‘The Economist’ — In Trump’s America It May Be a Long Wait for Politics to Return to Normal
LONDON, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Observers of Donald Trump’s presidency who hope that American politics will eventually return to normal may face a long wait, according to a new special report from The Economist. Entitled “Trump’s America” and appearing in the July 1 issue of The Economist and online today at www.economist.com/trumpsamerica, the report examines the complexities that shape the voting habits of the American electorate and the forces, both political and cultural, that brought Donald Trump to the US presidency.
US editor John Prideaux spent several weeks in West Virginia, Kansas, Georgia, Alabama and Florida talking to Trump supporters to get insight into why so many voters forgive, or ignore, the scandals that have so far plagued the Trump administration. Using a mixture of reporting, academic research and survey data, the report looks at what people know about politics, how they change their minds and what role race and the urban/rural divide play in identity politics now. Understand these things, and it no longer seems strange that the president’s supporters see the hiring of Michael Flynn, the sacking of James Comey, the conflicts of interest and the president’s apparent affection for authoritarian leaders abroad so differently. President Trump has more latitude with his supporters than a conventional politician. Anyone expecting them to desert him en masse because they do not like his tax plan, or a new health-care law, is likely to be disappointed.
Key survey results:
- Only about 20 percent Americans pay close attention to politics according to the American National Election Survey (ANES) and they tend to the most committed conservatives or liberals.
- 30 perent of the electorate does not have a good sense of where Republicans and Democrats stand on the most fundamental issue of reducing spending or adding more services (ANES).
- In mid-May, 80 percent of Trump voters told YouGov that they see criticism of Mr. Trump as an attack on “people like me”.
- 16 percent of Clinton voters and 24 percent of Trump voters are not sure which party is more conservative according to ANES.
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