DC Trump supporters feeling the heat
The Washington GOP establishment are not taking kindly to their Trump-supporting colleagues. The Hill recounts the "Beltway iciness":
Old allies in Washington and across the establishment Northeast are no longer on speaking terms because one backs Trump and the other loathes the nominee[.]
The Hill cites Georgia Republican senator and "full-throated" Trump supporter David Purdue:
… the positive reactions he gets in his home state of Georgia are unrecognizable from what he hears inside the Beltway.
He believes many veteran Republicans in D.C. can't relate to political outsiders, "therefore, anybody who's in the Republican caucus here that's pulling for Trump is a little bit seen as askew," Perdue said. "And the reason is, he's not of Washington.
According to The Hill, a former Bush administration official, now a Trump supporter, attributes the ill temper among the elite D.C. establishment to:
... wounded pride within a consultant class that failed to grasp the Trump phenomenon[.] ...
[T]he message voters are sending – that Washington is broken and that the people running Washington are not listening – "gets to be a very personal message if you're living in those zip codes."
Along with wounded pride is the threat to the established pecking order in Washington, as portrayed by the Washington Times last month:
... the establishment fears this brash outsider will disrupt what has become a comfortable, wealthy and insulated lifestyle for hundreds of former officials, House members and senators of both parties.
The D.C. elite disdain for Trump and his backers is causing some in Washington circles to simply hide their Trump support lest it hurt their Washington careers, says The Hill. A House Republican staffer:
... worries it might harm his reputation if colleagues discover he's a major fan of Trump[.] ...
"I think they would have pegged me as being ... all the things the media has said about Trump. That he was a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe."
There is an amusing side to all of this, reminiscent of the dynamics at Thanksgiving dinner with relatives who don't always share the same views:
Over drinks with colleagues after hours, however, the staffer is finding a growing number of colleagues who also secretly like Trump.
"It's kind of like you're doing this little weird sort of dance around it," he said[.]
The suggestion of hidden Trump support among the voting public who may also be "fearful of criticism" was the subject of a recent Rasmussen Reports polling summary:
We won't know for sure until Election Day, but Republicans are clearly more reluctant than Democrats this year to say how they are going to vote.
It may soon be safe, if still not fashionable, for more Trump backers to come out of the closet, however, judging from this Investor's Business Daily headline:
News Media Completely Freak Out As Trump Closes Gap With Clinton