Do Pollsters Think Only Republicans' Opinions Count?
Credit: Getty Images
March 14, 2021

Oh, look -- it's another poll of Republicans. Maggie Haberman reports:

The Republican Party in the era following Donald J. Trump’s presidency is comprised of five “tribes” that have ranging affinity for the former president and different desires when it comes to seeing him continue to lead the party, according to a new survey by Mr. Trump’s former pollster.

The survey of 1,264 voters, who are registered Republicans or identify as Republicans, is the first comprehensive one conducted about G.O.P. voter sentiment since Mr. Trump left office, and as he considers running again in 2024. It was conducted by the Republican polling firm Fabrizio and Lee — which worked for Mr. Trump in his 2020 campaign but does not any longer.

It may be the first "comprehensive" poll of GOP voter sentiment after Trump's departure, but it's certainly not the first poll of Republicans in that time -- USA Today and Suffolk University conducted a poll of Republicans last month, Politico and Morning Consult have polled Republicans a couple of times on Trump and 2024, and there was also the recent CPAC poll of potential 2024 Republican nominees.

I'll say it again: Why aren't the rest of us being polled on Trump and the GOP right now?

Damon Linker speculates on the current moment:

What if while Republicans are busy trying to bait Democrats on culture war issues, those Democrats end up winning public opinion in a big way by refusing to play along, changing the subject, and actually making the lives of most Americans concretely better?

But we don't know whether or not Democrats are "winning public opinion in a big way" because no one is polling Democrats relative to Republicans. We know from polls that the COVID recovery bill is very popular, and that President Biden's has solid job approval numbers. What we don't know is whether the general public is fed up with Trump or the Republican Party as a whole.

It's possible that support for Republicans hasn't changed much. It's possible that, if you polled Trump vs. Biden for 2024, the race would be close, even now.

But we ought to know -- not because a poll of an election three years from now would be credible, but because it would tell us whether the GOP really is alienating most Americans, and whether Democrats are winning over skeptics.

I can't understand why pollsters and the media don't want to measure voter sentiment this way. Do they just prefer the drama of the GOP? The drama of Trump and Greene and Boebert and Gosar and millions of crazy radical conspiracy-theorist voters? Is the party of Biden just too stolid and boring? Does the media just not want to know what we think? Or is the media afraid to discover that those fascinating lunatics in the GOP have alienated the majority of Americans?

I fear that that's not the case -- but I'd like to find out. When you pollsters can tear yourself away from surveying the Republicans, try asking the rest of us a few questions.

Published with permission of No More Mr. Nice Blog

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