Show 21-03 (Stan Greenberg)



Stan Greenberg – Wikipedia
Greenberg Research
Greenberg’s Current Polling

American Rescue Plan

How Americans Feel About ‘Defunding The Police’ | FiveThirtyEight (June 2020).

Vaccine-hesitant Republicans say they want information, not ad pitches on covid shots – The Washington Post
Fauci hopes Trump will push his supporters to get COVID-19 vaccine | Reuters
Deep partisan divide over vaccination – CBS-YouGov poll
Fauci Cautions Against Dropping Restrictions – The New York Times
As Cases Spread Across U.S. Last Year, Pattern Emerged Suggesting Link Between Governors’ Party Affiliation and COVID-19 Case and Death Numbers – 2021 – News – News Releases – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


(Computer generated)

Jeff Timmer 0:04
I’m Jeff Timmer. I’ve advised Republican candidates at the local, state and national level as a consultant and as executive director of the Michigan GOP. Now I’m a political nomad who has put what’s best for the country above carrying water for my former political party.

Mark Brewer 0:19
And I’m Mark Brewer. For 18 years I battled Jeff and his Republican allies as chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. These days, I’m a lawyer and consultant to progressive nonprofits, political parties, candidates and ballot question committees.

Announcer 0:35
This is a A Republic, If You Can Keep It — inside the backrooms of Michigan politics with veteran political strategists Jeff Timmer and Mark Brewer

Mark Brewer 0:46
Joining the conversation this week is longtime Democratic polling guru, Stan Greenberg. Stan is a New York Times best selling author and polling advisor to presidents, prime ministers and CEOs globally. And right now he’s conducting deep research in multiple countries. He was the senior pollster for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and South African President Nelson Mandela has corporate clients and included Microsoft and other global companies.

Jeff Timmer 1:16
Greenberg’s research and writing on disruptive changes in the US, Britain, Europe, South Africa and Venezuela and on the parties of both left and right is driving the public debate. His book about how America addresses its deepest problems was applauded by Walter Isaacson, author of “Steve Jobs”, for its great sense of history, as well as deep understanding of the hopes and fears of today’s Americans. And his new book. “Rip GOP” was published by St. Martin’s Press in the fall of 2019.

Mark Brewer 1:47
I first met Stan when he came to Macomb county back in the 1980s. And it’s great to be talking to him again.That’s where I learned anything that meant was there I it is like deep in my consciousness at each point and and and also the the good souls that I work with a lot of people with good values who tried to make the political process work. So I have a lot of respect for the people that I work with. Brian right through to David bond here and and others.

Jeff Timmer 2:20
That’s an interesting place to do politics. I did my first campaigns cut my political teeth in McComb County, usually doing battle with Mark in his plants.

Stan Greenberg 2:32
While you’re probably kind of doing a little bit better than these days, right.

Jeff Timmer 2:37
The Republicans have made some gains. And it’s you know, it’s interesting. You know, if you, you know, coined the term way back when the Reagan Democrats how there’s a place like McComb County, you know, now three decades later has continued to be looked at as a bellwether. But that’s an interesting point of conversation. Is it? Is Oakland County or Kent County here in Michigan, and where (you know) those kinds of higher income suburban counties around the country? Are they becoming more of a battleground for the Biden Republicans? That’s a term and I know that that’s also something that you’ve written about recently.

Stan Greenberg 3:20
Well, what I’ve learned is you have to, you have to do both, you cannot choose. And the and while, you know, there has been a trend, you know, toward a more, you know, a more diverse country, multicultural country. growth, more affluent. And college graduates, particularly Millennials are better educated than other generations, all of which have kind of edged up the education scale. But what I think we didn’t factor in was Trump’s ability to animate and increased engagement and turnout and bring in new voters in response to those very trends. Those trends were, you know, the threat they focused on the demographic problem. And I think we got I underestimated his ability to change the electorate, and and make them continue as a, you know, as a as a factor, despite the, you know, slow decline in, you know, in their proportion of the electorate, he’s actually increased their proportion of the voters by increased turnout. And that’s required, more and more and more and more animated, and ugly campaigning, in my view, but nonetheless, it’s it’s part it’s a fact of life now that we have to consider both kind of the persuasion battle over kind of the ragged Democrats but also the battle for who gets involved, who’s engaged.

