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Base support for Trump is up in spite of Comey hearings

Easley 6/14 (Cameron, staff @ Morning Consult, “Base Rallies Around Trump in Wake of Comey Controversy”,

It’s been a rough few weeks for President Donald Trump, but a new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey shows his base is rallying around him as the fallout over the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey continues. The president’s job approval remained underwater for the seventh consecutive week, with 45 percent of registered voters approving of his job performance and half disapproving. However, 48 percent of Americans who voted for Trump said they strongly approved of him, up 3 points from the prior survey and up 6 points from mid-May, when his base support bottomed out amid coverage of the reasons behind Comey’s ouster and a reported classified intelligence leak to Russian officials.

No massive slide in approval yet; he’s been stable since taking office

Kurtzleben 6/3 (Danielle, staff @ NPR, “Trump's Approval Rating Decline Isn't That Big Compared With Predecessors' Drops”,

While his approval rating has fallen and the gap between approval and disapproval has widened considerably, it has not shifted in any extraordinary sense. This is, in part, because of how those charts are scaled, as well as the fact that they show the widening gap between approval and disapproval (and that he started lower than past presidents — there is only so low you can go). To be clear, this isn't to say that those are misleading. But it is to say that with more historical context, Trump's sliding approval rating really hasn't slid that much. By RealClearPolitics' average, Trump's approval rating has fallen off by about 4 points since the first day of his term. FiveThirtyEight has it a bit bigger, at around 6 points. We wanted to know how big this type of decline compared with that of other presidents. Gallup has been tracking presidential approval ratings since the Truman administration, so we used its data to figure this out. According to Gallup, Trump's approval rating is 5 points lower than it was when he took office. Compared with that, other presidents' approval ratings in their first four months have fallen by more — often, much more — than those once they took office. (Gallup measured approval ratings less often in the past, so we tried to find approximate time periods for other presidents.) Trump's disapproval rating has also climbed, by 9 points in Gallup's poll. Once again, this is far smaller than the increase that most other presidents have sustained in their first four months. As a side note here, you might notice that Trump's disapproval increase is larger than the decline in his approval rating, which may seem odd, but that is a common trend among presidents.

AT: Healthcare Thumps

No healthcare thumper – Trump’s base is happy it didn’t pass

Harwood 6/23 (John, editor at large at CNBC. “Trump’s Core Voters could Suffer Most under GOP Health Bill, but They may not Punish him for It”, 6/23/17., 7/30/17)//JM

The Senate health-care bill has sharpened the central political question surrounding the 2017 Republican agenda: Will the voters who made Donald Trump president rebel? Like the House health-care bill, the Senate version would roll back Obamacare's expansion of insurance coverage under Medicaid. While cutting Obamacare's taxes on the rich, it would shrink both subsidies and requirements on insurers for coverage on exchange marketplaces, leaving many beneficiaries with skimpier protection and higher deductibles. Those changes threaten financial hardship for the very constituency that won Trump the 2016 Republican nomination and tipped the electoral votes that put him in the White House. They violate his explicit pledges to protect Medicaid from cuts and reduce their out of pocket expenses for health care. Yet that doesn't mean those voters will lash out if Congress enacts the cuts and Trump signs them. As an in-depth recent examination of the president's supporters shows, they backed him for different reasons. A broad-based group of analysts conducted the study with support from the Democracy Fund. Emily Ekins of the libertarian Cato Institute identified five distinct groups of Trump voters. Most of them are consistent Republicans. The least loyal Republican group, which formed the core of Trump's support for the nomination from the beginning, is what Ekins calls "American Preservationists." She described this segment – about 20 percent of Trump backers overall – as having relatively low levels of income and formal education. They are the most likely Republican group to be on Medicaid and to be disabled. These voters lean left on economic issues such as trade, income inequality, anger at Wall Street and support for federal entitlement programs. For those reasons, Trump's rhetoric about protecting entitlement programs and raising taxes on the rich offered a natural fit.


