It is difficult to figure out the direction of causality in the world of politics. Specifically, we rarely if ever know for sure whether the public's views are shaped by candidates for office or whether the candidates' pronouncements are shaped by public opinion, or both.
Here's a case in point. Trump is back to advocating mass deportation as a solution to the immigration "problem." And the Republican base agrees. Those are the results of a new poll reported by Roll Call ( h/t AZBlueMeanie).
Who did the survey?
The overall sample of the Economist Group/YouGov poll was 2,000 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Data reflect responses from 633 – 635 Republicans and independents who lean Republican. CQ Roll Call is part of The Economist Group.
What they found.
Sixty-five percent of Republicans and the independents who lean that way agreed with this statement: "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists." Trump said that in June, but poll respondents weren’t told who said it.
By contrast, 77 percent of Republicans disagree with this comment: "Yes, illegal immigrants broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love; it’s an act of commitment to your family." Poll respondents weren’t told that Bush said the comment in April.
Half of those folks think Trump is the candidate best suited to "handle the issue of immigration." And over a third of them think the GOP position on immigration will help in the 2016 election.
The Republicans really are the party of mass deportation. Here are comments from the AZBlueMeanie.
A good showman always gives the audience what they came to see, and today’s GOP is the modern-day equivalent of the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party of the mid-19th Century. They are the Mass Deportation Party.
Trump is suggesting that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal immigration courts will no longer be enforcing immigration laws as a law enforcement and judicial matter.
Trump will create a "deportation force" that will round up anyone without proper documentation, and load them onto cattle cars and deport them back to their country of origin without any due process of law. Does anyone believe that he will make an exception for the children of undocumented immigrants born in the U.S. who are U.S. citizens? Hell no!
Can Sinclair Lewis' it happen here? You betcha. As in Nazi Germany in the 30s, we are witnessing the reverberation between a candidate who feeds the masses and the masses who support the candidate.