Mark Brewer 4:47
Stan those those new voters that Trump pulled out that you just talked about in the last presidential election? Will they come out? You think without Trump at the top of ticket will they come out for a Trump-like candidate running for governor next year for example?

Stan Greenberg 5:04
You know, I, you know, I look, I don’t know, the, I’m a little skeptical that they come out, you know, in Michigan, I mean, it may be a little bit different. In Georgia, you know, where, you know, he’s like, you know, fought this battle, you know, of a lifetime where the election was, you know, was stolen from him. Michigan was part of the mix, you know, but but, you know, it wasn’t, you know, and, and obviously focused, you know, on, you know, on Detroit, but the, the battles that, you know, to the end, you know, was, you know, is Arizona, and, you know, and because it was, because was Republican officials, you might be with, who are keeping him from, you know, getting the being reelected, as you know, as President, you know. I think I really have no idea. The, and I think we have to be, you know, careful, you know, on, you know, what will, you know, what will bring turnout, what impacts turnout in, you know, in the midterms, and we traditionally, you would have reaction against an, you know, incumbent president, and you would expect them then to have higher turnout, and, you know, reacting, you know, against, you know, against, you know, Biden, I mean, that would be that would be the normal thing. And particularly since they’re also saying, you know, this is cancel culture and a whole, you know, whole triumph of, you know, radicalism and socialism. And you have to, you know, you have to turn out and so, I think that the watch, you know, watch the registration, because I think we’ll know, in real time what, you know, whether people are, you know, you know, you know, registering to vote to see which party is, you know, is, you know, is registering people, you know, to vote. On the other hand, you know, if you looked at this last election, I mean, it controlled the whole federal government to use the National Guard, you know, he focused every second on the unrest in cities and, you know, made the case, you know, the Democratic governance was, you know, was violence, growing crime, defund the police, you know, the, you know, constantly feel great, you know, racial conflict, you know, can he do that from outside? Or does he, you know, he doesn’t control the government control the spotlight, you know, in the same way, I’m sure they’re, you know, they’re, you know, looking at immigration right now, what’s happening on the border. And, again, does he have the same ability, the way he did in this last election, it’s been a year, if you think about, you know, the whole pandemic, and, you know, you know, focused on what was happening to police and crime. And, you know, all of that, you know, extraordinary power, brought out a lot of voters in and, you know, can that happen from outside the White House? Can he if he’s not on the ballot? I mean, does, can he shape the electorate, you know, in the same way. My gut tells me that he can’t, and he will also be tied up with, you know, a lots of, you know, other, you know, other things, you know, from criminal prosecutions from a whole range of the financing, a range of things that will distract him, you know, from this. And so, I think, you know, the jury’s out, but there’s lots of factors come into play.

Mark Brewer 8:15
And you mentioned, defund the police. Do you think that has continuing appeal, as a campaign message? Are we going to see that resurrected in 2022?

Stan Greenberg 8:27
Look, everything depends on President Biden, who was against defunding the police, as you know, as we’re virtually every Democrat, you know, in the country? And the, but I think, but I think it’s different when when you have Joe Biden, the President, and he, you know, and he’s saying, I’m funding the boys, you know, because, in fact, he’s putting the state, you know, state money in, you’re gonna see, you know, you know, budgets. I think that’s going to be diffused by just what’s happening in terms of the the country that can be focused on other things. You know, you know, beyond that, I mean, they’ll try to do that. But right now, they’re on cancel culture rather than the police. Is that kind of, you know, the focus. I mean, though, there’ll be some piece of it, you know, that the focus, probably immigration, you know, was the thing that they have focused on, you know, the most and, obviously, impacted things, you know, in Michigan, you know, over a number of years. But will be again, but harder when you’re not the president harder when there’s another one, there’s another president who has more control over what the agenda is, you know, and I think you’re looking at, you know, people, you know, getting a lot of help, that they’ve been desperate to receive, and I think that they were really grateful for that going into huge economic growth at the end of the year, double, you know, Trump’s best, you know, quarter very likely by the end of the year. With infrastructure you’re probably looking to the midterms with, you know, actual visible construction projects, you know, where jobs are being created. Yeah, that’s, you know, maybe upward pressure on wages. So it’s, I don’t know, I’d rather have our hand. yeah, right now, you know, going into the midterm, even though I know that history, yeah, I’d rather have our hand.

