Editor’s Note: This is a response to some recent comments.
I’m feeling bullish.
I’ve been methodically laying out my case based on Pew typology surveys, Voter Study Group reports, shifts in the polls, the resorting of the electorate and the shift of the balance of power in the GOP.
We can start with this recent poll:
78% of the public don’t feel that represented by the two parties.
76% of the public thinks the U.S. economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.
69% of the public thinks the mainstream media is more interested in making money by dialing up outrage than telling the truth.
60% of the public would rather employers hire unemployed Americans rather than immigration.
This is a massive level of brewing disaffection.
Next up, this poll came out a few days ago on American democracy:
This is either a record or near record level of disaffection.
Here is another recent poll on raising the minimum wage. Notice that 32% of Republicans and 54% of Indies support raising the minimum wage.
Here are some recent polls on stimulus checks. A third of Republicans and Indies strongly support recurring $2,000 stimulus checks.
This poll was from last fall: a third of Republicans favored a single government program to provide health insurance.
A quarter of Republicans supported Universal Basic Income:
The Trump wing of the Republican Party is populist on economics:
American Preservationists and Anti-Elites are Trump voters:
In the recent YouGov poll on Trump voters, we see the same breakdown on economics. Look at the trade issue:
Look at the tax issue:
What should the government do?
The Pew Research Center has been tracking the people who became Trump voters for 30 years. They are defined by economic anxiety:
Is there really a huge divide between “Left Populism” and “Right Populism”? If so, it isn’t registering in the polls. It was Donald Trump’s idea to up the ante of the stimulus check debate and force the $2,000 issue. He was able to do that because his own base supports wealth redistribution.
Could a Left Populist pull a Donald Trump and run and win the Republican nomination in 2024? At least a quarter or a third of Republicans are already there and the exodus of wealthy suburbanites and professionals (who are gentrifying the Democrats and transforming them into Rockefeller Republicans) is tipping the scales within the party toward a more working class electorate.
Will the GOP establishment defy gravity and stay afloat forever?
Here are three reasons to be skeptical:
Trump voters are now 70% of the Republican Party.
Wealthy suburbanites who are their base have been leaving the Republican Party thereby steadily shrinking support for their brand of politics.
The Baby Boomers and Silent Generation ceased to be a majority of the electorate in the 2018 midterms. Reaganite voters are dying off and younger voters who own less and less are a growing majority.
So, the resorting of the electorate by class and education, changing demographics within the GOP and an intensification of populism all point to trouble ahead for the Mitch McConnells of the world. Congress is full of dinosaurs who are ripe for a downfall.