Primaries, polls and party actions: it's mailbag time.


I get frustrated with the “right and wrong way” surveys; Well, perhaps more specifically, the media coverage of it. It always seems to be presented as poor numbers that reflect poorly on the president. But if you ask me that question, I will say “wrong path,” but because of the Republican Party's threat to democracy. Any way to fix that? —Jack Cowan

To be honest, Jack, I've never been a big fan of the question and we don't always ask it. That said, I think it has its place: it's useful to have a rough and durable approximation of the national mood, even if it doesn't yield any insight into the “why.” For that, we have other questions.

The term “conservatives” used to have a specific political meaning. But today what are they conserving? I think the media needs to adopt more precise terms to call them, like right-wing populists, or right-wing ideologues, or right-wing radicals. What they are practicing is no longer true conservatism. I'm wrong? Thank you. — Mr. Nations

I don't think I agree that “conservative” has always had a consistent, specific, and clear political meaning. “Liberal” and “progressive” have also not had consistent, specific, and clear political meanings.

And at least in my opinion, conservatives today are still true to the most basic definition: a political ideology aimed at preserving a traditional way of life: customs, culture, ideas, institutions, hierarchies, values, beliefs, and more.

Clearly some conservatives today see tension between the preservation of certain traditional institutions (such as a democratic republic, which risks empowering those who oppose conservatives) and other conservative goals. But this is not exactly unprecedented in the conservative tradition: beyond “radical” or “populist” that you proposed, terms such as reactionary or counterrevolutionary have also been used to describe conservatives who are not so conservative in defense of some values ​​established since a long time ago.

Do polls reflect Trump's growing popularity among young, black or Hispanic voters?

I hear a lot about discontent toward Biden. But does that mean they're happy or excited about Trump? —Bryan Watson

That doesn't mean they're happy or excited about Trump. In fact, most voters who backed President Biden in 2020 but backed Trump in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll do not have a favorable view of Trump at all. They are also much less likely to say they will actually vote or have a record of doing so in the past.

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