All my friends hate Trump

This was a pretty interesting Pew analysis last week about how constricted our social circles are.  One of the fun parts about being at a big wedding this past weekend was being exposed to a lot more diversity in political views than I am used to in my usual social circles.  Though, being a very-educated crowd, no matter how Republican they were, it was hard to find much, if any, enthusiastic support for Trump.  Anyway, back to Pew:

In an increasingly contentious presidential campaign, just a quarter of voters who support Donald Trump in the general election say they have a lot or some close friends who are supporters of Hillary Clinton. Even fewer Clinton backers (18%) say they have at least some friends who support Trump.

Nearly half of Clinton supporters (47%), and 31% of Trump supporters, say they have no close friends who support the opposing candidate.

It depends upon how one defines close friends, but as for me, I do have a few (not many) close friends who are Republicans but I don’t think (hope) any of them actually support Trump.  That’s what happens from having educated close friends.  Now, as for close stepmothers…

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Trump’s bold new economic plan!

Riiiiiight.  As Drum points out, it is mostly a huge giveaway to the rich and something that Romney or McCain would have been 90% comfortable with.  Lower taxes for rich people and less government regulation, and boom, watch the US economy grow!  It only it were that simple.

And, please, spare me all the horrible media coverage of this marking a “reboot,” “reset,” or re-whatever for Trump.  The idea that instead of attacking a Gold-star family or sending infantile insults on twitter Trump manages to deliver a semi-serious speech and it’s a whole new Trump all of a sudden.  We’ve played this game before.  It ends up with Trump going back to stupidity and demagoguery because that’s what Trump is.  And, even if he (unbelievably) exhibits actual self-control till November, that means he just finally figured out how to fake it.  The American public already has more than ample evidence about the real Trump.  Anyway, Drum on the economic proposals:

Here are the pieces that caught my eye:

  • Huge tax cut for the rich.
  • But no spending cuts that he’s willing to admit to.
  • End of estate taxes.
  • Cut corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
  • Allow corporations to repatriate foreign earnings at a special 10 percent rate.
  • Declare China a currency manipulator, even though their currency is currentlyovervalued, not undervalued. A market rate for the renminbi would make Chinese imports even cheaper.
  • Slash regulations on corporations.
  • Pretend global warming doesn’t exist.
  • Ban all new financial regulation.
  • Repeal Obamacare.
  • Implement a childcare tax deduction instead of a tax credit.
  • He will work with Ivanka on a childcare plan. Because, I guess, Ivanka has kids, so she’s an expert on the problems that low-income workers have with childcare.

This is not exhaustive, and most of the speech was just the usual tired Republican orthodoxy. Mitt Romney could have given 90 percent of it. There was also a lot of random guff about how disastrous the economy is; how the unemployment rate is a hoax; and how American energy, planes, cars, steel, and so forth will employ way more American workers once Trump becomes president.

You bet. As near as I can tell, literally every single one of his proposals above would benefit the rich and do virtually nothing for the working and middle classes. But he sure knows how to put a populist spin on giveaways to the rich, doesn’t he?

In ain’t over, but…

things are sure looking good for Hillary Clinton.

Nate Cohn on the latest polls.  This, to me, is the key bit:

Part of the reason Mrs. Clinton’s bounce seems more likely to last is that it seems to be coming from greater party unity: growing support from Bernie Sanders’s backers. The Marist poll showed Mrs. Clinton with the support of 90 percent of his voters, while a CNN poll gave her 91 percent. These numbers had usually been in the 60s or 70s.

That’s a pretty damn unified Democratic party.  Republicans are nowhere close.  Even if they closet that gap and more Republicans fall in line, these are the kinds of numbers with which Hillary Clinton wins the election.  And, there’s little reason to think the Democrats she’s won over will be abandoning her.

Mrs. Clinton’s support appears to be underpinned by her improving image among Democratic-leaning voters, according to Gallup data. She could still lose some of those voters to third-party candidates, but Mr. Trump faces similar risks.

 These gains have allowed Mrs. Clinton to move up to around 47 or 48 percent of the vote in recent polls. This is not an especially impressive tally, but for that same reason it seems reasonable to expect she could keep it: She’s not winning the support of a huge number of voters whom you would expect to abandon her.

At the same time, the unusually large number of voters considering a third-party candidate make Mrs. Clinton’s tallies seem likelier to be enough to win…

Mr. Trump, on the other hand, faces the opposite issue. His support has plummeted: In fact, he didn’t even breach 40 percent in any of the national surveys that were released on Wednesday or Thursday…

Polls conducted a few weeks after the conventions have proved to begenerally accurate. They’re not perfect, but no modern presidential candidate who has trailed a few weeks after the conventions has gone on to win the popular vote. Mr. Trump is in serious danger of needing to be the first candidate to pull it off — with more baggage weighing him down, for good measure.

And Harry Enten on the persistence of Clinton’s post-convention bounce:

Hillary Clinton’s polling surge is showing no signs of fading. She leads Donald Trump, on average, by about 7 percentage points in national polls, and is an 83-percent favorite to win on Nov. 8, according to our polls-only model. Our polls-plus model — which accounts for the “fundamentals,” as well as the tendency for a candidate’s numbers to temporarily rise after his or her convention — gives her a 76 percent chance. Those are her largest advantages since we launched our election forecasts back in June.

Yes, her bounce could still very well fade.  But now there’s a lot of room to fade and still be in the lead.

Importantly, the media dynamic is very much against Trump.  And I don’t mean media bias, but the templates that reporters use to cover elections are such that all the Republican criticism against Trump represents a huge problem.  Jonathan Bernstein:

In a normal election when both parties are united behind their nominee, voters will hear one message for months: that people like themselves, including the politicians they like, are supporting one candidate, while people they normally dislike or disagree with are backing the other one. Whether voters consider themselves partisans or not, that message pushes them in the “correct” direction — to the candidate of the party they normally support.

Conventions are especially powerful in sending such signals because they dominate the news for a few days at least, drowning out the voices of the opposing party.  Even after the convention, that message can be strong — if the party is united, that is.

The muddier things are, however, the less likely voters will be pushed in the “correct” direction.

This is probably a big part of what has given Clinton a solid lead in the polls right now. The Democrats are united and sound united, while Republicans clearly are not.

When something goes wrong for Clinton, most highly visible Democrats will speak out in support or keep their mouths shut. By contrast, when something goes wrong for Donald Trump, Republican responses are all over the place, with many condemning whatever it is he said. 

And the media’s preference for man-bites-dog over dog-bites-man stories means that the news about a Republican operative endorsing Clinton will receive far more coverage than dozens of Republican elected officials endorsing Trump. [emphasis mine]

Yes!  This is important stuff.  And there’s really no reason to see this dynamic to change.  At this point it is hard to see what causes Democrats to abandon Clinton.  And, I believe that the longer and more consistently Trump trails in the polls and looks to be the likely loser the more and higher profile Republican defections we’ll get, heightening this already negative dynamic for Trump.

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