Conservative Base

Conservative opposition to the federal role in education is strong

Berry 15 (Dr. Susan, contributor @ Breitbart, 3/9, “Jeb Bush Retrofits Facts of Common Core To Boost Conservative Credibility”,

Bush’s attempt to infuse his views on education reform with a dose of federalism in order to salvage his credibility with the conservative base seems obvious. The former Florida governor is pushing for the reauthorization of NCLB, the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), first enacted by Lyndon Baines Johnson as part of his “War on Poverty.” Bush describes ESEA as a “critical piece of legislation that sets out the role of the federal government in school funding and policy.” Conservatives, of course, would like to see no role for the federal government in education, as per the Constitution. “[T]he Obama administration has issued a patchwork of waivers and side deals, given out by fiat and without consistency,” Bush continues. “No wonder parents and state and local leaders question Washington’s motives when it comes to our schools.”

States’ rights conservatives oppose federal involvement in education

Whitman 15 (David, Sept., Contributing Editor at Education Post and was a reporter for nearly two decades for U.S. News & World Report. From June 2009 to November 2014, he was chief speechwriter for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “The Surprising Roots of the Common Core: How Conservatives Gave Rise to ‘Obamacore’”,

Last but not least—and irrespective of previous conservative efforts to develop voluntary national standards—some Tea Party leaders and Common Core critics remain purists about federalism. They firmly oppose the Common Core State Standards on constitutional and ideological grounds for infringing on state and local control of educationan unenumerated power they believe is reserved solely to individual states under the 10th amendment, and not to consortiums of states or to the federal government. Last year, Governor Nikki Haley, a Tea Party favorite, signed a bill requiring South Carolina to adopt new standards replacing the Common Core State Standards. “We don’t ever want to educate South Carolina children like they educate California children,” Haley said.

It’s a key issue for the base – they hate the plan

Education 15 (6/13, “No Child Left Behind Rewrite To Face Another Showdown in House”,

As Breitbart News reported in late February, GOP leadership pulled the Student Success Act from the House floor after it was determined the legislation lacked sufficient support. Grassroots conservative parent groups seeking to eliminate federal involvement in education voiced concerns that the rewrite still required excessive federal intrusion into the right of states to set their own education policies. The Washington Examiner reports conservative House members say they will not support the measure without significant changes. GOP leaders, however, have said they have no intentions to make alterations to the bill, but will put it back on the House floor exactly as it was in February. Republican leaders seem poised to resume attempts to convince the conservative base of their party that the bill will reduce federal involvement in education and return it to the states and localities.

Reducing the federal role in education is a key issue for the conservative base

Wyler 12 (Grace, 5/23, staff @ Business Insider, “Is Mitt Romney Embarrassed About Having An Education Plan?”,

Like most of Romney's policy proposals, the education platform is pretty vague. It largely focuses on a federal voucher program to allow low-income and disabled students to attend charter and private schools, falling in line with generally accepted GOP talking points about school choice. But the plan fails to address expanded federal involvement in education, a major issue for the GOP's conservative base. While Romney does propose reforming some parts of the No Child Left Behind Act and consolidating "duplicative and overly complex" Department of Energy programs, he doesn't even come close to the radical cutbacks and wholesale DOE elimination favored by the growing social conservative/Tea Party/Constitutionalist wing of the Republican Party.

Federal role massively unpopular with conservatives

McGuinn & Hess 4 (Patrick, Pf @ Brown U., & Frederick, American Enterprise Inst. Fellow, “Freedom From Ignorance? The Great Society and the Evolution of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965”,

Despite increasing public awareness of the unequal opportunities in American schools, however, the political opposition to an expanded federal role in education remained strong. As Graham has written in his classic work on the period, “to propose federal ‘intrusion’ into the sanctity of the state-local-private preserve of education was to stride boldly into a uniquely dangerous political mine field that pitted Democrat against Republican, liberal against conservative, Catholic against Protestant and Jew, federal power against states rights, white against black, and rich constituency against poor in mercurial cross-cutting alliances.” This opposition had succeeded in defeating a number of proposals by Democrats for increased federal education spending in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as several by President Kennedy’s administration in the early 1960s.

That’s especially true of federal regulations

McGuinn & Hess 4 (Patrick, Pf @ Brown U., & Frederick, American Enterprise Inst. Fellow, “Freedom From Ignorance? The Great Society and the Evolution of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965”,

The design as well as the substance of ESEA was to have important consequences for American education policy. One of the most significant features of ESEA was what it did not do: it did not provide general federal aid to public schools in the U.S. Instead, ESEA provided “categorical” aid that was targeted to a specific student population—disadvantaged students. As Paul Peterson and Barry Rabe would later note, “passage of the ESEA…provided for greatly increased support for public education, but it hardly took the form that traditional education interest groups had long advocated. Instead of a program of general aid, the legislation concentrated resources on educationally disadvantaged children living in low-income areas.” And, as will be discussed in more detail below, the creation of federal categorical programs required that federal educational institutions shift from what had been largely an information gathering and disseminating role to a more supervisory role in the administration of the new federal funds and programs. Given the political opposition to federal “control” in education, however, it had been impossible to include rigorous compliance provisions in ESEA, or even the kind of administrative requirements that were normally attached to categorical grants.


