On one hand, President Donald Trump almost certainly chose to mark out Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) because of his own deep-seated racism.
But there is likely another reason he is doing it, wrote Aaron Blake of the Washington Post‘s “The Fix” on Wednesday: because his core voters hate them as much as he does.
Blake cited a new The Economist/YouGov poll of 2016 Trump voters’ opinions on several politicians. “As you peruse it, it becomes clear that the conventional wisdom about why Trump picked these targets is right: They were ripe for motivating the GOP base … All of them are better known among Republicans than Democrats, which suggests that a steady stream of coverage in conservative media has elevated them as potential Democratic bogeywomen. Trump is tilling fertile soil. And in fact, they might already be his most effective foils.”
The poll found that among Trump voters who have heard of the congresswomen, Ocasio-Cortez has 80.4 percent unfavorable ratings, Omar has 80.2 percent unfavorable, and Tlaib has 76.3 percent unfavorable (Pressley was not polled). For comparison, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is 76.3 percent unfavorable with this group, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is 76.1 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is 74.4 percent, and former Vice President Joe Biden is 58.9 percent.
This could go a long way to explaining why another poll showed that Trump’s approval actually went up among Republicans amid the controversy over his racist statements, even as it went down with everyone else.
“Trump has shown before that he’s perfectly willing to demean his political opponents, especially women (Clinton) and racial minorities (Obama), in intensely personal ways,” concluded Blake. “What happens when his targets are both of those things? It seems we’re about to find out, over and over again.”