Trump Loses the Joe Scarborough Republicans
In my last post we looked at Rush Limbaugh’s reaction to Trump’s press conference yesterday. Rush of course, loved it, and of course, Trump is justifying his presser by saying ‘But look at what Rush Limbaugh says.’
Thank you for all of the nice statements on the Press Conference yesterday,” Trump tweeted. “Rush Limbaugh said one of greatest ever. Fake media not happy!”
Limbaugh, the conservative talk radio host, described the press conference as “one of the most effective press conferences I have ever seen.”
“The press is going to hate him even more after this. Don’t misunderstand,” he said. “When I say effective, I’m talking about rallying people who voted for him to stay with him.”
Yes, but, how big is Trump’s base? He got 45% of the popular vote but about 10 to 15% of that was soft support. It was voters who had a negative view of both him and Trump.
A key part of the normalization of Trump in 2016 was the abnormalization of Hillary Clinton-to use an excellent coinage of Jonathan Chait’s.
The Joe Scarborough Republicans have real worries about Trump but didn’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. These were long time GOP voters who wanted some way to excuse or rationalize voting for someone in their heart they knew was qualified for the job.
Enter James Comey. His letter on October 28, 2016, gave cover to those guilty Republican voters who knew they shouldn’t vote for Trump but the constant demonization of Hillary Clinton-the magnifying of her every minor blemish-gave them space to kid themselves that Hillary was just as bad if not worse than Donald Trump.
Trump certainly made the Rush Limbaugh Republicans but not the Joe Scarborough conservatives. From what they were saying on Morning Joe, there were Senate Republicans who watched that performance yesterday and are themselves wondering how long Trump is sustainable. He is so far out of touch with reality.
To the point almost of 2+2=5. What he said-that he had the most EC votes since Reagan-was just as bald a lie.
Regarding the Comey letter much has been said-though plenty more remains.
Nate Silver puts it this way: had the election happened on October 27, it’s very likely Hillary would be President.
Another piece of data underscores this: favorability. Hillary’s had been upside down all election, but it had been improving in late September and October when it fell from -15 to -7 in RCP. After the Comey letter, it spiked back up to about -15.
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