Plan sparks a massive public backlash by having Trump flip flop on a key election promise --- outweighs any turn

Walsh, 17 --- PhD candidate in political science at Rutgers University, and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps (David Hunter Walsh, “Yes, Trump will face a backlash if he doesn’t deliver on his promises,”, accessed on 1/21/17)

President-elect Donald Trump built his campaign on promises to put a wall on the Mexican border, “utterly destroy” the Islamic State, and accelerate economic growth to heights never before seen outside of wartime. Days before he won the presidency, Trump told his supporters he would give them “every dream you ever dreamed for your country.” Trump’s penchant for sweeping promises — and the likelihood that he may have trouble keeping them — has Republicans concerned about what would happen if he doesn’t or can’t follow through. “If we’re given the White House and both houses of Congress and we don’t deliver,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said recently, “I think there will be pitchforks and torches in the streets.” Although Cruz’s vision of a violent uprising may be an exaggeration, my research suggests that Trump would indeed face a backlash if he fails to deliver on key promises. [Will Trump follow through on all his Day One promises? Doesn’t look like it.] Losses outweigh gains in the human mind. What does that mean for politics? That conclusion rests on one of the most robust theories of modern psychology, prospect theory. Prospect theory argues that in our minds, perceived losses outweigh perceived gains in ways that profoundly affect our decision-making. In a political context, this means that when the president surprises you by doing something you like, you’re happy about it. But that happiness is not nearly as powerful as the disappointment — or even sadness or anger — that you experience when the president does something you hate. One implication is that the backlash a president faces for breaking a promise to his supporters may be much stronger than whatever positive reactions come from voters who are pleasantly surprised by his decision not to pursue that campaign pledge. For Trump, a shift away from some of the radical positions he has staked out may in fact please even a majority of Americans. But any positive reaction will likely be muted, while the disappointment of his original supporters will be amplified. He could find himself losing some of his supporters without picking up the same number from the other side — which could leave him even more unpopular than he already is.

Plan causes Trump to flip flop which spurs backlash – Election proves

Walsh 16 (Kenneth, author and speaker and the award-winning White House correspondent and columnist for U.S. News & World Report, “Trump Gets Branded a Flip-Flopper”, US News, 3/7/2016, Online:, 7/28, DTS)

