Kaepernick, Kavanaugh, and Trump’s Most Loyal Fans

Getting to Know White Voters
A new piece in the Cook Political Report by Amy Walter attempts the daunting task of painting an accurate picture of what a white voter in 2018 looks like. Walter compares several datasets from 2016-2018 to show how white voters have evolved in regard to President Donald Trump. Walter notes that Mike Podhorzer of The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations cites that whether or not a white voter identifies as evangelical is the biggest distinction between those who support Trump and those who do not. Walker writes, “Using a data set from Public Religion Research Institute, Podhorzer broke out white voters by gender, education and whether they identified as evangelical. The gap between white voters who approve and disapprove of Trump by gender was 25 points. By education (college versus non-college) it was about the same at 26 percent. But the gap in perceptions of the president between white voters who are evangelical and those who aren’t was a whopping 60 percent!” Walter concludes her piece by noting that this data would indicate that “white non-evangelical, non-college women are the ultimate swing voters.”
Days before the new NFL season is set to begin, Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick would be the face of their latest advertisement campaign. The 30th anniversary of the famous “Just Do It” campaign comes during a period in which many NFL games are mired in political discourse, in great part due to Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem before games in the fall of 2016. Since then, many athletes around the globe have followed suit. Kaepernick and others have said repeatedly that they are not protesting the anthem but are choosing to protest police violence against African Americans by kneeling during the anthem. Bob Cook writes in Forbes that Nike may be okay with leaving behind some older fans who may take issue with anything related to Kaepernick. Cook writes, “So it makes fiscal sense – really, the only sense that matters to a company – for Nike to throw its lot in with Kaepernick, rather than with those upset by what he has wrought. Clearly, their numbers show that young consumers and athletes are on that side.” According to PRRI data from January, 60 percent of the country believes that athletes should be required to stand for the playing of the national anthem before sporting events. Americans are largely aware that professional athletes first started kneeling during the anthem to protest police violence against African Americans. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the public identify this as the original motivation for the national anthem protests. Only 13 percent say these protests are in opposition to the election of Donald Trump, and eight percent say they are a response to negative treatment of players by the NFL management.
Supreme Court Nominee’s Hearing Begins with String of Protests
Tuesday morning marked the beginning of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearings. Because he is nominated to fill the seat of the court’s renowned swing voter Anthony Kennedy, Democrats and liberals across the country worry that key issues including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and abortion rights will take a hit under his judgeship. Liberal protestors with Demand Action, an advocacy group fighting Kavanaugh’s conformation, lined the hallways outside Kavanaugh’s hearing room dressed as handmaids. The protestors used the iconic image from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, now a popular dama on Hulu, to draw attention to Kavanaugh’s anti- abortion views. “Right now in America, far too many women of color cannot access safe, affordable healthcare and their ability to decide whether, when and how to raise thriving families is out of reach,” a statement from Demand Action read. A national PRRI surveyreleased in April found that about four in ten (38 percent) of Americans overall believe that it is at least somewhat likely that abortion will become completely illegal in the U.S. in their lifetime.
Geoffrey Owens: Don’t Feel Sorry for Me
On Tuesday morning actor Geoffrey Owens sat down with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, to discuss his recent unwanted press. Owens, who appeared on The Cosby Show from 1985-1992 and has since gone on to teach at Yale University and regularly appear in film and television, was spotted working the checkout line at a New Jersey Trader Joes. Digital outlets like The Daily Mail and Fox News soon used a photo of Owens at work as the hook in stories about his job. In response, social media users, including many prominent actors came to Owens’ defense. Owens says, “The period of devastation was so short because so shortly after that, the responses, my wife and I started to read [them] … and fortunately the shame part didn’t last very long.” According to Owens, he has worked for Trader Joes on and off for 15 months, and does not desire anyone’s charity. “No one should feel sorry for me,” he says. “I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a career that most actors would die for. So no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine!”
Chuck Todd: The Press Must Fight Back
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd implores his fellow journalists to push back against the narrative that they are an ‘enemy of the people.’ In a piece for The Atlantic, Todd compares the narrative against reporters of this generation to the plight of journalists covering the civil rights movement in the South during the 1950s and 1960s. Todd writes, “I’m not advocating for a more activist press in the political sense, but for a more aggressive one. That means having a lower tolerance for talking points, and a greater willingness to speak plain truths. It means not allowing ourselves to be spun, and not giving guests or sources a platform to spin our readers and viewers, even if that angers them. Access isn’t journalism’s holy grail—facts are.” Recent PRRI data indicates that Todd and his fellow journalists have a battle ahead against the current perception of media. A majority (57 percent) say that media bias against certain candidates is a major issue in our current election system. Nearly three in ten (28 percent) say this is a minor issue, while only 11 percent say it is not a problem.
Washington Post: How Far Will the “Shoot-a-Guy-On-Fifth-Avenue” Group Go?
Nearly two years into his presidency, President Trump’s campaign declaration that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York City, and his base would still vote for him, remains mostly true. Evidence of this often-quoted claim, according to Aaron Blake of The Washington Post, are Trump’s hardcore base. Blake analyzes several recent polls, including one from PRRI, to deduce that between 12 and 20 percent of Americans would fall into this category. Citing a 2017 PRRI poll that found that 15 percent of Americans approved of the president’s job performance and said there was almost nothing Trump could do to lose their support. Blake writes, “Credit to PRRI for the best way of asking this question. What Trump is really saying is that he could do pretty much anything and not lose his supporters, and this poll suggests 15 percent say that exemplifies them. Whether they’d actually follow through if Trump killed a guy? That’s less certain.”