Inside the Beltway: Voters fearful, but don’t blame Trump

Eight-out-of-10 voters feel like the American way of life is under threat — but the majority don’t blame President Trump. Yes, you read that right. A Monmouth University poll finds that 81% of voters say the American way of life is “under threat right now” — a sentiment echoed almost equally among Republicans, independents and Democrats, among men and women, whites and minorities, old and young, rich and poor.

There’s another remarkable question on this poll which suggests that somehow, voters are not blaming Mr. Trump for their heightened state of anxiety. The Monmouth poll also found that 56% of all voters do not feel that their personal way of life will be “under threat” if Mr. Trump is reelected. Pronounced divides about this question were only found among political or ideological leanings: 88% of Republicans and 60% of independents don’t fear Mr. Trump’s election; 22% of Democrats do, however.

“It does appear that nearly three years of a Trump presidency has tempered, if not erased, some of the public’s concern that he would upend our day-to-day lives,” notes Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

So how did the nation get to this anxious state? We can point the finger at the news media for providing nonstop coverage with an emphasis on melodrama and outrage rather than helpful perspectives and fact-driven news. We can also fault the general lack of civility in the public discourse among people who should know better, or the weakening of long time cultural or social bastions. Impeachment obsession on Capitol Hill is also annoying the public, and enhancing the “do nothing” image of Congress.

Yes, well.

Find more numbers in the Poll du Jour a column’s end.


“Conservatives unequivocally support Ken Cuccinelli for the position of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” declares a very large group of powerful, well-known conservatives who are convinced that the former Virginia attorney general is just the man for the job.

This group includes former Sen. Jim DeMint, publisher Al Regnery, presidential historian Craig Shirley, Citizens United President David Bossie and over 100 more. Find the big list of Cuccinelli fans and their statement at


A dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls will crowd a debate stage in Ohio on Tuesday night when CNN and The New York Times host the candidates in their fourth bout against one another. Expect lots of squawking, given the recent notable increase in Democratic aggression against President Trump and his administration with impeachment and Mr. Trump’s decision to remove U.S. military forces from Syria in particular focus.

In case you are wondering, Sen. Bernard Sanders, who is still recovering from a recent heart attack, will be with his colleagues for the big evening — which is the fourth of a dozen Democratic debates on the party’s schedule.

CNN regulars Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett plus New York Times national editor Marc Lacey are the moderators for the evening; the event can be seen on CNN and its assorted online presence plus The New York Times home page.

Oh, and there’s drama.

“Businessman and Democratic activist Tom Steyer will be a brand new face on the debate stage. Steyer dropped millions of dollars of his personal fortune on advertising in early states with the intention of securing qualifying polls to join the stage,” points out Election Central editor in chief Nate Ashworth.

“Steyer is unlikely to qualify for November so this will probably be his first and last debate appearance,” he observes.


And now a word about former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has spent recent years as a policy wonk and public speaker after founding the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California. Mr. Schwarzenegger has just signed on with United Talent Agency — aka UTA — a major force in showbiz. Why?

“The blockbuster superstar’s films have grossed more than $4.7 billion worldwide. The news of his signing with UTA comes before the November 1 release of the forthcoming ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ where he ‘will be back’ in the titular role. He will also star in the forthcoming ‘Kung Fury 2’ and will lend his voice to the late Stan Lee’s animated family series ‘Superhero Kindergarten,’” Deadline Hollywood reports.

Mr. Schwarzenegger himself is happy to be the Terminator, meanwhile.

“This is the character that changed my life. I’m so proud to be back,” tweeted the actor, now 72.


President Trump’s campaign is upping the ante in the 2020 race, sending forth a small army of high-profile folks to ramp up local interest prior to Mr. Trump’s signature Keep America Great rallies. Case in point: the power trio of Donald Trump Jr., former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle and campaign manager Brad Parscale will be in San Antonio on Tuesday to preview a Trump rally in Dallas on Thursday.

“The Texas economy is red hot under President Trump’s policies and as a former San Antonio resident I can tell you that all my old friends are feeling the positive effects,” says Mr. Parscale, who also will head to Dallas to conduct leadership training for eager Lone Star GOPers.

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, meanwhile, is hosting the “Rally Against Fear,” one of several protests against Mr. Trump when he arrives in Big D later this week.

“This is our opportunity to stand up for what we believe in: a country defined not by fear, but by hope, ambition, aspiration and our willingness to work together, despite the differences,” Mr. O’Rourke explains in a video.


81% of U.S. voters say the American way of life is “under threat right now”; 81% of Republicans, 81% of independents and 83% of Democrats agree.

69% of voters overall say the nation is greatly divided over the most important basic values; 68% of Republicans, 66% of independents and 74% of Democrats agree.

57% overall are concerned “a great deal” that people with different political beliefs could be in power and damage the nation; 62% of Republicans, 49% of independents and 66% of Democrats agree.

56% overall feel their personal way of life is “not under threat” if President Trump is reelected; 88% of Republicans, 60% of independents and 22% of Democrats agree.

54% overall feel their personal way of life is “not under threat” if a Democrat is elected president; 23% of Republicans, 53% of independents and 84% of Democrats agree.

Source: A MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY poll of 1,017 U.S. VOTERS conducted SEPT. 23-29 AND RELEASED MONDAY.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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