LONDON, June 29, 2017 — Observers of Donald Trump’s presidency who hope that American politics will eventually return to normal may face a long wait, according to a new special report from The Economist. Entitled “Trump’s America” and appearing in the July 1 issue of The Economist and online today at www.economist.com/trumpsamerica, the report examines the complexities that shape the voting habits of the American electorate and the forces, both political and cultural, that brought Donald Trump to the US presidency.
US editor John Prideaux spent several weeks in West Virginia, Kansas, Georgia, Alabama and Florida talking to Trump supporters to get insight into why so many voters forgive, or ignore, the scandals that have so far plagued the Trump administration. Using a mixture of reporting, academic research and survey data, the report looks at what people know about politics, how they change their minds and what role race and the urban/rural divide play in identity politics now. Understand these things, and it no longer seems strange that the president’s supporters see the hiring of Michael Flynn, the sacking of James Comey, the conflicts of interest and the president’s apparent affection for authoritarian leaders abroad so differently. President Trump has more latitude with his supporters than a conventional politician. Anyone expecting them to desert him en masse because they do not like his tax plan, or a new health-care law, is likely to be disappointed.
Key survey results:
- Only about 20% Americans pay close attention to politics according to the American National Election Survey (ANES) and they tend to the most committed conservatives or liberals.
- 30% of the electorate does not have a good sense of where Republicans and Democrats stand on the most fundamental issue of reducing spending or adding more services (ANES).
- In mid-May 80% of Trump voters told YouGov that they see criticism of Mr. Trump as an attack on “people like me”.
- 16% of Clinton voters and 24% of Trump voters are not sure which party is more conservative according to ANES.
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With a growing global circulation and a reputation for insightful analysis and perspective on every aspect of world events, The Economist is one of the most widely recognised and well-read current affairs publications. The paper covers politics, business, science and technology, and books and arts, concluding each week with the obituary. In addition to the web-only content such as blogs, debates and audio/video programmes available at economist.com, The Economist is available to download for reading on Android, Blackberry PlayBook, iPhone or iPad devices. The Economist Espresso, our daily briefing smartphone app, is also available for download via iTunes App Store or Google Play.
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SOURCE The Economist