Tag Archives: public opinion poll

A new survey shows Trump’s support among Democrats

Summary: A new report by Mercury Analytics explores a new dimension of Trump’s strength, which continues to defy the experts — his appeal to Democrats. Trump has tapped the suppressed force of American populism, which crosses the lines of our low-legitimacy political parties. It’s too late for complacency; he is only 4 steps from winning. It is not too late for action.

Cartoon by Brian Duffy: "Populist", Jan 2014

It is far too early to say for certain, but 2016 might become a realignment election (like 1860 and 1932). More likely it might begin a slower realignment process. The two major examples are 1892-1896 (business interests bought the GOP, crushing populism) and 1964-1968 (the New Deal ends when the GOP abandoned its heritage to welcome southern whites angry at Blacks gaining full civil rights).

Now Trump has accidentally tapped the long-suppressed power of American populism by advocating restrictions on immigration (as the foreign-born population reaches the proportions that sparked the restrictive legislation of 1882-1924). It’s a geyser of enthusiasm that so far has overcome Trump’s large negatives as a candidate (e.g., no governing experience and erratic personality) and the united opposition of the major institutions and both parties — defying the predictions of almost everybody (those who read my August post were not surprised).

One feature of populism seldom mentioned is its bipartisan appeal, rare in this politically polarized era. The Democratic Party owned populism after McKinley crushed William Jennings Bryan in 1892, and then lost that lock after Johnson pushed through the great 1964-68 civil rights bills (populism has a racist component).

Now populism has emerged, and its ability to reach across party lines opens the possibility for the long-expected realignment of the stagnant political structure. That’s been visible — if ignored — in the match-up polls of Hillary vs. Donald (see the latest below), and explored in more detail by this new report by Mercury Analytics. If Trump casts himself as a populist candidate it would dash Democrats’ dream of a united Left triumphing over a divided Right in November.


Mercury Analytics

A blockbuster announcement from Mercury Analytics

Mercury Analytics, a technology-driven consumer research and political polling firm based in Washington, D.C. conducted a survey and ad “dial-test” of Trump’s first campaign spot among a national sample of n=916 “likely voters”. The results show, that if the election were held today, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has the edge, but would be facing a very tough competitor.

Almost 20% of likely Democratic voters would today cross parties and vote for Donald Trump, while only 14% of Republicans would cross parties to vote for Hillary Clinton.

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Trump’s hope: a recession might put him in the White House

Summary: The great and wise believed that Trump was a sideshow fool. Now that he decisively leads in the Republican race, they believe he might get the GOP nomination, but has no chance against Clinton. A simple example shows why that is not correct. If the polls are even roughly accurate, an easily imaginable event could put Trump in the White House.

Trump and motto

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg


  1. The GOP contest: Trump on top.
  2. Hillary vs. Trump: it’s close.
  3. Trump’s hope: a recession.
  4. Conclusions.
  5. More about the Trump revolution.
  6. For More Information.


(1)  The GOP contest: Trump on top

Trump’s ratings have risen despite opposition of the news media and the GOP leadership. Now he has to translate that into votes in the primaries. Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm, has published detailed demographic data about Trump’s supporters. It is quite broad, showing that he has the necessary base. His ability to build the necessary organization remains unknown.

The message of the polls is clear. See the timely and comprehensive data at RealClearPolitics.

GOP presidential poll, 1 Jan 2015

(2)  Hillary vs. Trump

Hillary’s lead over Trump is only slightly larger than these polls’ typical 3 percentage point margin of error with a 95% level of confidence. The most recent three polls show Clinton’s lead as +7%, +2%, and then +1%. This makes the confidence of the great and wise in Hillary’s victory seem exaggerated. The election could be close if Trump builds a campaign machine and just maintains his current strength in the polls. But he might need a lucky break to win…

rump vs. Hillary match-up poll, 1 Jan 2016

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Two scary graphs about the rise of Donald. Fear fascism. Act now.

Summary: Here are two of the most important graphs about America today. They show the rise of Donald. Our experts assure us, as they have since July when Trump began his meteoric rise from 6% to 30%, that he is a flash in the pan — soon to implode. Perhaps he will. But Trump has revealed dark aspects of America, and changed the Republican Party in ways not likely to fade soon.

The GOP candidates (Donald is blue)

GOP Presidential Polls, as of 10 December 2015

(1) The Rise of Donald

After 3 months of fierce attacks on the Donald by the Great and Good of America — by both parties, journalists, political gurus, and academics — the net effect on his support is nil.  Worse, in match-up polls of Trump (red) vs. Clinton (blue), during the past three months he has remained only one to five  percentage points behind her — well able to win if he gets a break or two (e.g., recession, a large terrorist attack on America, a new Clinton scandal).

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Americans trust the military most. 29% are ready for a coup. Ready for fascism?

