Driving Home the Wedge

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The “Double Disapprovers”

Politico, Trump is getting trounced among a crucial constituency: The haters: In 2016, Donald Trump cleaned up among voters who disliked him and Hillary Clinton. This year, Biden is winning big among the comparable group.

Politico’s headline writer was waxing a little too exuberant. The article speaks of voters who, when presented with a binary approve/disapprove choice, pick “disapprove” both for Trump and Biden. (You can “disapprove” with or without “hatred.”)

Like other recent articles, the Politico piece informs us that the double disapprovers are currently breaking strong for Biden—the opposite of what happened with Clinton versus Trump in 2016.

The Weak Trump “Approvers”

The Democratic Strategist, How Democrats Can Drive a Wedge into Trump’s Coalition

David Edward Burke, Why Joe Biden Should Reach Out to “McCain Republicans”: He might not get their votes but he’ll drive a wedge right through the GOP.

These two pieces address a different group of voters: people within the 40-44 percent who say they “approve” Trump, but who find him very offputting.

Of the Trump approvers, The Democratic Strategist thinks that two thirds are hard core, and will never change their minds. There is no use at all in talking to them. Interestingly, according to him, some have drunk the Kool-Aid and some have not: the latter are utterly cynical in their utilitarian “approval” of Trump. Makes no nevermind. They’re going to vote for Trump, come hell or high water.

That leaves another one third of Trump “approvers” who, according to the upper case Strategist, are weaker in their support. They still care deeply about low taxes or about fetuses or about conservative judges. They probably aren’t going to vote Democratic under any circumstances. At the same time, they are deeply concerned about Trump’s corrupt character, his lack of patriotism, his contempt for the American system of government, and his fundamental lack of decency.

One might add to that list: his utter incompetence in a crisis.

You won’t get many of these folks to vote for Biden, but, with the right message, you might get them to just stay home. For example, remind them often about how Trump treated McCain.