US politics

Eight keys to understanding the Trump administration

By Lord Ashcroft

 

This article was first published at TIME.com

 

One day, President Donald Trump speaks in a presidential tone at an address to Congress; four days later, he launches a pre-dawn Twitter blitz to accuse his predecessor of bugging his New York base during the election campaign, with no apparent evidence.

If you are feeling discombobulated by the new order, help is at hand. Over the last six months, I have polled some forty thousand Americans and spoken to voters across the country for my Ashcroft in America research. The findings give us some clues as to what is happening and what to look out for.

Things might seem shambolic, but the White House is sticking to its strategy. Trump’s election campaign may have looked ill-disciplined, but his message was consistent: Things need to change, and I’m the man to change them. The same is true of his Administration (more…)

Protesting against the state visit does Britain no favours, and Trump no harm

By Lord Ashcroft

Last week, thousands of people took to the streets of London and other British cities in opposition to President Trump’s planned state visit to the UK. The weekend was rounded off with a predictable burst of celebrity sniping against Trump at the Oscars. No doubt this made everyone concerned feel better. But there are perhaps two things above all that reassure Trump voters that they made the right decision in November: squealing Hollywood liberals and noisy protesters – especially abroad.

This ought to be obvious to anyone who knows anything about voters of any kind, let alone American ones (more…)

Why Trump will need the art of the deal: my IDU lecture on the President’s challenges

By Lord Ashcroft

 

This is the text of my presentation to the International Democrat Union Campaign Managers Meeting in Washington on 24 February 2017. It covers subjects including the reasons for President Trump’s election, voters’ views on his early weeks in office, expectations for the Trump administration, policy challenges including healthcare, and how the Democrats are reacting to defeat.

 

Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for inviting me. If you happened to hear my presentation in Munich last month, let me reassure you that this is an expanded and updated version, with new material.

Much of the research I am about to share is described in more detail in my book Hopes and Fears, which was published last month. I had hoped to be able to bring you each a copy, but I have to tell you that we have temporarily sold out, which goes to show just what indispensable reading it must be. You can still order it from Amazon, or direct from Biteback Publishing, and I hope you will all take the chance to help a struggling author.

For the Americans in the room, let me say I hope it doesn’t seem too presumptuous that I should have come to Washington to tell you about your own election. Over the last twelve years or so, most of my research has been focused on British politics, but the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton demanded a closer look (more…)

‘I got big hopes for that man’: Michigan voters on two weeks of President Trump

By Lord Ashcroft

Earlier in the week I asked my Twitter followers what we should ask the voters who helped send Donald Trump to the White House. Many of the answers were along the lines of, “do you regret it yet?” Judging from my focus groups in Macomb County, Michigan – which backed Obama in 2012 but last year swung behind the Republican, helping him to win the state by just 0.3 per cent – the answer is a resounding “no”.

“He certainly is going down his list of promises and checking them off one by one,” one Trump voter told us. “He made promises and he’s going right at it right now (more…)

Ashcroft In America podcast – President Trump’s first two weeks

By Lord Ashcroft

In the latest edition of the Ashcroft In America podcast we hear from voters who supported Donald Trump on what they think of the new President and the controversies of his first days in office, and Hillary Clinton supporters on why they think she lost. I interview Jennifer Granholm, the former Democrat Governor of Michigan, on how her party can oppose the new administration and start winning again, and Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the state’s Republican Party, on what we can expect from President Trump.

So, no pressure: What America expects from President Trump

By Lord Ashcroft

“Now we have to deliver,” President Trump told Republican colleagues yesterday. As my latest polling shows, his voters agree.

Last year my Ashcroft In America research – compiled in my latest book, Hopes And Fears: Trump, Clinton, The Voters And The Futurehelped explain how the United States came to choose its new president. My new poll of more than ten thousand American voters, completed on the eve of the inauguration, shows what they expect from him.

Next week my polling team will be in Michigan to hear what voters have to say about the man they helped to put in the White House – and you will be able to hear them too, in a new edition of the Ashcroft In America podcast. Meanwhile, here is what the numbers show (more…)

‘The voters had their eyes wide open’: my presentation to the IDU on Trump’s election

By Lord Ashcroft

This is the text of a presentation I gave yesterday at a meeting of the International Democrat Union in Munich, summarising my research on the US elections.

Good afternoon everyone. This event is very well timed, since the research I am about to share is described in more detail in my new book, which is out this week. It is available from Amazon or direct from Biteback Publishing. I am sure you will all take the chance to help a struggling author.

As you will know, my interest in polling goes back some twelve years, when I decided to look into the question of why the Conservative Party kept losing elections. Since that time, most of my research has been focused on British politics, but the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton demanded a closer look (more…)

‘Hopes And Fears: Trump, Clinton, The Voters And The Future’

By Lord Ashcroft

In the weeks before the presidential election my polling team conducted focus groups in seven swing states listening to voters talk about the decision that lay before them. At the same time, a poll of nearly thirty thousand Americans revealed more about the country that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

All my Ashcroft In America research is brought together in my new book, Hopes And Fears: Trump, Clinton, The Voters And The Future. My first aim is to help understand how the result came about – and, crucially, that the American people made their choice with their eyes wide open (more…)

Ashcroft In America podcast – The Transition

By Lord Ashcroft

In the latest edition of the Ashcroft In America podcast I speak to three top Washington reporters – Molly Ball of The Atlantic, Dan Balz of The Washington Post and Anna Palmer of POLITICO – about the transition and what we can expect under President Trump; plus Stephanie Cutter, former adviser to President Obama, and Republican strategist Jeff Larson talk about what they think the future holds for their respective parties.

 

If you don’t listen to the voters, someone else will: the real lesson of Trump

By Lord Ashcroft

You’d think the world had come to an end. Anguished commentators have reacted to the US election as though it heralds the end of liberal democracy as we know it. The result was undeniably dramatic and will have consequences we can’t foresee. But I think the explanation for it is rather more prosaic: like every electorate everywhere in the world, American voters had a choice of imperfect outcomes, and they took a deep breath and made it. As is always the case, some are horrified by the voters’ decision – but their grief has carried them away, and is preventing them from learning the right lesson from Donald Trump’s victory.

In just over a decade of research, I have made something of a study of how losing political movements react to defeat. Though circumstances differ, most have one thing in common: they claim, at least inwardly, a moral victory (more…)