Dick Morris: Voters Moving Right While Democrats Moving Left


Over the past five months, President Donald Trump’s ratings, according to the moving average, have flipped from 38-58 to 44-52 — a growth of six points in approval and a drop of six points in disapproval.

It would be easy — and wrong — to dismiss this change as the mere fluctuation of polling or margin of error. No way. Considering the enormous polarization of opinion Trump has engendered — and the intensity with which those who disapprove hate him — it is remarkable that 6 percent have come over from a negative to a positive view of the man. They had a very long distance to travel.

But 6 percent have jumped the wide synapse and now like Trump — a conclusion they would have found unthinkable five months ago.

And the polls that break down approval and disapproval to indicate the depth of the sentiment — (i.e. strong approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strong disapprove) — report that most of the 6 percent have gone from strong disapproval to strong approval, bypassing the “somewhat” ratings in between. A great many have gone from hate all the way to love.

This change is not a blip. It represents a change in worldview, a conversion of sorts.

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It is akin to the kind of sea change that followed Ronald Reagan’s and Margaret Thatcher’s early years when their policies so obviously worked better than those of their liberal predecessors.

This kind of change has a way of lasting. Of sticking. Particularly as the economy improves and the prospects for peace with Korea materialize (we hope), it is likely that this pro-Trump trend will continue.

Pollster par excellence John McLaughlin says:

Since last November President Trump has gained a net of 9 points in his job approval. President Trump is a grinder. In spite of the partisan opposition and media bias President Trump stays focused on succeeding. He just grinds upward and the voters recognize it. The economy is growing. America is stronger and President Trump’s substantive results are reflected in the polls. Expect President Trump to keep grinding upwards.

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And this trend also means that the opposition — the Democratic Party — is “grinding” downward. In the immediate future, as moderates leave its ranks and join with Trump’s forces, the Democrat primaries that decide who will be their candidates will shrink in size and become increasingly the captive of ethnic minorities and extreme ideologies.

Those who could leave the Democratic Party are leaving it, and those who remain are the true believers and core ethnic voters.

So it is natural, as the primaries so far this year are suggesting, that moderates can find no place in the Democratic Party and the candidates they support are doomed to defeat at the hands of the extremes.

This polarity is the same sort of change in public attitudes that occasioned the marginalization of the Democratic Party after former President Jimmy Carter’s defeat or that of the Labour Party in Britain after Thatcher’s election.

The Democrats lost the two following elections in landslides (Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis were the candidates) as did their Labour counterparts in the U.K. who lost three contests (their candidates were Michael Foot and Stephen Kinnock, who lost twice) before sanity — in the form of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair — returned.

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This week’s Democrat primary results reinforce that notion:

  • In Texas, Democrats nominated Lupe Valdez as their candidate for governor. She is openly lesbian. She defeated a Democrat centrist, Andrew White, the son of former Governor (and my former client) Mark White, who promised to “continue” his dad’s moderate legacy. CNN commented that “the party’s base … has shown little interest in centrists.”
  • Idaho Democrats nominated 38-year-old Paulette Jordan, a Native American who beat the white 72-year-old choice of the Democrat establishment.
  • African-American romance novelist Stacey Abrams won the Democrat primary for governor of Georgia on Tuesday, defeating a moderate who argued that the way to win was to move to the middle. Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC emphasized that Abrams won “this election because she reached out and engaged communities of color, particularly black voters, on the issues that they care about.”
  • In Arizona, openly bisexual Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is the Democrat candidate for the open Senate seat.

These primary results amply illustrate the propensity of today’s Democrats to nominate unelectable candidates. Before sanity comes back to the Democrats, they will have to wade through a decade of lost elections.

Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, “Rogue Spooks,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.

A version of this Op-Ed previously appeared on Breitbart.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.