The Trump Effect on NC's voters, simplified



Just a piece of the puzzle

But the most interesting piece is that Republican part. Usually the party that holds the White House leans (sometimes heavily) in the "satisfied" column, and you only see numbers like this when Congress is at odds (controlled by a different party) with the President.

But "dissatisfaction" does not automatically translate to a total reversal of voting habits, especially in state government races. Film at 11.

Divisions within the GOP

Trump is definitely a polarizing figure within the GOP itself. Gallop polling late last year showed that fewer people are self-identifying as Republican, as the number identifying as Democrat or Independent are growing.

My own theory on all this is that the GOP is basically having an internal war between the evangelical and racist wing of the party, which Nixon and Reagan folded into the "big tent", and the more business/tax-oriented "main street" wing of the party that's turned off by the social extremism and the instability Trump is bringing to the economy.

The evangelical and racist wings of the party have been the most stable in "getting out the vote" for Republicans over time, with the "main street" Republicans going either way in many elections. So, really, Trumpism is becoming a millstone around their neck.

This is reflected in the direction of GOP candidates running in the mid-terms. Since they can't run on immigration reform, killing "Obamacare", or the tax cuts - all failed or unpopular positions - they're turning primarily to race-baiting and bigotry in their messaging to turn out the steady evangelical and racist voters.

It's pretty obvious that's the tactic they're using here in NC - the Voter ID constitutional amendment that's being floated is a re-play of the GOP's anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment put on the ballot a few years back. It's designed to put a "must vote" issue out there for bigots to turn up at the polls.

Of course, this has been going on in NC for years. Remember Jesse Helms's infamous campaign ad titled "White Hands"? The creator of the ad, by the way, continued work with racially divisive issue ads for Republican causes.