The Atlantic

Why People Who Hate Trump Stick With Him

Since 2018, I’ve conducted roughly 50 focus groups with Trump voters to understand the shifting dynamics within the Republican Party.
Source: Getty/ The Atlantic

President Donald Trump is losing to former Vice President Joe Biden by more than 10 percentage points in both the Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight national polling averages. This historically large margin suggests that something amazing has happened: Even in our hyperpolarized political environment, a meaningful number of voters have changed their minds about Trump.

Equally amazing: The majority of 2016 Trump voters—despite a mismanaged pandemic, widespread economic fallout, a racial crisis exacerbated by divisive rhetoric, and a debate meltdown—plan to back Trump a second time.

What makes one voter who supported Trump in 2016 decide to support Biden? And what makes another voter—even one who thinks things are going badly—stick around?

In the simplest, broadest terms, those who are abandoning

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