Friday, August 4, 2017

Why Colorado's Trump supporters hold firm

A version of this was in all editions of the Sky Hi Daily News Aug 9, 2017

The polarization of our media, our tendency to get our news from either liberal or conservative biased outlets and sources, causes some head scratching since we have hard time understanding what the “other side” is thinking.  Those from the liberal viewpoint cannot  understand why 38% of Colorado’s electorate is persisting in supporting  President Trump  since the news  they hear from Washington  is so negative . Conservatives take comfort in that   even if he fails or has not yet undertaken  them, they approve  his efforts on issues important to them. He is channeling their attitudes, enjoying his sticking a finger in the eyes of the establishment, no matter how crudely and unpresidential he acts. They have not lost their faith in him to deliver on issues. My  own conclusion: it will take evidence of the magnitude of the Nixon Watergate tapes to prove Trump’s  Russian ties illegal or a stalled, downward turning economy to shake their faith.

Donald Trump’s job approval  is low which should be troubling for the state GOP.  Hillary Clinton won the state with over a 5% margin and Trump appears even weaker now.  This makes it an uphill climb for them  in future state, Senate, and congressional elections, assuming the outcome would be influenced by Trump’s coattails. That is an assumption Democrats should not rely on, since “all politics are local” and traditional Republican loyalties and values could “trump” Trump.  This is still a purple state trending  bluer.

Per a recent Gallup state by state poll averaging  the first 6 months of his term, Colorado is one of 17 states where Trump’s  job approval rating is below 40%.  In 17 states his job approval rating is above 50%, but the national average is around 40% over the period. Real Clear Politics, a  tilting conservative site that publishes all national polling results,  confirms the national Gallup figures as well. Between 52-56% of those recently polled disapprove of Trump’s job.  Trump  is  now in the low 40’s in the same  rust belt states that gave him his electoral victory. He would lose those states today. An August 2, 2017  Quinnipiac poll shows Trump with 33%  national job approval, but even then 76% of Republicans still approve his job performance. One demographic that has supported him in the past, white voters without a college education, now disapprove of him 50-43%.

The political weekly , The Colorado Politics, published  a story that Trump supporters were holding firm. (July 21, 2017
) . Their team of reporters, including Joey Bunch,   interviewed some  Colorado 2016 Trump supporters to see if and  why they still supported him.  Of those interviewed, most liked  his brash attitude- and his anti-Washington appointments and attacks.  They like where his is going on “religious freedom”,   school choice ; more aggressive military action ; immigration; gun rights; Supreme Court  and cabinet appointments; pro life; anti EPA regulations, rollback of entitlements,  and “getting the ball rolling” on jobs and the economy.  Those interviewed  did not take the Russian connection investigations  seriously and blamed  media coverage for being a distraction.  I noted that of those interviewed repeal/replace Obamacare received no specific mention. A Magellan poll  taken in April  showed similar findings on some issues but revealed  60% Colorado voters would rather have Obamacare fixed, not repealed.


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