November 11, 2019 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

QT: Is Trump’s Base Weakening?

Martin Longman thinks so

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I’m not an optimist but I don’t subscribe to pessimism either. I tend to believe hope is practical given that it’s plainly necessary to moving on disasters like Donald Trump.

My friend Martin Longman offered some hope last week in the run up to House impeachment hearings this week. In one poll, Marty found evidence of Trump’s support weakening among his strongest supporters. He expects that to increase.

It’s probably safe to assume that the impeachment hearings will continue to bring Trump’s numbers down even as they spur a burst of energy into his dwindling base of support. As broad popular opinion moves more strongly in favor of removal, the first casualty will be the GOP’s hope of winning back seats that were lost two and four years ago. The next casualty will be the Republican officeholders who narrowly survived those elections. Then we’ll see  polls showing even strong Republican seats looking vulnerable.

If the Republicans acquit in the face of strong public consensus in favor of removal, they’ll next have to rally around and renominate Trump, which will only further infuriate the public. Their only hope in such a situation is that their base sticks with them and limits their losses, but Trump’s base may already be getting emotionally prepared to abandon him.

The one thing I’m not as hopeful about is things returning to “normal” post-Trump. The Republican Party isn’t going to surrender its power. It has too much invested in authoritarian mechanisms, like gerrymandering and voter suppression, to let go.

—John Stoehr


  • Today’s Editorial Board: Bloomberg’s base is other media executives. That’s it.

  • Second accuser says Jim Jordan knew about OSU sex abuse scandal.

  • Greg Sargent says Jim Himes’ cable rant was pivotal in impeachment debate.

  • Envoy says “investigations, Biden and Clinton” was the three-word shorthand.

  • Lindsey Graham says whistleblower is unmasked or impeachment is invalid. (Yes, Graham continues to act like the American people are morons and imbeciles.)


This is a civics program I co-host every month at New Haven’s Institute Library. The next one is on Nov. 12 (Tuesday). Special guests include Frank Harris, columnist for the Hartford Courant and a professor of journalism at Southern Connecticut State University; and Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor for The Forward in New York.

We’re going to talk about a lot of things but especially religion, race and politics.

Please come if you can. I’d love to see you there! —JS


What: Politics in Plain English
When: Nov. 12 (Tuesday) at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Institute Library, 847 Chapel Street, New Haven.
How much: FREE! FREE! FREE!
Info: For more, click here.

John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.


  1. Ed Kako on July 30, 2021 at 7:58 am

    I share your anti-pessimism. You’re entirely correct that the GOP won’t change even if Trump is removed or defeated — at least not immediately.

    Progressives need to start making much sharper arguments about how the GOP’s authoritarian turn is bad for *everyone.* If, say, the courts go all Opus Dei, do the evangeligicals think they’ll be safe? If Trump were to win a second term, does anyone (cough, Nikki Haley) think that he’d let someone win the GOP nomination in 2024 whose last name isn’t also Trump? Do Republicans really think he wouldn’t ulimtately investigate his children’s *Republican* opponents?

    Pluralistic, rule-of-law liberal democracy is good for everyone. It protects everyone. Without it, no one is safe or free. We have to make that case, and urgently, which is why — if Dems retake power — democracy reform has to be the first thing they tackle, even before climate change. If we don’t fix our democracy — if we don’t convince our political opponents they, too, should welcome its fixing — nothing else will matter.

    • John Stoehr on July 30, 2021 at 7:58 am

      Well said Ed!

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