As House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are working to pass a GOP establishment healthcare bill, a recent focus group of President Donald Trump’s core supporters in Michigan shows how dangerous it could be for Trump to align himself and be associated with Messrs. Ryan and McConnell.
Stanley Greenberg, former President Bill Clinton’s top pollster, recently went to Macomb County, Michigan—where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 12 percentage points in 2016—to interview white working-class voters who supported President Barack Obama before voting for Trump. These “Reagan Democrats” represent the heart and soul of Trump’s coalition, and Franklin Foer, who accompanied Greenberg on the trip, details some of his observations from Greenberg’s focus group in this month’s Atlantic magazine.
What stood out to Foer was how much voters in Macomb County hated Ryan and McConnell and worried that Trump might align with establishment Republicans:
Concerns about Trump’s temperament did nothing to dislodge the participants’ support—the connection these voters felt with Trump was personal and deep—but the fact that he might align with traditional Republicans annoyed them to no end. (The groups reacted angrily when shown photos of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. People described them as “shifty” and “for the upper class.”) What many Macomb voters value about Trump is that he represents an unaligned force in American politics. That’s the very quality that in earlier election cycles led them to Obama.
Read Foer’s piece here.