Focus Group: Obama/Trump Voters Aren’t Going Back
After the 2016 election, Democrats were surprised by the fact that many of the Great Lakes region voters who pulled the lever for Donald Trump had been Barack Obama voters only four years earlier. But if the gameplan from that point forward was to pull these persuadable voters back into the fold, Democrats have done anything but. Indeed, with impeachment looming large over Washington, all Democrats have done is make sure that these Obama/Trump voters are never, ever coming back.
According to a Engagious/FPG focus group session in Saginaw, Michigan last week, “swing voters who voted for Barack Obama and then Donald Trump are firmly in Trump’s camp now – and they’re sick of impeachment.”
The big picture:
These voters hate the fact that House Democrats are moving toward impeaching the president. They call it a distraction from the issues that would actually improve their lives, like preserving Social Security, cracking down on illegal immigration, and keeping jobs in the U.S.
“I think she’s wasting a lot of [taxpayer] money on a ghost chase,” said Chad Y., a 43-year-old Obama/Trump voter, of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The money she’s spending on that could go to help the homeless or go towards health care.”
Another participant, 73-year-0ld Michael G., said Democrats’ focus is in the wrong direction. “Instead of working on policies and things that will help the people, they are just working to basically preserve their own position … [T]hey don’t really care about you and [me], I don’t think.”
Between the lines: These voters aren’t sick of Trump’s antics like other swing voters we’ve talked with, and they don’t feel a sense that things need to get back to “normal” — because Trump is their new normal.
A focus group of ten voters obviously doesn’t constitute a scientific sample…but it’s not the kind of thing Democrats can completely dismiss, either.
For one thing, it runs exactly in line with the political wisdom that made Nancy Pelosi so reluctant to pursue impeachment in the first place. For another, it matches up with recent polls from the region, which show that Democrats have yet to convince anyone at all that Trump needs to be thrown out of office. Three – well, it just makes sense. Why would people who voted in good faith for Trump three years ago want to now vote for the party trying to invalidate the election? Especially when the president they chose is presiding over one of the most powerful economies in American history?
Theoretically, all Democrats needed to do was find a candidate who would be willing to correct Hillary Clinton’s mistakes. Dispense with the coastal arrogance, go into these Rust Belt towns, and preach a message of economic vitality and resurgence.
Instead, they’ve become the Party of the Bubble, and everything they do seems geared towards pleasing the readers of the NY Times Opinion page. We don’t doubt they’ll win Manhattan in a landslide. Hopefully, that’s the sort of thing that can comfort them during Trump’s second term.