Jeff Timmer 10:20
You seem to hit the nail on the head is where I was just going to go with this is the the rosy economic forecast what’s, you know, 8%, or higher growth forecast as we head into 2022. With unemployment falling to near historic lows during 2020. As high as the Republicans dialed up the culture war in 2020, to deal with bad economic circumstances and bad performance during the pandemic, it seems like the only option they’re going to have is to turn it up as high or higher in 2022 to counteract the good economic message that Biden and the Democrats are likely to be campaigning under, too. And so that just bodes for it as bad or worse campaign cycle in terms of the rhetoric and the division in 2022 then we as we saw in the last election, yeah,

Stan Greenberg 11:18
I can I combine that with Biden himself, who seems very, this is not somebody would make the mistake of saying, you know, deplorables. I mean, he, you know, he listens to working people, he’s very self conscious about his working class roots, you know, he campaigns in these areas, he, he says, he’s listening to these voters. And and if you look at what he’s done in his first package, is cut their taxes. He provided, you know, a, you know, a bait, you know, base of income for your, for children, you know, in families. I’m, you know, they’re, you know, taxes is also the other part of the as you know, Republican playbook: is the Democrats are gonna raise your taxes. Well, then they’re gonna cut your taxes, you know, them cutting the taxes on the unemployment benefits, which came under the bipartisan deals. You know, it’s it’s Democratic cut, and those were big visible tax increases that people really were surprised by. and Democrats looks like they’re being very tax sensitive. If you look at those tax cuts, you look at what’s happening with the child tax.

Announcer 12:28
Mark and Jeff, will be back after a brief message. (Commercial break)

Mark Brewer 12:35
, you’ve written recently about what you call the Biden Republicans. We had Bill Kristol on a couple of weeks ago, and he started talking about Red Dogs before who might support but you are you’re focused on the voters, these so-called Biden Republicans. So tell us about them. And you know, whether the Biden Republicans, do they stick with Democrats in 2022, what do you think?

Stan Greenberg 13:42
That’s a trend that has, you know, carried forward for like decades, you know, the more affluent voters, you know, have moved, you know, toward the Democrats. Look at Michigan, look it up and counting. And that was happening, you know, happening before it was a growing trend. There was also more diversity, you know, in, you know, in those counties. You know, it wasn’t just, you know, affluent voters or college educated voters, but there was a trend in those, you know, affluent suburbs that was more and more Democratic. Well, what happened in, you know, in the primaries, as you know, as you had, you know, Livingston had, but you had Republican counties suddenly have this surge of Democrats voting in the primary. For me, that was one of the bigger surprises. I knew they were leaving, you know, Trump, I mean, he was driving them away, and he’s mainly in control with the party. He’s driving away moderates, he’s driving away, college educated women, you know, from the, you know, the party. And and what you’ve seen is a shift of all college voters, you know, towards the Democrats. And they’ve acted, you know, they voted in the primary which says to me that they are that they’re becoming Biden voters. And everything I’m seeing him on him and President, you know, would consolidate it. So I think it’s real, I don’t think it’s a, you know, obviously has to be consolidated. But I also think he’s alert to it. He’s reinforcing historical trends. But it’s also driven by dynamics within the Republican Party, which may get less and less, you know, hospitable, you know, to college educated, you know, voters, you know, who were voting for, for Biden. The challenge for Biden, and the opportunity is to do both with the Biden Republicans but also the Reagan Democrats and working class voters like in Macomb that didn’t yet come over. They were it was close in Macomb. What was the margin?

Jeff Timmer 15:43
About a 30,000 vote margin for for Trump which was not bad? No, no, it was down 10,000; he won by 40 over Hillary. So it was a bit narrower.

