Donald Trump’s Base Doesn’t Care Much About His Opinion

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Confirmed lunatic Roy Moore won the Republican Senate primary in Alabama last night, which was no big surprise. But it’s a funny thing. Donald Trump endorsed his opponent, and this is yet another sign that Trump has very little sway over his supporters. They like him, but only when he’s telling them what they already want to hear. If he goes off the reservation, they shrug and continue doing whatever they were doing in the first place.

To some extent this is true of all presidents, of course. The power to persuade is a precious and limited commodity. But Trump seems more than normally unable to move the needle of national opinion. He can spur outrage over things his base is already outraged about. He can gull the media into letting him set the agenda. He can unite everyone in embarrassment. But his support or opposition doesn’t seem to change minds about the wisdom of going to war; whether to approve of Republican health plans; or who to vote for.

Am I off base here? Or does Trump really have less than normal influence over his followers?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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