Thursday, August 25, 2016

Donald Trump Understands His Base Better Than Most

Donald Trump needs to win Florida and other states with large Hispanic populations.  His extreme positions on immigration have attracted many of his followers but this has alienated many potential voters.  Trump has softened his views on immigration but that does not bother many of his followers.  What does Trump know about his followers that makes him successful with them?  Trump's hard views on immigration sent a strong signal to this followers.  He will be tougher on immigration than the weaker politicians to whom he is compared.  Even if Trump softens his positions for practical reasons, that does not change the opinions that he established with his followers when he took stronger positions.  Many still believe that he is on their side.  Most of them knew that it was impossible to find and evict 11 million illegal immigrants.  Trump can still tell them that he will build a wall between the US and Mexico.  That softens his position but his followers still believe that he will be tougher on immigration than politicians who never established their identity as strong opponents of illegal immigration. He can soften his extreme positions without losing his base in the hope that he can hang on to Republicans who worry about many of his positions. Trump can also talk tough about keeping Muslims out of the country, and reducing the risk of violence, and the potential for the imposition of Sharia law on evangelicals.  Trump and many of his followers are less interested in the details of policy that occupy most politicians.  He is a personality and his followers identify with the personality that he projects.  That is why he loves running Trump Rallies more than having policy discussions with talking heads on the conventional media.

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