The First and Probably the Last

Comment that is, by us on the Presidential Campaign. We have enough trouble commenting on Wall Street. Politics is a whole other kettle of fish. But we spotted some things you might find interesting.

The chart below is kind of busy but the message is pretty simple. Since 1990 Democrats have gotten more liberal and Republicans have gotten more conservative - both markedly so. For instance, 39% of Democrats back in 1990 called themselves somewhat or very liberal. Today it is 55%. Conversely back in 1990, 48% of Republicans called themselves very or somewhat conservative. Today that number has jumped to 61%. You can see why it is so difficult to find middle ground in politics today. We blame “Washington” and “Politicians” for the deadlock but in actuality, the enemy is us. We have swung to the extremes.

The New Yorker has some of the best articles on American culture and politics. They recently did a long piece on Donald Trump (August 31, 2015) and Bernie Sanders (October 12, 2015). It is interesting that while these two are close to the extreme, one conservative and one liberal, they are appealing to some of the same voter emotions. The New Yorker calls Trump supporters a “confederacy of the frustrated”. He appeals to among others, working class voters with little or no college education, who are frustrated by politics as usual. It is much the same with Sanders, just a different demographic. His base of young people are just as frustrated by the slickness and clubbiness of Washington.

Another Trump/Sanders similarity is that their support is highly concentrated among whites. You don’t see many African Americans or Hispanics at Trump or Sanders rallies. This may be the ‘trump’ card for Hillary Clinton who has been more successful at attracting support across the spectrum, from whites to African Americans to Hispanics. Whichever Republican candidate can best put together a like coalition will probably be that party’s standard bearer.

That’s all we got. You are on your own from here.