The New York Times reports Democrats fear the rioting in Kenosha in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake already is moving some voters in the key battleground state of Wisconsin to President Trump’s camp.
In a story Thursday headlined “How Chaos in Kenosha Is Already Swaying Some Voters in Wisconsin,” the Times says “some voters who were less sure of their choice said the chaos in their city and the inability of elected leaders to stop it were currently nudging them toward the Republicans.”
“And some Democrats, nervous about condemning the looting because they said they understood the rage behind it, worried that what was happening in their town might backfire and aid the president’s re-election prospects,” reported the “paper of record.”
A Politico story on Thursday also highlighted the Democrats’ fear that the unrest will re-elect Trump.
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“There’s no doubt it’s playing into Trump’s hands,” Paul Soglin, a former Democratic mayor of Madison, told Politico. “There’s a significant number of undecided voters who are not ideological, and they can move very easily from Republican to the Democratic column and back again.”
Soglin emphasized that they are the people who decide elections, “and they are very distraught.”
Meanwhile, an angry Papa John’s employee in Madison, Wisconsin, was captured on video asking protesters through the store’s smashed front window, “Do you want Trump to be reelected?”
The video was posted Tuesday on Twitter:
Windows of businesses and residential buildings being smashed on University Avenue — which were not preemptively boarded up. This Papa John’s employee asks protesters, “Do you want Trump to be elected?” pic.twitter.com/IbSubGfGs6
— Dylan Brogan (@telldylan) August 26, 2020
On the second night of the Republican National Convention, as WND reported Wednesday, 16 of 18 callers after C-SPAN’s coverage of the event enthusiastically expressed support for Trump, including several lifelong Democrats.
On Wednesday, Trump’s approval rating hit a new high of 52%, according to a Zogby Analytics poll, including 23% among Democrats.
Trump had the approval of 36% of blacks and 37% of Hispanics. He won just 8% of the vote among blacks in 2016.
‘People are afraid to take a stance’
The Times spoke with the owner of an antique store in Kenosha, Ellen Ferwerda, who said she’s against Trump but has “huge concern” the unrest could help him win.
Local Democratic leaders, she pointed out, seemed hesitant to condemn the chaos.
“I think they just don’t know what to say,” she said. “People are afraid to take a stance either way, but I do think it’s strange they’re all being so quiet. Our mayor has disappeared. It’s like, ‘Where is he?'”
Powerline blogger Steven Hayward, who spotlighted the Times story, observed that if you don’t know what to say about rioters, “you won’t know what to do about it either.”
The Times interviewed John Geraghty, a 41-year-old worker in a tractor factory, who disliked how Trump talked but said the Democratic Party’s vision for governing seemed limited to attacking him.
“The Democratic agenda to me right now is America is systematically racist and evil and the only people who can fix it are Democrats,” he said. “That’s the vibe I get.”
He, too, is frustrated that Democratic leaders seem afraid of confronting crowds when things turn violent.
Geraghty criticized the response of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Sunday to the Blake shooting, condemning the police while the investigation had barely gotten underway.
‘There’s nobody fighting back’
Don Biehn, 62, owner of a flooring company, said Trump “was not my man,” but now he is grateful he is president.
Trump, he said, seems to understand the situation in a way that other politicians do not.
“There’s nobody fighting back,” Biehn said. “Nobody is paying attention to what’s going on.”
A waitress at a Kenosha pizza restaurant, Priscella Gazda, said her only vote for president was for Obama in 2008, but this year is different.
“I am going to vote for Trump,” she told the Times. “He seems to be more about the American people and what we need.”
Hayward pointed out a Princeton political scientist, Omar Wasow, was demonized by the left for an article published in May in the American Political Science Review that used quantitative analysis to conclude that urban rioting helped elect Richard Nixon in 1968.
On Wednesday, Rasmussen Reports’ weekly White House Watch survey showed Trump and Biden in a virtual tie one week after Biden led by 4 points.
The new national telephone and online survey found Biden with 46% support among likely voters to Trump’s 45%. Rasmussen said the former vice president has bested Trump in every weekly survey to date, but this week’s 46% is his lowest level of support in any survey.
Meanwhile, a study at the Socionomics Institute that shows the stock market is the key indicator in elections gives Trump an 87% chance to win.