Will Trump Maintain Republican Support?

Jeet Heer writing for New Republic thinks yes:

These numbers make clear why a large chuck of Trump’s base won’t object to a budget that punitively targets the poor. Most of his voters are not poor, but regular old Republicans, for whom the budget released Thursday is just the latest version of policies they’ve supported since the Reagan era.

To be sure, some of Trump’s white working class supporters might become disillusioned once they realize the consequences of his policies. But it’s just as likely that they’ll be pleased, as will Trump’s larger coalition, by the restrictionist and isolationist aspects of his agenda, like his targeting of Muslim immigrants and plan to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Trump’s gamble, if indeed this is a witting strategy, is that he can hold his base together on a shared support for ethno-nationalism, with the bulk of economic benefits going to well-to-do Republicans. So far, to judge by the even keel of his poll numbers, his bet is working. This might change when Trump’s economic policies move from the realm of proposals to actual policies that affect everyday lives. But for now, the argument that Trump is betraying his base is just a rhetorical meme that has little bearing on how his voters feel about him.


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