Republican Opinion.

In late March 2016, 52 percent of Republicans opposed the party trying to prevent Donald Trump from getting the nomination, while 36 percent favored such an effort.[1]  A week later, a majority (54 percent) of Republican and Republican-leaning voters thought that Trump should get the Republican nomination if he gets the majority of delegates—even if he doesn’t get the required number of delegates.  Again, about a third of Republican and Republican-leaning voters want someone else—anyone else, even Ted Cruz—to get the nomination.[2]

In early March 2016, a clear majority (58 percent) of Americans thought that the Senate should vote on a Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.  Slightly more than a third (38 percent) opposed even holding hearings, let alone voting.  That left only 4 percent of Americans who are undecided.  However, two-thirds of Republicans opposed holding hearings or voting until after the presidential election.[3]  (Still, that means that one-third of Republicans disagree.  By late March 2016, opinion had shifted slightly   The great majority (61 percent) of Americans think that the Senate should hold hearings on President Obama’s nominee.[4]  Only about a third (36 percent) thinks that the seat should remain vacant until after the next presidential election.

What do Americans think about the proposal from Senator Ted Cruz that the police patrol “Muslim neighborhoods”?[5]  They are pretty much evenly divided: 45 percent agree with Cruz; 40 percent disagree; and 15 percent don’t know.   The party positions are markedly different, however: 75 percent of Republicans agree; while “only” 57 percent of Democrats agree; and 37 percent of Independents agree.[6]

What might these numbers indicate?  First, Trump has been winning an average of 39 percent of the Republican vote in the primaries, but 54 percent think that he should get the nomination if he has the most delegates.  So, people who don’t want Trump, still think that he should get the nomination if he wins the most delegates.  Most Republicans believe that the Senate should go ahead and vote on the Supreme Court nominee, regardless of what Mitch McConnell says.  The Constitution says that the President shall nominate and the Senate shall advise and consent [or reject] the nominee.  So, a bunch of Republicans think that the Constitution trumps what Mitch McConnell wants to do.  That doesn’t mean that they want conservative predominance on the Supreme Court lost.  It just means that they want the proprieties observed.[7])  In short, the spirit of fair play is not dead among Republicans.

Second, Donald Trump isn’t the only candidate pushing anti-Muslimism.  Moreover, this is an issue that resonates with a majority (54 percent) of Democrats.  To the extent that Hillary Clinton (and the less likely nominee Bernie Sanders) rejects such policies, this may cost them votes.  “Reagan” Democrats aren’t likely to buy into Cruz’s social views.  They might well feel drawn to Trump.

Finally, under the heading of false data as news: Donald Trump’s supporters are almost twice as likely (99 percent) to film themselves having sex than are Hillary Clinton’s supporters.  However, most Clinton supporters are older Americans and predominantly women.  What 60 year-old person is a) going to film themselves having sex, or b) watch it afterward?  None, that’s who.  Unless, you know, there are a lot of Clinton supporters who like watching all that cottage cheese swaying around in poor lighting.  Yuck.  So, really, the Trump supporters aren’t significantly more depraved (at least in this area) than are the Clinton people.[8]  It just makes for a good headline.  Are people really surprised that no one pays attention to the “news” anymore?

[1] “Poll Watch,” The Week, 1 April 2016, p. 17.

[2] “Poll Watch,” The Week, 8 April 2016, p. 17.

[3] “Poll Watch,” The Week, 4 March 2016, p. 19.

[4] “Poll Watch,” The Week, 1 April 2016, p. 17.

[5] Discretely hang out in the hallal section in the Shop-Rite at the corner of Rte. 309 and Cheltenham Avenue, keep track of who—other than me—is buying goat.

[6] “Poll Watch,” The Week, 8 April 2016, p. 17.

[7] The whole issue of how the courts and especially the Supreme Court came to be so politicized bears further investigation.

[8] “Noted,” The Week, 19 February 2016, p. 18.

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