Nate Silver makes an excellent point:

Reporters should fan out to shopping malls in upscale suburbs of purple states and try to figure out why Trump’s approval rating is only 35% there despite booming local economies.

— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 1, 2018

A lot of the problem with these mainstream media retrospectives on Trump’s first year is a failure to recognize how profoundly unpopular he is — especially for a president in a pretty good economy.

— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 1, 2018

We know that mainstream journalists who go on anthropological journeys to the American heartland prefer to interview mostly old white guys in rural diners — but the interviewees Silver is recommending would tend to be white, too, perhaps the adult children of those old diner guys, the ones who moved to moderate-size cities and did reasonably well for themselves. Some of them would be still be pro-Trump. But a lot of them wouldn’t — why? Why did they become disillusioned? Isn’t that worth asking?

Or, hell, the media anthropologists could keep it rural and “authentic” by following up on this Dave Weigel story with a few interviews:

Iowa, the epicenter of the Republicans’ 2014 and 2016 surge, is not an obvious place for a Democratic comeback. Unemployment, sinking under 4 percent when Donald Trump won the state, has fallen to 3 percent….

[But] Iowa has seemingly soured on the president and his party. The end-of-year Iowa Poll, an industry standard conducted by Des Moines-based Selzer and Co., found Trump with just 35 percent approval in the state. Only 34 percent of Iowans said they would back Republicans for Congress in 2018….

This despite the fact that

Thirty-one of Iowa’s 99 counties voted for Barack Obama twice, then flipped in 2016 to support Donald Trump. Just 41.7 percent of Iowans backed Hillary Clinton for president, the weakest showing for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1980.

Weigel cites some of the issues in Iowa (trade protectionism might not go over well in a state that exports a lot of agricultural products) and talks to some political insiders. He doesn’t go to diners — that isn’t the kind of article he set out to write.

↓ Story continues below ↓

C’mon, MSMers — here’s your big chance. Iowa doesn’t border an ocean — and it’s 91% white. So just about everyone you interview will be, by your definition, a “real American.” What are you waiting for?

Crossposted from No More Mr. Nice Blog


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