Will We Occupy the Vote?

A few days ago, FiveThirtyEight was trying to throw a little water on the Donald Trump buzz in, Donald Trump Is Really Unpopular With General Election Voters

 … Most Americans just really don’t like the guy.

Contra Rupert Murdoch’s assertion about Trump having crossover appeal, Trump is extraordinarily unpopular with independent voters and Democrats. Gallup polling conducted over the past six weeks found Trump with a -27-percentage-point net favorability rating among independent voters, and a -70-point net rating among Democrats; both marks are easily the worst in the GOP field. (Trump also has less-than-spectacular favorable ratings among his fellow Republicans.)

A coworker questions whether the polls are accurate about this. He doesn’t think people are going to admit to a pollster that they like Trump, even if they do think he might do a good job, any more than they would admit to disliking minorities, even if they do think minorities deserve what they get.

In a chat format, FiveThirtyEight today asks, Is the Bernie Surge Real?

micah: Are you all surprised that Sanders has gotten this close?

clare.malone: I don’t think it’s really all that surprising. I actually think, as crazy as it might sound, that Donald Trump and Sanders are trying to appeal to similar forces fomenting in the American population; people are frustrated with the way things are going, they are skeptical of big institutions (banks!), and they want to see a different kind of leadership. Of course, Trump’s way of courting this is instilling fear in people, and Sanders’s way of courting this is righteous, idealistic governmental revolution. They’re both populist movements, albeit with undertones of authoritarianism in one.

Nate and the other chatters thought the Bern surge was still hypothetical but I think Malone is spot on. I agree that the populist movements are influencing the election – in different ways, of course.

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