- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 26, 2017

Forget plain-old Republican and Democratic designations. They’ve been fractured into pieces. Nine distinct political types have emerged in the American public this year, according to an exhaustive Pew Research Center study of 5,000 Americans that explored their values, personal attitudes and motivations. Nine? Stark partisanship, “deep fissures” and ferocious beliefs apparently have split the political landscape into multiple domains. Curious where you fit in? Here is the fierce new “typology.”

On the red side of things, there are “core” conservatives, the largest group in the Republican realm — followed by “market skeptic” Republicans, “new era enterprisers” and “country first” conservatives. On the blue side, “solid liberals” compose the biggest bloc among Democrats — followed by “disaffected” Democrats, “opportunity” Democrats and “devout and diverse” Democrats. In the middle, comprising a mere 8 percent of the total political population, are the “bystanders.”

The Pew Research analysts eventually determined that core conservatives and solid liberals anchor the parties, and they are polar opposites. Among the many findings: 93 percent of the core conservatives approve of President Trump, while 99 percent — yes, 99 percent — of the solid liberals reject the president.

One thing these two groups agree on: 77 percent of the conservatives and 84 percent of the liberals are highly motivated to vote and keenly focused on the 2018 midterms, with both sides vowing that the final results “matter a great deal to them.”

AMERICA’S EVOLVING NFL WEEKEND

The standard ritual of settling in for a cozy weekend full of National Football League games appears to be eroding as the clash between politics, sports and culture continues. Yes, “take a knee” and the complicated narrative over the player protests appears to be taking a toll on the longtime tradition.

“The NFL’s once-golden network TV numbers continue to drop. NFL games averaged 15.1 million viewers through Week 7, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News. That’s down 5.1 percent from 15.87 million viewers during the same period last season and off 18.7 percent from 18.35 million viewers during the same period in 2015,” writes Sporting News reporter Michael McCarthy.

“Viewership numbers are lagging for a variety of reasons, not least the ongoing protests during the national anthem that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began in 2016. Fans are still angry about Kaepernick’s continued unemployment as well as what’s seen as the growing politicization of the NFL,” he continues.

Last weekend 20 players sat, raised a fist, remained in an arena entrance tunnel or sank to one knee when “The Star Spangled Banner” played. But of note: The NFL’s network TV partners refused to show or discuss the protests, Mr. McCarthy says.

“In addition, President Trump continues to attack the league for not forcing all players to stand during the anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell and player reps met last week to seek a way forward, but there wasn’t much progress, and players continue to protest,” he adds.

BIDEN, HICKENLOOPER, KASICH, WALKER

Who’s going to run for the White House in 2020? The parlor game continues.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden draws much attention as he makes public appearances, criticizes President Trump, campaigns for Democratic candidates and maintains an active campaign site that includes a fundraising apparatus. Vanity Fair contributing editor David Kamp did all the math and points out that Mr. Biden turns 75 in November, and will be 78 after the 2020 presidential election. If he won, Mr. Biden would be the oldest first-term president ever — older than Ronald Reagan when he left office after serving two terms.

“Asked for his current state of mind about 2020, Biden ruled nothing out,” writes Mr. Kamp.

“I haven’t decided to run. But I’ve decided I’m not going to decide not to run. We’ll see what happens,” Mr. Biden told him.

Meanwhile, assorted political strategists have suggested a theoretical 2020 “unity ticket” for Mr. Biden, pairing him up with Republican Govs. John Hickenlooper of Colorado or John Kasich of Ohio as potential running mates.

It also might be time to add Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to the list. The former GOP presidential hopeful has unveiled a vigorous new personal website reminding the public of his grass-roots appeal and business prowess, addressing his outreach to several “coalitions” including social conservatives, black and Hispanic Republicans, hunters and sportsmen, farmers, students and military veterans.

‘SOMETHING ILLEGAL WAS GOING ON’

“With the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s campaign coming under increasing investigative scrutiny for their ties to Russia, just over half of voters now think something illegal was going on,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters.

The results: 51 percent of likely U.S. voters believe “it’s likely that BillClinton and Hillary Clinton or their close political associates broke the law in their dealings with Russia,” while 37 percent doubt that possibility.

Another 60 percent say they continue to believe it’s likely “some actions” that Mrs. Clinton took when she served as secretary of state were influenced by donations made to the Clinton Foundation.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The historic G.T. Wilburn Estate and Grist Mill, originally built in 1823 on 525 acres near Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Original mill burned by Union Army in Civil War; rebuilt 1865. Property includes traditional family home, barns, general store, two rental home properties, multiple outbuildings and functional grain mill driven by the “breath-taking falls” of Clear Creek. Estate includes several hundred acres of marketable timber and mature hardwoods plus crop lands, ponds, meandering creek; seeking “visionary buyer” or “unique investor.” Priced at $2 million through WilburnGristmill.com.

POLL DU JOUR

57 percent of U.S. voters disapprove of President Trump’s tweeting; 20 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 83 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent overall “wish he’d be more cautious”; 51 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

11 percent overall approve of Mr. Trump’s tweeting; 25 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Mr. Trump; 86 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall believe Mr. Trump “has the knowledge” to serve as president; 84 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,005 registered U.S. voters conducted Oct. 22-24.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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