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Democrats have a plan to weaponize Trump’s Twitter freakouts — and turn his base against him

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Trump Reno crowd via Darron Birgenheier on Flickr

According to a report at the Daily Beast, Democratic strategists appear to have found a way to take one of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his rampant tweeting to his fans to keep them fired up — and turn it into a campaign issue that strips away some of those same followers.

Taking aim at Trump’s tweets that often dictate the news cycles while also floating policy trial balloons, Democrats hope to match Trump’s words with his accomplishments to show that he is all talk — and no action.

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“Two months ago, the Center for American Progress commissioned the firm Civis to test messaging that framed Trump not as corrupt or unethical but as ‘ineffective’—and to attribute that ineffectiveness to his being absorbed by his Twitter feed,” the Beast reports. “The results were notable. Of the six messages tested on Trump, the idea that he was “more focused on his Twitter account than on delivering on his promises” was the only one that consistently moved the vote towards Democrats, including among Obama-Trump voters.”

According to the report, Democrats are already pushing that line.

“Those who have worked on the messaging say that going after Trump for being a racist and for being distracted by Twitter to the point of ineffectiveness is not an either-or,” the report continues. “But, they argue, the former comes with the risk of turning off his supporters by suggesting that they are comfortable with his worst traits, while the latter emphasizes a characteristic of Trump that virtually no one finds flattering. ”

According to CAP’s Navin Nayak, “I think only the hardest core Trump believers think he should spend more time on Twitter. But that is the reality of his presidency. For better or worse people think he spends most of his time on Twitter and the way he engages on it is mostly negative. Juxtaposing that becomes a very powerful way of underscoring how he has not accomplished anything economically for the American people. Going after that is an effective way of attacking Trump without impugning the motives of anyone who voted for him.”

An additional study also found that, “… on a number of issues, a large swath of voters didn’t believe Trump had kept or was working to keep his campaign promises. But it was when respondents were asked why they believe the president was falling short on those promises that things got interesting. Fifty percent of voters felt like he wasn’t keeping his promises because he was getting ‘distracted by other unimportant priorities like petty disagreements and Twitter,’ including 65 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents. It was the highest polling response. Forty-four percent said that Trump ‘never intended to keep’ his promises, but just 35 percent of Independents said they felt that way. ”

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According to Nayak, “This is where Democrats have a huge opportunity. The thing everyone hears about Donald Trump more than anything else is that he is on Twitter all day. That’s what they hear. If they want to know what he is doing all day that’s what they hear.”

You can read more here (subscription required).


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