Donald Trump, known for never backing down from his controversial statements and positions, is now an advocate of flexibility. Critics say he is starting to look like what he claims to abhor: a politician who shifts with the political winds and backpedals when under pressure. But Trump's fans say he is showing common sense and avoiding the kind of stubbornness that could lead to big mistakes if he wins the White House. The latest examples are his new positions on torture and killing the families of terrorists, causing his critics to portray Trump as untrustworthy. "Democrats can't let Trump reinvent himself and become a different person from the outrageous character he has been so far," says Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, a supporter of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. "...There's been a lot about Trump that's been entertaining and he's tapped into voters' frustrations, but there's nothing about him so far that has seemed presidential." Garin also tells me, "It is a huge danger for him to be seen as a crazy guy and if he is going to be the nominee I would guess he would want people to think he is not really as nuts as he seems." Trump, a billionaire real-estate developer from New York and the Republican presidential front-runner, had pledged that as president he would order the families of terrorists to be killed in order to deter future attacks. He also had pledged to authorize harsh interrogation, which some see as torture, of terrorism suspects to obtain information that could stop attacks. But on Friday, in an announcement that has received little news coverage, Trump changed his mind. He acknowledged that many intelligence and military experts say killing the families of terrorists would violate international law. "I feel very, very strongly about the need to attack and kill those terrorists who attack and kill our people," Trump explained in a statement to the media. "I know people who died on 9/11. I will never forget those events. I will use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies. I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters." Trump also said, "It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities." At the Republican presidential debate last week, Trump also reversed himself on part of his immigration policy. He said he now supports an increase in visas for highly skilled foreign workers. "I'm changing," he admitted. "We need highly skilled people in this country." Trump continued, "With immigration, as with anything else, there always has to be some tug and pull and deal. ... You have to be able to have some flexibility, some negotiation." The flip-flop issue is dogging Trump. Debate co-moderator Megyn Kelly of Fox News asked him whether he might change his tough stand on illegal immigration in additional ways if he became president. She cited an off-the record interview Trump had with the New York Times that was reported by BuzzFeed in which he supposedly said he would be flexible on immigration if he gets into the White House. Kelly also showed video clips of Trump seeming to change his stand condemning President George W. Bush for what Trump said was lying about the reasons for waging war in Iraq. The clip suggested that Trump is backing off that claim. Trump responded: "I have a very strong core. But I've never seen a successful person who wasn't flexible, who didn't have a certain degree of flexibility." All this may not please some Trump supporters who see flexibility as waffling, and changing positions as betrayal. And his GOP rivals have jumped on the flip-flop issue. "There's a difference between flexibility and saying whatever you need to say to get people to elect you," said Sen. Marco Rubio, Fla., a GOP presidential candidate who calls front-runner Trump a "con artist." Critics also are pressing Trump to allow the New York Times to make public its off-the-record interview.. "It's clear that he's already trying to pivot to more of a general election message and to abandon all of the things he said he was going to do on immigration," Todd Harris, a Rubio strategist, told reporters. "He's made a lot of promises to a whole lot of people, and people have accepted him at his word that he's going to keep them. And what we've seen over the last several days is that those promises are already starting to unravel."


Trump’s base largely supports the rollback of Obama-era OCR policies – they view them as unnecessary executive overreach.

Mead 17 Walter Russell, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE AMERICAN INTEREST ONLINE, 2017, “Education Department to Roll Back Title IX Overreach,” The American Interest, 06/29, Accessed 07/27/2017 //jsaltman

When Donald Trump appointed Candace E. Jackson to run the Office for Civil Rights in Education, the federal agency that spent much of its time during the Obama years pressuring colleges to reduce due process protections for students accused of sexual assault, we called it “one of his presidency’s most pointed acts of trolling.” A woman who had made her career highlighting Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual predation and Hillary Clinton’s alleged complicity would now be in charge of setting campus sexual assault policies—on behalf of the president whose campaign was nearly undone by the infamous Access Hollywood tape. Talk about twisting the knife. But in one of Jackson’s first major appearances in her role as Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights, she struck the right tone, promising that the agency would continue to vigorously enforce civil rights laws but also that it would back off some of the more zealous and ideological crusades that had set the agenda for the department during the last administration. Inside Higher Education reports on her comments this week to the National Association of College and University Attorneys: “OCR has fallen into a pattern and practice of overreaching, of setting out to punish and embarrass institutions rather than appreciate their good faith and genuine desire to correct legitimate civil rights problems,” Jackson said. She pointedly accused the Obama administration’s civil rights office of taking a “gotcha” approach to enforcing civil rights laws, of approaching “every complaint as a fishing expedition through which our field investigators have been told to keep searching until you find a violation rather than go where the evidence takes them.” That expansive approach, combined with OCR leaders’ disinclination to let investigators in the agency’s regional offices exercise their judgment, Jackson and Wheeler argued, created a huge backlog of cases, keeping colleges — and the students who brought the complaints as well as those accused — in limbo for “months if not years.” During the last half-decade of the Obama Administration, the agency’s leadership seemed determined to carry out the agenda of the most militant campus activists, who believed that colleges were in the midst of a full-blown rape crisis on par with what we usually associate with third world war zones. The result was the rise of an expensive Title IX-feminist bureaucracy throughout academia and a flurry of regulations that undermined civil liberties. While many colleges will likely retain their draconian policies, the new administration’s more modest approach is a step in the right direction. But it is no way a lasting resolution to the campus sex wars. The next time a Democrat takes office, he or she is likely to appoint people from the pool of legal activists who ran the agency the last time around. That’s why we desperately need legislation clarifying the powers of the OCR, the scope of Title IX, and the nature of campus’ (and law enforcement’s) responsibilities in combating sexual assault. Until then, federal policy will remain in flux. And that’s not in the interest of colleges or sexual assault victims or the accused.

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