Survey: Both Sides Have Energy Heading Into 2018, Trump Voters More Socially Liberal Than You Might Think

Recently, many of you participated in a quick political survey I put together, which was conducted with two goals in mind:

  1. Determine political energy heading into 2018.
  2. Determine if there are any areas of common ground between liberals and conservatives.

The results of the survey reveal a fascinating look at how liberals and conservatives actually think. All too often, the media narrative paints a picture of an America that is more divided than ever. While it is certainly clear that there are real issues in which Americans disagree, it is also clear from this survey that not every liberal or conservative can be painted with a broad brush.

The survey responses revealed some interesting data.

Political energy

While the common narrative is that Democrats have an advantage heading into the 2018 midterm elections, the data isn't so conclusive. We asked people who they voted for in the last election, and that vast majority of those who voted for both Clinton and Trump report that they are very likely to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, and that they are likely to stick with their side (Democrats for Clinton voters, Republicans for Trump voters). 

If there's trouble on the horizon for Republicans, it might be related to energy for the president himself. Trump voters were less likely to say they will vote for him again in 2020 than Clinton voters were to say they will vote for Democrats. With that said, we're talking about a hypothetical that is years away. Bottom line: I wouldn't bet in favor of either party's success or failure at this point.

View the following slide show to see which side has the most energy heading into 2018, then keep reading to see which issues Clinton versus Trump voters agree on the most.

Common ground

We asked survey respondents where they fell politically. Respondents could choose between very conservative, conservative, liberal, or very liberal. They could also choose that they were in the middle, but had to pick a side by either saying they were more conservative than liberal, or vice versa.

Perhaps not surprisingly, when given the opportunity, most people identified themselves as being in the middle (about 2/3 of conservative respondents and 1/2 of liberal respondents). This could mean they really are, or perhaps they only wish they are, but either way, it's encouraging news when the common media narrative seems to be that neither side wants to get along. 

As for the issues, liberals might be surprised to know that there are a sizable number of Trump voters who side with them on social issues, particularly on gay marriage, transgender issues, and the environment. So much so, it makes one wonder if very socially conservative voters haven't all but lost the public perception battle on these issues. Meanwhile, while the issue of immigration is more polarizing, conservatives also seem to show some sympathy to the liberal viewpoint on the issue of DACA. 

Liberals, on the other hand, seem less likely to move on the issues than conservatives, but when they do, they find the most common ground on the issues of trade, the economy, and fighting terrorism. 

View the slide show below to see which side Clinton voters and Trump voters said was closest to getting it right on key issues.

Bottom line: while the media narrative (and your Facebook feed) may indicate an America that is more split than ever along liberal and conservative ideological lines, there's a lot more grey area among the electorate than what you might think.

I'm a political junkie who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. Keep up with my latest content by following me on Facebook or Twitter

What Do Anti-Trump Progressives Stand For, And What Is The Movement's Future?

I want to bring up a topic that, for some of you, might be a little uncomfortable.

As I do this, I think it's important to state, for the record, that I'm not at all a fan of Donald Trump. Second, I want to you to know that I don't expect you, if you are an anti-Trump crusader, to answer ]the questions I bring up right now, but they are questions that must be answered.

I've always prided myself on being one who is an honest broker of the truth, in whichever way, shape or form it might take, when it comes to matters of politics. I've voted for Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians in my lifetime. If you are to ask me what I am today, I'll tell you I'm an independent progressive, key word being independent. 

I was in downtown Columbia, Missouri, as the 2018 women's march rolled through, and as much as I appreciated everyone marching, I couldn't help but feel something was off. I knew a sense of anger at our current president was driving the turnout and whatever passion there was, but could any of these marchers define what makes their movement different today than any other protest against any other Republican?

This may be no different from the women's marches that took place last year, which I also witnessed in Columbia, but it really caught my eye this year just how many varying messages there were in the march. Here are just a few of the ones that I noticed in Columbia alone:

  • Resist
  • Stop the cuts (Which ones? Couldn't tell)
  • Protect health care
  • Protect the environment
  • Black lives matter
  • End the wars
  • Save the climate / climate change is real
  • We are still here and mad as hell
  • Pro-women's rights messages
  • Impeach Trump / stop Trump / some variation thereof
  • #MeToo
  • Support planned parenthood
  • Support Dreamers
  • Support science
  • Capitalism will not save you
  • Abortion on demand, free & legal
  • Get money out of politics
  • Support journalism
  • We will not be governed by hate
  • No campus carry (in reference, I'm assuming, to concealed weapons)
  • Renee Hoegenson for U.S. Congress
  • Who would Jesus bomb?
  • Equal pay / equal representation
  • Greitens (Missouri's governor) is Trump's Mini-Me
  • Make racists afraid again
  • Build bridges, not walls
  • Support unions & public education

Did I mention Renee Hoegenson for U.S. Congress? I see I did... which is good, because I wouldn't want to leave that out. Same with Planned Parenthood, which I must say, gets the award for having the most professionally designed signs. 

I think it is important to get out on the street and let the powers that be know that you aren't happy with today's state of affairs, and on that note, I was happy and grateful to every individual who made their voice heard. It's important for people to see democracy in action. I saw a wonderful moment between a mother and very young daughter as they walked out of a storefront together as the march was happening, and the mother explained to her inquisitive little girl that this is something that people can do when they aren't happy with how things are. I had my family with me, and personally, it was important for me to let my boys see this movement and that people are, indeed, standing up to this president. 

But I also know that lack of focus makes it difficult to bring new people on board or affect any one change. Part of me was left wondering: What exactly was this? A one year anniversary of the women's march? A solidarity march (how I saw it billed ahead of the event)? An anti-Trump rally? A litany of complaints against a Republican government? A progressive agenda parade?

It is clear to me that progressives are mad as hell, and that they have energy. But my sense is that something is off on the messaging, and recent polls tell me I may not be entirely wrong. Was this something that was special because of the special threat that this president poses, or was it something that could have just as easily been done against any other Republican president? As much energy as there was, that question seemed difficult to answer.

Ultimately, what I sense is wrong is that we have a progressive movement that is still in need of leadership. This is a process that this movement will simply have to work through in the run up to the 2018 mid-term elections, and eventually 2020, when someone will take on Donald Trump. 

Whether progressives are successful, both on the short term as well as the long term, will be whether they can communicate a cohesive message that brings on board enough people to win an election. 

The anger progressives feel against this president is certainly relevant in that regard. I am personally of the opinion that one thing progressives can do to win elections over the next few years is to get enough conservatives to feel enough disgust to just stay home. While Democrats celebrated their win in Alabama and tried to spin it as some sort of Democratic movement sweeping the nation, I think we all know that a Roy Moore without sexual abuse allegations would ultimately be the next senator from Alabama. Thus, a disgust-them-enough-to-keep-them-home strategy is actually what worked successfully there, regardless of party spin. 

But even if that strategy is employed successfully against Republicans in 2018 and 2020, there won't always be a Donald Trump boogeyman to run against, no matter how far into the future that scenario seems. (Let's hope it's sooner rather than later). When that day comes, what will progressives say to bring others on board? How will their message be summed up? How can the message appeal to more people than it did in 2016, where progressives lost?

I don't think success for progressives comes from trying to flip someone on abortion or guns. This is pure speculation at this point, and maybe even personally wishful thinking, but what I wouldn't be surprised to see is for the progressive movement to eventually crystallize it's message around a theme of simple respect. Respect for immigrants. Respect for those of other religions. Respect for minorities. Respect for those of other sexual orientations. Respect for those who are less fortunate. Respect for women. Respect. 

And a strong woman leading this movement might go a long way. 

A year into the Trump administration, the progressive movement still has energy, but it will take more than marches and words and Planned Parenthood signs to bring others on board. How will the movement build it's coalition beyond it's current group of activists? That's the question moving forward.

I'm a political junkie who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. Follow me further into the depths of political addiction by following me on Facebook or TwitterAre you following me on Facebook? Keep up with my latest posts here.

Bonus content: see the videos below of the march as it moved through the streets of downtown Columbia.

Columbia, Missouri Women's March, 2018

Just one day short of a year since the last major women's march in Columbia to protest the Trump administration, thousands took to the streets on January 20, 2018 for another women's / solidarity march. 

See the videos below of the march as it moved through the streets of downtown Columbia on Saturday afternoon. Are you following me on Facebook? Keep up with my latest posts here.

I'm a political junkie who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. Follow me further into the depths of political addiction by following me on Facebook or Twitter. The monkey on your back thanks you.

On S***holes & Immigration

Trump supporters have a point regarding some of the places Donald Trump allegedly referred to as "s***holes." But there is a larger issue at play than just one word: how we treat people who simply want the same life we have.

Read More

The Pros & Cons of Oprah

In this latest podcast, we discuss the pros and cons of an Oprah candidacy. Pros include the fact that she might be a champion of things the left cares about, and that she might also have cross-over appeal. But there's a big con to her candidacy, one in which Donald Trump clearly has her beat. Listen to find out what that con is, as well as a warning to the left about not trying to out-Trump Trump

Jason Griffin a political junkie who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. Follow further into the depths of political addiction by following on Facebook or Twitter. The monkey on your back thanks you.