A big part of the reason Donald Trump was able to rocket to the top of the Republican primaries despite considerable skepticism from the party’s elected leaders in DC was the fact that many Republican voters take a very skeptical view of the party’s elected leaders.
And the latest YouGov/Economist poll shows that same basic dynamic has, if anything, intensified in recent months. The poll offers a relatively positive result for Trump compared to most other recent surveys, showing him losing by a mere 4 percentage points nationally, by a 42-38 margin.
It also shows that Trump’s voters really hate Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan:
This has several important implications for politics going forward if Hillary Clinton wins the election, as seems likely.
The biggest one is that whatever they personally would most like to do, both Ryan and McConnell will have considerable difficulty engaging in any sort of bargaining with the Clinton administration.
To sell a compromise to your base, it’s important to be trusted heading into the negotiation. That way when you walk out of the room with a deal and say, “look, guys, I know this isn’t everything we want, but it’s the best deal we could get,” you are credible and can convince people.
But when most of your constituents hate you at the start, then almost any compromise is bound to be seen as a sellout. That’s a recipe for more gridlock.