- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2019

It is often hard to figure out how the voting public feels about President Trump. Blame that on the press, which has provided a steady stream of negative or manipulative coverage about Mr. Trump since his campaign days. Yet somehow, an overwhelming percentage of voters now advise the Republican Party to stand by Mr. Trump: 82% of all voters agree that the GOP should renominate the president, this according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll.

But hope springs eternal. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill F. Weld was Gary Johnson’s running mate when the pair ran on the Libertarian ticket in 2016. Now Mr. Weld is running for president as a Republican, and has much to say about it.

“I won’t endorse a Democrat in this race, but I could never vote for Donald Trump. I truly believe that if we have six more years like the two we’ve just had, it would be a political tragedy. I fear for the republic. I would be ashamed of myself if I didn’t raise my hand and run,” Mr. Weld recently told CNN.

Brace for another survey, please. A new Economist/YouGov voter poll suggests that Republicans see no need for another GOP hopeful in 2020. It found that 77% of Republican voters are “satisfied” with Mr. Trump as the only candidate running for the Republican nomination for president; 84% of those who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 also agree.

Though they could end up with 20 choices, 70% of Democratic voters are satisfied with the number of hopefuls now chasing their party’s 2020 nomination for president; that includes 75% of those who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. More in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.



THE MUELLER MEDIA STRIKES

The press is ready for the big release of the redacted Mueller report, issuing guidelines on “what to look for” and predicting the trajectory of Trump administration reactions. Some news organization say there is no White House war room to deal with fallout. Some say the legal eagles are poised to strike, or that President Trump will immediately tweet out terse and tactical thoughts. A brief review of the headlines:

“Reporters prepare to speed read the Mueller report” (Columbia Journalism Review); “Attorney General William Barr will hold a press conference to discuss Mueller report” (CNBC); “The Mueller report is just the beginning” (Newsweek); “Five arguments the Mueller report won’t settle” (Townhall); “Trump legal team prepares Mueller counter-report, focusing on obstruction allegations” (Fox News); “Panic? Anger? Indifference? Place your bets on how President Trump will react to the release of the Mueller report on Twitter” (The New York Daily News); “Why the Mueller report really doesn’t matter” (Bangor Daily News).

CONSERVATIVES WANT CUCCINELLI FOR DHS CHIEF

Conservatives have a suggestion for President Trump regarding a certain Cabinet position. Who should replace Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security?

Former Attorney General Ed Meese, former Sen. Jim DeMint, publisher Al Regnery, media watchdog Brent Bozell, strategist Ginni Thomas, tea party maven Jenny Beth Martin, longtime political guru Richard Viguerie and 30 other conservative leaders formally advised the president that former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the ideal choice.

“He’s perfect to carry out Trump’s agenda at DHS. He has synergy with Trump as a no-nonsense immigration hawk. Like Trump, Cuccinelli is a strong law-and-order Republican; yet, both showed wisdom leading the charge to pass and enact the bipartisan, landmark criminal justice reform bill,” Mr. Viguerie wrote in an op-ed for The Hill.

“Cuccinelli has the ability to clearly articulate conservative positions even in a liberal-dominated television environment. As a CNN analyst, Cuccinelli was always outnumbered, but he never backed off articulating the principled conservative side of things. He knows how to run an agency and carry out policy. As a superb constitutional attorney, Cuccinelli easily articulates the bases of the correct positions on issues such as national sovereignty, birthright citizenship and proper criminal detention.” Mr. Viguerie said.

“The biggest obstacles for Trump and Cuccinelli would come from the Washington political and media establishments. But that is particularly why Cuccinelli is a perfect fit for Trump. Both understand the value and importance of being disruptors, and both are seen as threats to the ‘Swamp.’ It’s part of their charm,” Mr. Viguerie noted.

FORGET THE ‘TRIGGER WARNINGS’

They are a favored form of virtue signaling among college professors and feminists who insist certain images or statements should be accompanied by a cautionary statement.

“Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content. Our findings suggest that these warnings, though well intended, are not helpful,” says Mevagh Sanson, a psychology scholar at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

“It’s possible that they function the way they’re meant to, helping people to manage their emotional responses and reduce their symptoms of distress. But it’s also possible trigger warnings could have the opposite effect, influencing people’s expectations and experiences in ways that exacerbate their distress,” notes Ms. Sanson, who gauged reactions of 1,394 people exposed to test trigger warnings.

“Their repeated use encourages people to avoid negative material, and we already know that avoidance helps to maintain disorders such as PTSD. Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them to interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger,” says Ms. Sanson, whose research was published in Clinical Psychological Science.

POLL DU JOUR

85% of U.S. voters are “absolutely certain” or “very likely” to vote in the 2020 presidential primary in their state; 91% of Republicans, 73% of independents and 89% of Democrats agree.

15% say it’s a “50-50 chance” of “not likely” they will vote in the primary; 9% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree.

82% say the GOP should renominate President Trump as the party’s candidate; 85% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 67% of Democrats agree.

15% say the GOP should nominate a different candidate; 12% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 34% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,998 registered U.S. voters conducted April 12-14.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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