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

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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?

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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