Stan Greenberg 15:54
Yeah, yeah. But still as you go further, I mean, the and have a very different election. And the question that also is, what happens on turnout of those voters who came in for the first time to vote, and I described them, these new voters, I mean, they are straight ticket voters. You know, he was calling these voters into the electorate to save the country, from Democratic governance in, in places like Detroit, you know, with out-of-control crime. Obviously, that’s not situation. But I’m describing Trump’s description of what happens when Democrats are, you know, are in control. And those new voters, you know, they voted straight Republican, whereas Biden was not doing that. Biden was actually saying, I’ll work with both parties. He was making his case against Trump not in public. And I think that created that dynamic, we had more ticket splitting and Biden voters but no ticket to Trump.

Mark Brewer 16:57
Yeah, the data we’ve seen on that, Stan, so far in Michigan indicates that. I’ve studied straight party voting for years. Yeah, stronger this time for the Republicans as you indicated. It’s never been right.

Jeff Timmer 17:10
It makes you rethink of, you know, those fights against getting rid of straight party voting.

Mark Brewer 17:15
I will keep it because it’s important to our to our minority voters particularly, Jeff, even though Michigan is one of the handful of states still has it. Most states have gotten rid of it, principally by Republicans, because they view it as something that helps Democrats by and large.

Stan Greenberg 17:34
I think Connecticut has it, which is and where I’m from or my wife, where has her district

Mark Brewer 17:42
So Stan, you talked about whether these Biden Republicans could be consolidated. What would be some signs of that? Did they vote down-ballot for Democrats in 2020? If consolidation is occurring, will they start to do that? You indicated they participated in the primary? That’s a good sign. Yeah. And they’re more interested in the party. But yeah, how do we tell if they’re consolidating going forward?

Stan Greenberg 18:07
Well, what’s different is that you now, the Republican Party having voted in block against with no votes on supporting this package, which is immensely popular before it’s implemented. And I think it’ll be more popular, once people are really getting money in their pocket that they need. You know, the, I’m in the middle of focus groups, with Republicans; I’m about halfway done with these groups. And I’ve been presenting the package to them focused on things that affect, you know, that affect the working class. These Republicans, you know, when I asked what, why are they doing what I expected them to say, well, they blow up the deficit or campaign promises, you know, to win win the election. They were like, most of them, you know, said said, because, you know, they’re, they’re just trying to help people, because people are in, in desperate trouble after this year of this pandemic. And the, I think that could be seen as you know, helping people. It is a very, it’s a very middle class package, you know, as well, you know, every part of it, you know, goes up into way into the middle middle income home range, a child tax credit, you know, is you know, 150,000 or, you know, for married couples, but, but over, you know, over 100,000 for single and I said really basic coverage, everybody getting, you know, getting these new benefits, you know, so I think, you know, I think he has to deliver. There’s a lot of stuff here, you know, can they deliver you know. The first part of this is delivery, making sure people know, you know, know, know about it, but, you know, if he’s, you know, opening the schools, you know, that you know, as they’re doing and using the funds, you know, for that purpose. And if you look by even into next year to look like he’s opened up, the economy opened up, you know, opened up the schools, you know, tax relief, you know, and also real money for the middle class. It’s pretty good stuff.

Jeff Timmer 20:18
Yeah, I mean, I know that my friends who are still helping Republican candidates are…the smart ones are cautiously dreading the good economic news, they know what’s coming, because they know what’s going to put them behind the eight ball heading into next year that they’re going to be fighting an uphill battle in that midterm election, that they hope to have some tailwind instead, they’re going to be blown in the face. Yeah.

Stan Greenberg 20:43
I mean, look, Trump had such an advantage on, on who you trust to handle manage the economy. You know, even you know, even when the polls showed, you know, this, you know, strong, and for Biden, which was overstated, within that day, you know, Trump had a huge event and doubled it advantage of the election day, on who, you know, who can handle the economy, you know, and still actually is, you know, you know, good numbers, but I think it’s gonna, you know, things are gonna change. If you’ve got, you know, really rock and roll, good times, real, I think the mood of the country can really be very different. We had two thirds of the country saying, we’ve been on the wrong track forever. I can’t, you know, think of a time where it’s got, you know, below 60. On wrong track. Let’s see where things are at the end of the year.

Mark Brewer 21:36
What’s your sense of where we are right now, Stan, based on what you’re seeing and hearing out there? I mean, I, you know, hope? I think people are just, you know, seeing kind of the end of the pandemic? I think people are starting to feel a little better about the economy and so forth. I mean, do you have any sense of where we are right now, in terms of voters and what their mood is?

