A Republican Pollster on Trump’s Undimmed Appeal

16 Jan 2024 • 48 min • EN
48 min
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The fact that Donald Trump is the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination in 2024 has created a chasm in our politics. In the past, Democrats and Republicans at least understood why members of the other party liked their chosen candidates. Most conservatives weren’t confused why liberals liked Barack Obama, and vice versa for George W. Bush. But for a lot of Democrats, it feels impossible to imagine why anyone would cast a vote for Trump. And as a result, the two parties don’t just feel hostile toward each other; they feel increasingly unknowable. Kristen Soltis Anderson is a veteran Republican pollster, a founding partner of the opinion research firm Echelon Insights and a CNN contributor. She spends her days trying to understand the thinking of Republican voters, including hosting focus groups for New York Times Opinion. So I wanted to get her insights on why Republicans like Trump so much — even after his 2020 electoral loss, the Jan. 6 insurrection and over 90 criminal charges. What really explains Trump’s enduring appeal? Mentioned: Researcher application Associate engineer application Gallup's Presidential Job Approval Center Book Recommendations: Subtract by Leidy Klotz Party of the People by Patrick Ruffini Welcome to the O.C. by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Alan Sepinwall Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com. You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs. This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser.

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