Democratic tactics and Republican voters

The Democrats are outraged again this week, and the usual Republicans are joining in this pretend outrage.  As I have discussed here before, the Democrats are quite disciplined in their messaging.  When Democrats are outraged, they are usually trying at a minimum to dispirit Republican voters and possibly pull some of them away to the Democrats.  So to see what the Democrats are doing, it is often best to look at the views of Republican voters.

What are some of the key things Republican voters care about?  Republican voters work for a living, so they favor at strong economy.  Republican voters generally favor small government and deregulation.  Republican voters support the military and favor a strong foreign policy.  Republican voters somewhat favor free markets.

You can see this in past Democratic campaigns.  In 1992, President Clinton's mantra was "it's the economy, stupid."  The economy was okay but not great during that campaign, so this was an opening to separate some GOP voters from the GOP.  Democrat voters do not care as much about the economy, as more of them survive on government benefits or are the super-wealthy who are immune to economic fluctuations.

The Democrats have failed to get at President Trump on the economy and other domestic issues.  They tried, talking down President Trump's tax policies, but these policies have gained popularity as people have benefited from them and the economic growth they have encouraged.  Outrage at immigration policy and gun rights helps the Democrats shore up some of their base, but it only harms them with voters at large.  President Trump has been good at reducing government regulation and broadly supports a market economy.

So the attacks on President Trump for his press conference with Putin this week signal that the Democrats have now switched to foreign policy.  Republican voters generally like a strong military and a strong foreign policy.  For much of the lives of many Republican voters, Russia was the USSR, which meant communism and the enemy.  So the Democratic attack implies that President Trump is weak, bordering on treason, on foreign policy, and unsupportive of the intelligence agencies in his joint press conference with Putin.

Everyone knows that Democrats do not lose support when they hang with the Castro brothers or praise Venezuela.  Furthermore, they have a history going back to at least the Church Committee of not being supportive of the intelligence community of the U.S. government.  Socialism or communism is supported by the most extreme parts of their base, along with undermining  U.S. intelligence agencies.  However, if the Democrats can sell the Republican base on the idea that President Trump is soft on Putin and not supportive enough of the intelligence agencies, they can once again at least dispirit GOP voters and maybe separate some of them from the Republican Party.

So there is a method to the Democrats' feigned outrage, one that involves the views of Republican voters.

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