Stan Greenberg 22:01
Like, I mean, I am doing focus groups, and listening to people, and people are starting to feel a little bit more hopeful. But you know, it’s, it’s truly telling also, it’s hard to trust the polls. Because I’ve been doing polls to try to to examine what happened, you know, last year, you know, because so many of the polls, including my own, you know, you know, underestimated Trump and Trump’s voters. And so I think there’s a lot of a lot of work to be done on rethinking the polls, I’m, you know, I just did a poll where I have, you know, changed the weighting, you know, to reflect things I learned in Europe, on, you know, how we, you know, how we dealt with right wing populists, like Boris Johnson and a Brexit by elections in, in Britain, or Netanyahu, you know, and, and how he campaigned, you know, late in the process, and in places like Austria, you know, where the hydro and the Freedom Party, you know, the new neo nazis, you know, surged into the house, how did you pull them, you know, correctly. And so once I’ve done that, you know, the, you have a very stable, political climate furthermore. Now, this is before this package passed before it’s being implemented. But don’t underestimate how polarized and stable the climate is going in, I think you have to make the assumption that, you know, Trump’s ability to bring, you know, to bring his the, you know, right wing populist bloc into the laughter is still there. In fact, those are like, those letters are real mean, and they avoid pollsters. Now, there are ways to deal with that. But it leads you to a more cautious view of where Biden is, you know, we have his approval ratings, but, you know, four points lower than the average of the public polls in our poll. And Trump actually still has, you know, still has 43% approving of, of what he’s doing, you know, close to what his past approval rating is. And so I think things are changing. I think it’s getting as glacial. I think it’s moving toward the, Democrats because of all the things we’re talking about, you know, but it’s, it’s, the old plan hasn’t crashed, and nor any arrangement aware of, you know, we’re moving glacially potentially into a period where people may feel have a different mood.

Jeff Timmer 24:35
Most interesting way to look is so often that it means I think it’s people say, oh, political realignment that’s thrown about too easily in you know, in order to have a true it does take, you know, some big big events and some big movement, but we could, we’ve definitely seen, I think, with the college educated whites moving so much quickly away from the Republicans. We’ve seen at least the beginnings of what could turn into a long lasting, durable realignment, socio economic more than racial.

Stan Greenberg 25:12
I think it’s true. I think you’re right. It’s right. I think I think it’s two pieces. One that trend on the on the social economic side. But the other is the divisions within the Republican Party. You know, I’ve been I’ve been very surprised by the if you look at the, at the polling at CPAC in terms of, you know, Trump standing amongst, you know, those, you know, you know, voters, you know, where I think Trump was around 51%, if you also look at the poll, that was just done by Fabrizio, amongst Republicans, that were Trump’s at 51%. 51% for the incumbent is very popular. And, you know, a very large portion, you know, of the party, you know, you know, are withdrawn. But they’re not necessarily voting for for president and they’re now voters who are gonna vote for somebody, not just in a primary. I mean, I mean, they’re, they’re probably 10% of Republicans, who will, you know, potentially vote for Biden or vote for a Democrat or stay home. Because the anti-Trump has become much more self conscious and willing to express it. Now, so you have a divided, you know, Republican party that has to that has to play out. And so it’s it’s that process in conjunction with what’s happening on the trend with more affluent voters and the Biden problems.

Mark Brewer 26:38
Let me kind of throw you a hypothetical stance. Suppose you were advising a Republican statewide candidate in Michigan next year, I know we’re looking into the future, we’re looking into the crystal ball. What kind of advice would you be given them based on these divisions and the data you’re seeing now?

Stan Greenberg 26:56
Well, do I have to win the nomination? To win my primary?

Jeff Timmer 27:02
That’s the paradox. You gotta win a primary first order.

