There’s One Group of Voters Who Likes Chris Christie More Than Ever


Jonathan Bernstein notes today that Chris Christie’s poll numbers have actually risen among one particular group of voters: tea partiers. It’s a small sample from a single poll, so you don’t want to take this to the bank until we get confirmation. And yet:

If true (and again: see caveats above), it’s a fascinating finding, confirming that for at least some non-trivial group of Republicans, all a politician has to do to win their favor is to get attacked by anyone outside of the conservative bubble.

Which is, to put it bluntly, pathetic.

But it does suggest — at least a little — the appeal of a Sarah Palin or a Herman Cain….Or, for that matter, the continuing appeal of Newt Gingrich to some conservatives despite his frequent and major deviations on public policy over the years. If the core credential for being a Real Conservative is to be attacked (by liberals? by the “neutral” news media? by prosecutors?), then demagogues, charlatans and the inept have a real advantage over responsible, competent politicians. Which really is a problem for the Republican Party, but beyond that, is an even more important problem, I would think, for actual ideological conservatives — that is, people who care about public policy and ideology, as opposed to being purely concerned with tribal allegiances.

Partisans are always susceptible to circling the wagons when one of their own is attacked. But conservatives have turned victimization into a high art over the past few years—led, as Bernstein points out, by the high priestess of grievance and victimization herself, Sarah Palin. When reports surface that make you look bad, just spin them as desperate attacks against real American values by East Coast elitists and you’re golden. After all, if the lamestream media says you did something bad, then you must actually be doing something very, very good, amirite?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate