Vox article about Donald Trump and populism
The reader “dsgntd_plyr” mentioned this Vox article about Donald Trump and populism in a comment.
The takeaways from the article are:
1. Social Security is extremely popular. 93.7% of the people think that Social Security benefits should be kept the same or increased. Even with voters who are registered Republicans, Social Security is extremely popular. Support a decrease in Social Security benefits is a loser position (with respect to winning elections).
Let me digress and say something about “socialism.” The word “socialism” is often used to scare Republican voters, but the reality is that the majority of Republican voters like socialism once they are used to it, and it’s a socialism that benefits working middle-class people (i.e. people who do the right things) with no strings attached. I am sure that Republican voters would also come to like government-paid healthcare, especially if it were less complicated and confusing than Obamacare. (Although from the perspective of Republican elites, complicated and confusing is a feature that they can use to attack the whole concept of government-paid healthcare.)
2. Immigration is not as popular with regular people as it is with elites. 43.4% of people want to decrease immigration and only 14.3% want to increase it. As the article shows, among Republican voters who the author of the article does not classify as “business Republicans,” there is strong opposition to immigration.
3. Thus Donald Trump, who says that he wants to reduce immigration but maintain social security, is in line with a strong plurality (if not a majority, that’s not clear) of Republican primary voters. Jeb Bush, who scares voters with proposals like making the retirement age higher (which is really a reduction of benefits) is not saying what the majority of voters want to hear. And of course, we know that Jeb Bush’s pro-amnesty position for illegal immigrants is definitely not what Republican voters want to hear. No wonder why Bush has only single digit support in the polls.
When will party elites realize that Bush is a doomed favorite son and pick someone else? And who will they pick? Only Ben Carson and Donald Trump have strong polling strength right now.