Many voters wish for a viable third political party. Two appear to be emerging at once — driven by disgust with establishment Republicans and Democrats alike. In a poll released Sunday, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal have identified “true Trump voters” who voted for President Trump, not as a vote against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton but because they support him in no uncertain terms.
“The Trump arm of the GOP looks almost like an entity unto itself, one that is feeling acutely uncomfortable with many of the changes of the past decade and overlooked by the news media,” the poll analysis notes. “The attitudes among true Trump voters raise questions about the Republican Party’s direction. The energy in the GOP right now is with them and the data do not suggest they are a group looking for compromise or moderation.”
Among many things, the findings highlight True Trumpers’ dismay with the press: 76 percent say the news media “pays too little attention to working Americans,” compared to 65 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats.
The Democrats, meanwhile, are now faced with “the dawn of the Berniecratic Party,” writes David Catanese, senior political writer for U.S. News & World Report.
Indeed, a hefty population of Democratic voters remain charmed by Sen. Bernard Sanders, who continues to push vigorous progressive ideas on health care, wages and other issues custom-made for those who still “feel the Bern.”
“The center of power in the Democratic Party is moving rapidly leftward and Sanders is serving as the conductor,” writes Mr. Catanese, who is monitoring which of the party’s potential president hopefuls are siding with Mr. Sanders.
“While his former primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, is relitigating the last war, an emboldened Sanders is already making moves to shape the next one. Clinton may technically be right, as she continues to assert in interviews, that Sanders ‘is not even a Democrat.’ But it’s Democrats who are increasingly gravitating to Sanders, as 16 did this week by joining his legislation calling for a Medicare-for-all health care system.” Mr. Catanese says.
“Clinton is indicating she wants to remain active in politics by backing Democratic candidates in 2018 who can help flip Congress. But in a striking role reversal, it’s the 76-year-old Sanders who now wields more power among the next line of budding aspirants in Democratic politics.”
THE PUNCH FACTOR
If he negotiates with Democrats, does President Trump risk losing support from biggest fans? Maybe not. The forever-Trump crowd is a ready audience whenever their man rattles Congressional leadership.
“Donald Trump is not one to twiddle his thumbs while Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan get their act together. You know, his DNA is in deal making. And he’s not going to sit around and wait for that. And so why not go and talk to Chuck and Nancy and all of that? Look, I think the big narrative that’s been missed here is that Donald Trump’s base that we hear so much about is not a constitutionally conservative tea party base. It just isn’t,” Christian Broadcasting Network political analyst David Brody told NBC News on Sunday.
“And it goes across party lines. And I know we talk about independents and Democrats. But it’s…