Stan Greenberg 27:09
Look, the I’ve looked hard at the Republican Party, and you have like, we have 58% of Republicans who strongly strongly approve of Trump. And we have 40% now who are not in that room, but but you really do have a 60% block that is that is strongly Trump. And what obviously needs signals that you’re aligned with Trump? I don’t see how you win if you run for those people. You know, I don’t, I don’t see how you get yourself into to a broader set of voters, you know, to, you know, to win statewide, and you’re also running against the popular (you should inform me otherwise) but pretty popular governor in the state. I would take my chances that as I would you know, I’d be brave and authentic, and say, You know what? Life is short. We’re, you know, we’re who knows how this fight within the Republican Party is gonna play out. You know, but the, the future is not with Trump, even if you even align with positions that Trump offered without, you know, I think and say your this is a different future than what Trump is offering without personally attacking Trump.

Jeff Timmer 28:39
That’s smart advice. I know the Republicans well, and that does not describe their mindset. They are averse to that kind of smart advice, positioning themselves opposite Trump. That was the only chance, for instance, that Bill Schuette really had against Whitmer two years ago when he first ran. But he ran so hard toward Trump in the primary that there was no chance for him to broaden his appeal in any real sense for November. And I think the Republicans are doomed to repeat that again, because I don’t think they can help themselves.

Mark Brewer 29:12
The dilemma that you described, Stan may well explain why we have not seen any significant Republican candidates step forward and say they’re going to run for governor. You know, what campaigns like now the money that you raise the thing that has to be done? And it’s almost April and no candidate has taken a step forward, I think they are on the horns of a dilemma.

Stan Greenberg 29:35
Yeah. Well, we like their dilemma. It feels to me like you’re comfortable with what things will look like in the in the midterms. Give me your sense of educate me about Michigan and Macomb.

Mark Brewer 29:49
I am but again, I you know, you know, me I don’t take anything for granted. You know, events can turn, you can get surprises can get thrown at you. So, I encourage all these games that we got redistricting coming up, which obviously is down ballot, but it’s created a lot of uncertainties. And I just really encourage people to work their constituency and push forward these things. And I just, you know, I remember 1992. So well, it’s the economy, stupid, right? These economic issues are so important, not just in Macomb, but elsewhere in the state. If people are feeling good, they got money in their pockets and our prospects are looking good economically, that could be a big boost to us as Democrats next year. Jeff, what’s your take?

Jeff Timmer 30:31
Yeah, even I really think the all the indicators right now are that I’d rather be Gretchen Whitmer than whoever it is the Republicans. That being said, there is so much time for things to play out. It’s always that what don’t you anticipate what what what wrinkle is thrown in I mean, assuming things stay relatively normal, you know, the pandemic ends as we’re, you know, people get vaccinated, life returns back to normal next fall people kids go back to school into college. And, you know, we’re able to gather again and start to do normal life things. I think that kind of up ends the the political dynamic, the the malaise that the incumbent White House Party typically has, you know, that midterm election. However, if there’s any other external event that that takes place that could change the paradigm completely, you know, whether some kind of foreign disruption, you know, it’s always them that, you know, the, the unanticipated crisis, that that tests the president, not the dealing with.

Mark Brewer 31:38
Stan, I was fascinated a few moments ago, you mentioned your international work, and how that has given you insight into voters who support right wing authoritarian parties. Could you expand a little bit on that? What did you learn about those voters that you think translates into American politics?

