“The poll, conducted by the Times and Siena College, found that “majorities of Republicans side with Mr. Trump on almost every issue” but “those majorities are often quite slim.”
To tease out more who makes up the modern conservative electorate, the Times divided Republican and Republican-leaning voters into six categories, defined by their feelings about the former and would-be-future president as well as their policy positions:
The Moderate Establishment (14%). Highly educated, affluent, socially moderate or even liberal and often outright Never Trump.
The Traditional Conservatives (26%). Old-fashioned economic and social conservatives who oppose abortion and prefer corporate tax cuts to new tariffs. They don’t love Mr. Trump, but they do support him.
The Right Wing (26%). They watch Fox News and Newsmax. They’re “very conservative.” They’re disproportionately evangelical. They believe America is on the brink of catastrophe. And they love Mr. Trump more than any other group.
The Blue Collar Populists (12%). They’re mostly Northern, socially moderate, economic populists who hold deeply conservative views on race and immigration. Not only do they back Mr. Trump, but he himself probably counted as one a decade ago.
The Libertarian Conservatives (14%). These disproportionately Western and Midwestern conservatives value small government. They’re relatively socially moderate and isolationist, and they’re on the lower end of Trump support compared with other groups.
The Newcomers (8%). They don’t look like Republicans. They’re young, diverse and moderate. But these disaffected voters like Democrats and the “woke” left even less.”
The “right wing” and the “blue collar populists”—which make up a combined 37 percent—are loyal Trump supporters. The others in the coalition have more mixed or even negative views of Trump.”
“the best evidence typically points toward identity-based explanations: Racial and cultural conflicts are far, far more important than the kind of economic alienation Brooks wants to highlight. This is true not only in the United States but in other countries facing similar challenges from far-right populist movements — important comparison points that Brooks entirely leaves out.
Brooks’s column makes some important points, particularly about the flaws in the American economic model. But it’s one thing to point out those flaws, and another thing to posit that (as a matter of fact) they are behind the great divides in our politics — when in fact they are not.”
“A 2022 paper by two political scientists, Kristin Lunz Trujillo and Zack Crowley, examined this theory explicitly: testing a sense of political and cultural alienation (what they call “symbolic” concerns) versus a sense of economic deprivation in predicting rural voter support for Trump.
They found that “only the symbolic subdimensions of rural consciousness positively and significantly correlate with Trump support.” If anything, they found, rural voters who feel more economically deprived are less likely to vote for Trump than their peers.
Similarly, a 2020 paper found that Trump supporters in poorer areas tend to be the “locally affluent whites:” people whose incomes might not put them in the national one percent, but who are doing a fair sight better than others in the same zip code. Think plumbers and auto dealers, not laid-off factory workers.”
“Let me propose an alternative theory — one that aligns much better with the available evidence than the economic anxiety idea.
This story starts with the late 20th-century revolution in social values: the end of segregation, mass nonwhite immigration, feminist challenges to patriarchy, a decline in traditional Christianity, and the rise of the LGBTQ movement. This revolution has transformed America at fundamental levels: the kinds of people who hold positions of power, the ideas that command cultural respect, and even the kinds of food Americans eat and languages they speak in public.
For millions of Americans, these changes made them feel unmoored from their country— “strangers in their own land,” as the sociologist Arlie Hochschild put it. Whether because of pure bigotry or a more diffuse sense of cultural alienation from the mainstream, a large number of Americans came to believe that they are losing America. For historical reasons owing largely to the legacy of the civil rights movement, these voters became concentrated in the Republican party — forming at least a plurality of its primary electorate. The election of Barack Obama, a self-described “Black man with a funny name,” pushed their sense of social alienation to the breaking point.
This cultural anxiety created room for Trump, who rode this group’s collective resentments to control of the Republican party. It is not the only reason he won the presidency — in a close election like 2016, a million different things likely made the difference — but it is the most important reason why he has maintained a lock on the Republican party for the better part of a decade.
We know this, primarily, because social scientists have been testing the theory since 2016 — and comparing it with Brooks’s preferred explanations rooted in resentment at a rigged economic game. Again and again, the cultural theory has won out.”
“in 2018, a trio of scholars used survey data to compare explanations of Trump support based on racism, sexism, and a sense of economic alienation. The former two are far more powerful predictors than the latter, almost entirely explaining Trump’s surge in support among white non-college voters. “Controlling for racism and sexism effectively restores the education gap among whites to what it had been in every election since 2000,” they write.
A 2018 report from the Voter Study Group, authored by pollster Robert Griffin and political scientist John Sides, tested what they called the “prevailing narrative” of the 2016 election that “focused heavily on the economic concerns of [the white working class].” They found that typical methods of measuring economic distress were flawed and that more precise measurements show little effect on the 2016 outcome. “Instead,” they write, “attitudes about race and ethnicity were more strongly related to how people voted.”
