Finally, Republicans are winning something.
Seventy-eight percent of Americans, “including most Republicans, see the Republican race as discourteous”, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
“Only about half as many — 41 percent — say the same about the Democratic campaign.”
More bad news for Republicans in that the poll found that people disapprove of sexist statements in public, and find vulgar language and bigoted comments to be inappropriate. There goes Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and sadly even John Kasich.
The thing is, people really don’t want to hear leaders say this stuff in public. “More than 80 percent say remarks and jokes about race or about gender and sexuality are unacceptable. There is less condemnation for these types of comments made in private, but more than 6 in 10 regard them as improper there as well.”
In an analysis of the poll, the AP posited, “There are deep cultural roots to Americans’ dislike of rudeness in their leaders.”
This is why Bernie Sanders’ surrogate Dr. Song was wrong to use “Democratic whore” when introducing the Senator. The public doesn’t like it, it’s not seen as presidential, it’s not something people want in their leaders.
The Democrats have had minor scuffles, for which they have apologized, with rudeness. But these struggles are nothing compared to the non-stop vulgar variety show that is the 2016 Republican race.
Republican policies are sexist and bigoted, so it would be almost impossible for a Republican to run without insulting people, unless they were really good at hiding their agenda. John Kasich comes closest to this feat, but unfortunately for him he has a record that speaks loudly as to his anti-women positions. Kasich is rising in some polls right now, but he has also been largely ignored by the press and thus not vetted yet.
The public doesn’t want a vulgarian for president. There is this belief that Americans are conservative, but when you break that down, it looks more like they are traditionalists with liberal social beliefs who value fiscal restraint (so long as it doesn’t hurt them, of course). Traditionalists want a President they can be proud of. Someone who might represent progress but conducts themselves with dignity befitting the office.
Part of this is our deep need for role models, and a wish to find that role model in the White House. It takes a pretty reckless person to listen to Donald Trump and think he would be a good role model, would represent our country in a positive way.
Republicans have a branding problem. Their platform dictates that they can’t change this branding problem. They can keep searching for the shell to sell this platform, but in the age of the internet, it’s awfully difficult to disguise an agenda long enough to get into the White House.
Democrats have been handed a gift, they need to remember that the people want to be lifted up by their leaders.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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