Whit Ayres’ comments in the Los Angeles Times on the current political environment and President Trump:
“Rather than voters deciding what they think about abortion or guns or Russia and finding a candidate who fits those views, instead they’re settling on a candidate they like for whatever reason and adopting that candidate’s political views as their own,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran GOP pollster.
“Republicans used to be for free taxes and thought free trade was the best way to generate a growing economy. Now Republicans are against free trade because Donald Trump is against free trade,” he said.
The inclination to see things a certain, preferred way is not new; the polarity of Dartmouth and Princeton football fans showed as much.
But the increasingly adversarial nature of politics, the sorting of America into red and blue sanctuaries, the ability to gorge on self-reinforcing media and never hear a discouraging, or contrary, word seems to have made the phenomenon all the more pronounced.
Neither Hart nor Ayres, who have both spent decades sampling voter opinion, see a change anywhere in the offing.
“At the very least, you’re going to need a president who makes it his or her mission to try to overcome some of the polarization,” Ayres said.
That, of course, assumes he or she could get elected in the first place.
To read the full article, focused on partisanship reinforcing what voters “see,” please click here.