The bad news: More than four in 10 Republicans say they don’t like him, so if he hangs around long enough to be part of a two- or three-man race, he’ll meet some entrenched opposition among voters he’s trying to win over. The good news: His favorable rating, which has been abysmal in some polls, is now net positive in YouGov’s. A month ago, on June 15, they had him at 38/47. Today he’s at 49/43.
Don’t forget to thank the many GOP pols who made all of this possible, says Mickey Kaus, starting with Marco Rubio.
When voters are continually betrayed by those they put in office, they often resort to unapproved methods. I remember when David Duke was almost elected to the Senate from Louisiana in 1990. He got 43% of the vote! Were that many voters racists? I doubt it. Why would they vote for him, then? Well, take one of Duke’s issues, welfare. For decades, conservative voters had supported politicians who promised to cut welfare, end welfare, support workfare instead of welfare–only to see welfare spread to cover more of the population. Voters didn’t understand there were children on welfare! Recipients had “barriers to employment”! You couldn’t expect them to work! Etc.
Louisiana voters may have figured, “Everyone we elect sells out on this issue. But this guy Duke’s a f**king racist maniac! At least he won’t sell out.” Wackiness and bigotry became markers for “he means business.”
A similar, though less extreme, dynamic is clearly working in favor of Donald Trump.** Republican voters have sent lots of politicians to Washington who promise to get tough on border control and wind up supporting amnesty within about 35 minutes of their arrival. Marco Rubio, come on down!
Lotta truth to that. Are you sure President Trump won’t be suckered into a Rubio-esque amnesty 35 minutes after he’s sworn in, though? Here’s a choice bit from last night’s interview with Anderson Cooper:
TRUMP: I would do something very, very strong. Number one I wouldn’t think about anything until I built a wall. Impenetrable. There will be nobody coming in to this country illegally. That’s number one. Number two, I will get ones that are criminals, drug dealers, and the people that are forced in by Mexico and you know exactly what I am talking about, because Mexico is smarter, and sharper, and more cunning, and frankly, have much better negotiators than we have. And I would get ones that are forced in by the country of Mexico, into our country. Forced in, those people would get out and they get out fast. The rest I would be looking at very seriously. But I will–
COOPER: When you say looking at seriously would there be a pathway to citizenship or I mean, you are talking 11 million at the very least.
TRUMP: It is too early for me to say. And when you say citizenship, the most we would be talking about was legal. But let me just tell you before I even think about that. We have to build a, we have to build a wall, a real wall. Not a wall that people walk through.
So, a path to legalization potentially — the same thing Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz support, and a solution that’s destined to lead to citizenship once legalization is achieved and illegals are no longer removable. Even the GOP’s loudest anti-illegal voice won’t commit to Romney-style “self-deportation” this time around. Huh.
As for Trump’s claim yesterday that he’ll win the Latino vote if nominated, let’s check today’s crosstabs to see how that’s going. YouGov polled people on how favorably they view each of the 16 GOP candidates now in the race. Excluding Trump, the least popular Republican with Hispanics would be Chris Christie, who’s viewed somewhat unfavorably by 25 percent and very unfavorably by 19 percent for a total of 44 percent. Right behind Christie at 43 percent are Rick Perry (20 percent somewhat unfavorably and 23 percent very unfavorably), presumably for his vocal support for better immigration enforcement during last year’s border crisis, and Marco Rubio(!) (21/22). Trump’s numbers, though, dwarf all of theirs:
Hispanics aren’t his worst group — he’s viewed “very unfavorably” by more than 60 percent of blacks, probably because of his “where’s the birth certificate?” shtick — but his 28/61 split among Latinos is easily the worst in the GOP field. In particular, his 51 percent “very unfavorable” rating is more than twice as bad as the next most unpopular Republican with Latinos (Rick Santorum at 25 percent). That’s why Reince Priebus and the RNC wanted to make sure the media knows that he’d phoned Trump and asked him to tone down his immigration rhetoric. Priebus realizes Trump won’t listen to him, he just wants it on record that the party’s trying to get him to stop so that Latinos won’t hold their hard feelings towards Trump against the rest of the party. Think it’ll work? Watch the new ad from the DNC below, which conveniently omits the fact that every last Republican running this year with the possible exception of Trump is prepared to grant illegals some form of legalization once the border is “secure.”
Exit question via Jim Geraghty: Do Trump and his fans even want to persuade others?