A 2018 paper by Alan Abramowitz and Jennifer McCoy, two leading political scientists, tested correlations between white voters’ favorable views of Hillary Clinton and Trump and a battery of different variables. What they found, at this point, shouldn’t surprise you.
“After party identification, racial/ethnic resentment was by far the strongest predictor of relative ratings of Trump and Clinton — the higher the score on the racial/ethnic resentment scale, the more favorably white voters rated Trump relative to Clinton,” they write. “The impact of the racial/ethnic resentment scale was much stronger than that of any of the economic variables included in the analysis, including opinions about free trade deals and economic mobility.”
These are three studies from a single year. There are dozens of other papers, reports, and even entire books coming to similar conclusions. These studies don’t explain everything about Trump or Republican support — such as the party’s recent gains among Black and especially Latino voters — but they do an excellent job answering the question that Brooks poses in his column: Why does Trump maintain such a hard core of support despite everything that he’s done?”
“In state after state, fast-growing, traditionally liberal college counties like Dane are flexing their muscles, generating higher turnout and ever greater Democratic margins. They’ve already played a pivotal role in turning several red states blue — and they could play an equally
“Over the past year and a half, eight Republican-led states quit a nonpartisan program designed to keep voter rolls accurate and up to date.
Top Republican election officials in those states publicly argued the program was mismanaged. The conspiracy theorists who cheered them on falsely insisted it was a front for liberals to take control of elections.
But experts say the program, known as the Electronic Registration Information Center, was among the best nationwide tool states had to catch people trying to vote twice in the same election. Now, those Republican-led states who left — and other states who lost access to their data — are scrambling to police so-called “double voters” ahead of the presidential election in 2024.”
“Progressives — and other members of Thailand’s pro-democracy opposition parties — scored a stunning victory in the country’s elections.., dealing a major blow to military-backed incumbents. Their overwhelming success, which came as a shock to political observers of the region, indicated that Thai voters are interested in a change from the current military-led regime and sent a significant message in favor of a more representative government.
The progressive Move Forward Party, led by Pita Limjaroenrat, is projected to win 151 seats in the House — the highest of any group — while the populist opposition party Pheu Thai, aligned with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will likely win 141 seats. Collectively, the two parties will now hold at least 292 of 500 seats in the House.”
“The military has long had a hold on Thai politics, a grip only strengthened by military coups in 2006 and 2014. That latter coup was led by current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who ushered in a new constitution that gave the military unprecedented power over government. One of those post-coup reforms threatens Move Forward’s coalition: 376 members of parliament are needed to elect a new prime minister, and the 250-person Senate was appointed by the military.
Move Forward said Monday that several parties have agreed to join its governing coalition, giving it control of 309 of parliament’s 500 seats. That leaves Pita Limjaroenrat 67 votes short of the majority needed to become prime minister. It’s unclear whether the Senate will work to cobble together a military-aligned minority government, or split its support between the two factions.”
“Utah is one of at least 14 states that have passed new laws this year aimed at placing restrictions on transgender individuals — typically trans kids, specifically — as well as their parents and health care providers, including sports bans, bans against gender-affirming care and laws requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they were assigned at birth.”
“it’s not just Utah: Residents in other states that have passed laws restricting transgender kids’ access to health care, sports and other resources also seem to largely support the legislation.”
“Historically, endorsements have proven pretty predictive of who wins presidential nominating contests. Since the modern primary era began in 1972, there have been 17 Democratic or Republican primary fights that did not feature an incumbent president. The candidate with the most endorsement points3 on the day before the Iowa caucuses won 11. That’s a better track record than polls have at the same point in the election: Since 1972, the leader in national polls4 on the day before Iowa has won the nomination just 10 out of 17 times.
Twelve of those 17 times, the same candidate led in both endorsements and polls. And of those 12, nine times the candidate won. But the five times that the endorsements and polls disagreed, the endorsement leader won twice, and the polling leader won only once. The other two times, a third candidate won.
It’s a small sample size, but endorsements have an even stronger track record when you filter out the years when the endorsement leader didn’t have all that many endorsements. For example, when the endorsement leader has earned at least 15 percent of the total estimated available endorsement points by the day before the Iowa caucuses,5 that candidate has won their party’s nomination nine out of 10 times. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2008 is the only exception.”
“A bipartisan behind-the-scenes organization that helps states maintain their voter rolls is facing an uncertain future, after several Republican-led states left the group.
The board of the Electronic Registration Information Center — or ERIC — met on Friday, as the remaining members of the organization try to chart the organization’s path following the high-profile departures of Florida, West Virginia and Missouri earlier this month. Some officials fear more states are eyeing the door.
The division roiling ERIC is just the latest example of a previously apolitical organization involved in fostering cooperation on the mechanics of running elections, finding life a lot more dramatic in the post-Trump world. At risk: the upending of the backbone of the nation’s electoral system.”
““States claim they want to combat illegal voting and clean voter rolls — but then leave the best and only group capable of detecting double voting across state lines,””