the point of Trumpism?

    1. If Fauci is the tipping point between Trump yes and Trump no, I really question the degree of support that was there in the first place. I pay no attention to Fauci - he’s on his way to the dustbin of history - and the strong feeling I get is that most Trump supporters do the same. He may swan around to Instyle and the glossy mags, but he is so over.

    2. I feel pretty much the same way.

      1. Trump isn't a dictator and he can't spend his days firing every idiot in the bureaucracy. More specifically, he can't create a firestorm of controversy every day except on his own terms. That's why he's had to wait on a number of people. Some of these were his own mistakes, others weren't. Fauci has a positive public image right now because of ignorance on the part of the public, and Trump has to choose his battles. He's working on this one, too, but holding fire IMO until it becomes more of a campaign issue.

      2. Trump was boxed in at the beginning because of how little was known.

    3. He's done a good job in making sure that the Dems are the ones who basically own the shutdown.