In sociology, is important, not only the numbers but also their interpretation. Recently, the Washington Post and ABC News conducted a survey and came to the conclusion that, despite the prosperous state of the economy, which remains the main “trump card” Donald trump, most Americans are convinced that this benefits only the rich and government officials.
And on this basis it has been suggested that the outcome of the upcoming presidential campaign will depend on the activity of the populists, which will inevitably increase.
In fact, answering the question of whether the economy for the benefit of all or just those who are influential 60% of respondents chose the second option. Based on this indicator alone, it can be concluded that populist appeals will begin to enjoy greater popularity. But how large is this number and should it be a surprise?
Everything is relative. So, no, the President was not re-elected if his approval rating was less than 49%, as opposed to the trump, he is only 42%, you will face problems. On the other hand, after “Watergate”, except for the period after the attacks of 11 September 2001, yet never more than 44% of Americans believed that the government acts correctly and in the past decade, the figure generally did not exceed 20%. Against this background, if the share of those who trust the government, increased to 40 or at least 35%, this indicates a significant change in public opinion.
Returning to the issue of populism, it is worth noting that if 60% is kind of a record value, we should expect that the populists really become a threat to trump, but if not, their involvement is unlikely. Earlier Pew Research Center not just polls conducted on this subject, and twice in January 2014 and February 2015 — the proportion of those who named the economic system is unfair to ordinary citizens, reached a maximum of 62%.
Between these dates, in November 2014, was held the mid-term elections in which Republicans scored approximately 7 points more and won a further 13 seats in the House of representatives. Two of them being congressmen were defeated, as well as 10 Democrats. But no surge of populists did not happen, because the average presidential party loses the midterm elections on 25 seats.
In 2016, when the populists indeed launched an offensive, the share of those who named the economic system is unfair, was a record in history — 66%. But this, on the other hand, only 4 percentage points exceeded the one that was shown during the “peaceful” elections in 2014. And one only its vibration can not judge how the rest of the campaign — rather, it would be logical to assume that the majority of Americans just think the rules for the functioning of the economy is beneficial only to the few. But this does not mean that from this point of view will depend upon which of the presidential candidates they will vote.
President of the Mellman Group and American Association of Political Consultants