Why Trump supporters will always have the president's back
The outrage that followed Trump's reaction to the violent Charlottesville rally fueled speculation that the president's supporters would abandon him. "I don't buy it," wrote the BBC's Kathy Kay, explaining why 35-38% of Americans would always approve of Trump. "It's not what they are for that matters, it's what they are against," she said. And that's three things-change, political establishment and the media.
Trump's supporters don't want change, prefer the good old days
Kay believes a culture war has been brewing for America's identity since the 1980s. She argues that for those in America's conservative non-coastal heartland for whom "the past looks golden and the future looks, well, brown-ish, then Mr Trump sounds like he's on your side." They don't view a changing America, which is increasingly diverse due to an influx of immigrants, favorably.
Trump a welcomed alternative as he isn't a mainstream politician
Trump's supporters are Republicans by virtue of their conservative nature. But what attracts them to Trump is his persona as a political outsider as he's never previously held elected office or any government roles. For those who are disenfranchised with the rank-and-file Republican Party members, Trump is a welcomed voice. Trump doesn't toe the party line and has often sparred with Republican and Democrats.
Middle-America conservatives feel ignored by media
Trump has regularly criticized the "fake news" media. This appeals to middle-America conservatives who somewhat justifiably believe "that they can't get a fair hearing in America's mainstream press, which they see as overwhelmingly coastal and liberal," notes Kay. No wonder then a recent poll by Quinnipiac University found that "80% of Republicans say they trust Mr Trump more than the media," Kay wrote.
Kay: Trump's supporters don't care whether he fulfills his promises
Kay said Trump "defies the normal metrics for success" because his supporters back him for what he's against, not what he's for. One Trump supporter, Kay spoke to, said Trump would probably never make good on "campaign promises of healthcare reform, tax reform and making American manufacturing great again." The supporter cites "three reasons - the media, the Russia investigation and the Republican Party."
Trump could win second term if he retains core supporters
Trump's overall support is dwindling. "But on issues of trust, leadership, strength, values, he still has the support of a majority of Republicans. And his base is more solid still," notes Kay. Trump narrowly won multiple states in 2016. Given America's complicated electoral rules, if Trump manages to retain his core support while running for a second term, he might just win.