Summary: Americans’ support for key institutions of the public collapses, as we trust only the military and police. We don’t need to ask Nostradamus; we can easily see the possible consequences — if we thought about it. Internet discussions might not be the only thing that ends with fascism (Godwin’s Law), or some other form of tyranny.

Broken trust

First, the bad news

Gallup’s annual Confidence in Institutions poll shows that Americans’ support for the institutions of the Republic and our elected officials have been falling for generations  (their first poll was 1973) — except for police (the second most trusted) and the military (#1). For details see Gallup warns us to prepare for fascism!

A YouGov poll on September 2-3 confirms these findings, with more detail. Ugly details.

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Hillary is all but anointed as the nominee, but unpopular. It’s how the system runs without us.

Summary:  Hillary is all but crowned as the Democratic nominee for President, yet her low polls numbers suggest that even a moderately strong Republican candidate could defeat her. The Republicans also appear likely to nominate an unpopular candidate. If so, the 2016 will clearly show how our political system runs without us. Plus, public opinion polls provide a mirror into which we can see ourselves — and as a side-effect this polls reveals our gullibility.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

"Hillary for Oligarchy" poster

How does a Republic work if its citizens remain aloof from it politics? America seems likely to provide a demonstration, as November 2016 seems likely to give us a choice between two unpopular candidates. Unpopular to us, that is. America’s stakeholders, the people who run it while we remain on the sidelines, will love them. Today we’ll look at the anointed Democratic front-runner, to see what the polls reveal about her, about us, and about the state of the Republic.

CNN ORC opinion poll


A poll taken May 29 – 31


“Do you favorably regard politician X” goes to the bottom line of electoral politics. The results show Hillary as a polarizing figure, with both high unfavorable and small  “no opinion” levels. The current ratings are among her worst ever since Bil Clinton’s election as President.

May 2015 CNN pollMay 2015 CNN poll

Asking about the qualities that lead to a favorably opinion yields similar results, showing that the roots of her unpopularity are broad and deep.

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Who believes that the Federal government seeks to take over Texas?

Summary:  The Jade Helm military exercise has sparked an urban legend. Polls showing who believes fringe theories act as x-rays illuminating the American polity. Some of the results are expected if alarming. Some are unexpected and hence even more valuable.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Jade Helm


  1. A funny question.
  2. Answer by ideology.
  3. The Evangelicals speak.
  4. The Tea Party speaks.
  5. Answers by age.
  6. Answers by gender.
  7. Answers by preferred candidate.
  8. Conclusions.
  9. For More Information.

(1)  A funny question

The multi-state military exercise known as Jade Helm has aroused an unusually strong reaction among elements of the public. For details see the Wikipedia entry, the Snopes page, and the Washington Post story. These went ballistic when Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas State Guard to monitor it “to ensure that Texans’ safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed during the eight-week training period …”

In response Public Policy Polling® creatively asked an interesting question in a survey done last week. The results are amazing, and become more so when examined more closely.

Public Policy Polling, May 2014

(2) Answer by ideology

A breakdown of the answers by ideology gives a more interesting perspective. This weird theory has believers on both extremes, another example of commonality of thinking among the far Left and Right. The political spectrum is a circle, not a line.

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We have so many wars because we support them. Nothing changes until that changes.

Summary: We have found so many wars, small and large, since WWII that it’s difficult to count them. Since 9/11 we’ve accelerated our game, with our military intervening across the globe. Why are we doing this? The answer is easy to see, as this post shows.   {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Personal note: Years ago I talked with one of the designers of Africom, who told me it would become one of DoD’s growth areas. I thought he was daft. They did 546 military “activities” during 2014.

Bombs for Peace


  1. We’re usually excited about the next war!
  2. We love the war once it starts!
  3. Which is the war party?
  4. The people responsible for this situation.
  5. For More Information.


(1)  We’re usually excited about the next war!

How many Americans supported our military actions before they began? We turn to Gallup to see our history.  Strong support after 9/11 to invade Afghanistan; moderate for Iraq #1; low for Kosovo, Syria and Iraq #2. Gallup described the return to Iraq as “direct military action in Iraq to support the Iraqi government against militants there.”

Gallup polls: support before eachwar

(2)  We love the war once it starts!

Shepherds don’t poll the flock before deciding what to do. Nor do our leaders care about our opinion when starting wars, except with the opposition so strong that we might strike back at the ballot box.

Let’s look at the past 30 years of Americans’ support of wars after our leaders have started them. Strong except for Grenada and Kosovo (over 50%) and Libya (under 50%).  Gallup described our latest intervention as “military action the US is taking in Iraq and Syria against Islamic militants, commonly known as ISIS.” S

Gallup’s surveys show that support varies by how closely the question matches the public’s “hot” button (as carefully produced by propaganda). Pavlov’s dogs responded to a bell, not a buzzer or gong.

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