The most surprising number here, actually, is how unpopular Kanye was among Democrats even before he went full MAGA. I can understand them turning against him once he put his Trump cap on, just as I can understand Republicans gaining newfound appreciation for him because of it. Especially since Trump’s been tweeting about him too.
But why were they anti-Kanye three years ago? Today he’s at 13/68 among Dems; in 2015 he was at 17/64. Basically no difference. The guy told the country during a nationally televised telethon that George W. Bush didn’t care about black people. What more can a liberal ask of him?
He’s at 34/43 among Republicans today, up from 11/74(!) in 2015. You don’t see many people gain 54 net points in their favorable rating very often, particularly when we’re measuring celebrities and polling right-wing audiences. When you tweak the sample to ask people their feelings on Kanye based on how they voted in 2016, the left/right divide becomes even starker.
To break that down for you, that’s nine percent of Clinton voters who are strongly or somewhat favorable of West (and 74 percent who are strongly or somewhat unfavorable) versus 36 percent of Trump voters who are strongly or somewhat favorable (and 40 percent who are strongly or somewhat unfavorable). Basically, Hillary fans now hate Kanye almost as much as they hate Trump while Trump voters are at about break-even on him. Assuming that most of Kanye’s fans lean Democratic, that means either Kim Kardashian is the new breadwinner in the family or Kanye had better invent the genre of country-rap and tour only red states in the future.
Relatedly, the Daily Caller made an interesting catch in a different new poll, this one from Reuters:
A poll taken on April 22, 2018 had Trump’s approval rating among black men at 11 percent, while the same poll on April 29, 2018 pegged the approval rating at 22 percent. It should be noted that Reuters only sampled slightly under 200 black males each week and slightly under 3,000 people overall…
Black males were also far more likely to say that they had “mixed feelings” about the president. On the 22nd, 1.5 percent said they had mixed feelings, while 7.1 percent said the same on the 29th.
Maybe that’s a “Kanye dividend” for Trump thanks to his Twitter lovefest with West on April 25. Or maybe it’s a Korea-summit dividend, part of a national trend. An 11-point jump is a big jump, though, for a foreign-policy development in which the United States isn’t directly involved (yet).
And so maybe it’s time for a different kind of peace summit:
The White House is exploring plans to host multiple summits on race between prominent athletes and artists and President Donald Trump, according to the outside adviser spearheading the effort…
[Pastor Darrell] Scott said the summits would be open to artists and athletes of all backgrounds and political persuasions. He added that “of course” West would be invited and that he was in the process of reaching out to the artist through an intermediary.
What America really needs is a Trump/LeBron summit to heal the pain from last year’s “unpleasantness.” Watching Kanye’s numbers soar among righties after a few days of flattery about Trump, I wonder if Trump himself would have had a tougher time catching on in 2015 if Republican voters regularly got more love from celebrities. Righties love to posture about hating Hollywood elites (shut up and sing, etc) but any time a B- or C-lister murmurs something sympathetic about them it’s news. It’s been said many times of Trump himself that part of his populism comes from the fact that no matter how much money he makes and how famous he gets, the left-leaning elite class looks down its nose at him. (Most famously at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, which allegedly inspired him to make his mark politically and show ’em.) I think there’s something to that on the broader right. A little more validation from Kanye and comrades in the entertainment industry and maybe GOP voters wouldn’t have savored the validation they got from Trump as much. Or maybe not: They’d still want a 30-foot wall on the Mexican border, right? Well, only one Republican was going to promise them that.
Speaking of celebrities showing affection to Trumpers, your exit quotation from Roseanne Barr: “@kanyewest is telling the truth about Rahm’s Chicago. Ppl do not want to hear the truth-that Chicago could be a better city for its citizens, but the establishment is corrupted.” She’ll regret saying that when she’s running against Kanye in the Republican primaries in 2024.