Stan Greenberg 31:57
First of all, you know, across, you know, across the western democracies, you know, we have real elections. Now, we’ve had over a number of decades, a, I think, building reaction against globalization, the fact that we’re, you know, working people, you know, have standards have, if anything, declined, they see elites and people feel that very much in Michigan, you know, people think, you know, you know, elites have given away the store and globalization and trade and trade agreements, and very comfortable, you know, with outsourcing jobs elsewhere, and not worrying or respecting working people. And that was a big build up, you know, for Michigan voters and, and the, and what they were looking for when they were dealing with, with Obama, you know, where was he on NAFTA? Where was he on CEOs and the CEO pay and selling out their companies. And so I think there’s, there’s a very strong resentment, you know, against what’s happening with globalization and resentment, that elites and political leaders have sold them out. And so what we have found is that the right has been much more effective in responding to that, and consolidating that, and appealing to it is also filled with a lot of racial resentment and resentment of immigrants. And so if you look at Brexit, and the you know, and the, again, polls getting it wrong, and residue one, they weren’t that far off, but they were wrong on who, you know, one Brexit, but the country mobilized, you know, you know, to pull out of Europe, but that was all about control over a movement of labour. And that was all out of resentment and resentment of London and the elites, and the media, elite media, you know, not understanding what was happening to, to the people in their jobs, as manufacturing was declining. And, you know, 52% of the British voters voted, you know, for, you know, to leave. And so, when we do a poll now, you know, we, you know, we make sure, we have 52%, who’s who, you know, voted to leave. If you don’t have that, you know, divide that big polarization set. You got 48%, who wanted to remain and much, much more comfortable with engagement in Europe, much more comfortable in a big education divide on that, you know, but Boris Johnson, you know, the, the leaders for, you know, for Brexit over a number of years, have really, you know, energize mobilized increased turnout, you know, around it, and drove a movement as you know, at the end and Britain brought in voters to vote for it. You know, I can do a similar thing, you know, in Israel, you know, and what happened with Netanyahu but the the point is that you’re not going to get the polling right unless you have that divide, you know, set. So, you know, right now, you know, nationally, I, you know, I want 46% to be white, you know, white non college, you know, voters same that had Trump had in his election. And I also weighted it to Trump’s vote, you know, 63% of them voted, you know, for Trump. And I now weight the recall to that in order to make to make sure that I’m having a poll that I think is, you know, accurate. And so I’m, I’m very skeptical when I see any poll now, that says whatever it says on whatever issue, you know, because I know when I do my national poll, you know, I have 35% come in as white non college when it should be 46%, 1/3 low. I mean, people, they’re not taking the they’re not taking talking the pollsters. And if you don’t factor that in, you’re not going to get the right answer.

Mark Brewer 33:12
Right. Attention to those narratives you just described, you could easily take out Boris Johnson and put in Donald Trump.

Stan Greenberg 36:07

Mark Brewer 36:09
Yes. Following the same model that we’ve seen overseas in these elections.

Jeff Timmer 36:14
Although Johnson seems to have more smarts in his little finger than Trump has in his whole body.

Stan Greenberg 36:20
Yes, he does. And does have a party around them. As you know, Trump is very much Trump.

Mark Brewer 36:28
I remember noticing this, back in 2-16, that Trump was very adept at coming in to Michigan, he knew it not just in Macomb County, but all over the state. And really, you know, playing on the grievances of folks, you know, he took the Democratic message about being concerned, as many of us Democrats are about the effects of trade, on what can people in this country, and he just co opted it, he just took it away and the voters followed.

Stan Greenberg 36:55
Yep. Now in the trade agreements were like, symbolic of, you know, of America — are you standing up for American manufacturing, you know, if you’re, like, part of globalization or NAFTA, and you know, you don’t mind. It’s rational in a broad sense, you know, to move those workers, you know, to, you know, to Mexico, as I said, you know, Obama never would have criticized a company for moving its jobs, because he thought it made sense within the this framework. And Obama was battling for TPP to pass a trade agreement after the election. And Hillary went silent on talking about trade agreements in order not to offend, you know, you know, Obama, and, you know, we just were tongue tied, you know on trade they, you know, just used it.

Mark Brewer 37:47
If you were advising a Biden, how would you approach this issue? Stan, what would you do?

Stan Greenberg 37:55
Well, look, I listened to his trade advisor. And, you know, he’s, he says, and she’s somebody who’s been, you know, very much part of kind of the establishment and the on trade issues, but she said, you know, very clearly, how does it affect Build Back Better? for the American worker. The starting point is the American worker, how does it affect them? They’re not looking for trade agreements, they’re, you know, they are, they’ll obviously have to do them because of, you know, Britain, and, you know, and other places in which, you know, they pulled out of Europe, but they’re not starting, you know, with trade agreements as part of their agenda, like Obama. Trade agreements was like a signature part of the, what they were for, and also Bill Clinton. And it’s not a signature part of, you know, his, he starts with, how’s the Build Back Better, and maybe add with, you know, by American, and an economic plan that, you know, has has much more, you know, the American procurement, you know, so he’s, you know, he’s pretty well grounded in America. And, and once people believe that, you know, he’s viewing things through that filter. You know, I think it builds it makes him quite strong.

Jeff Timmer 39:19
This has been fascinating. I appreciate your insights and your willingness to share them with our audience.

Stan Greenberg 39:26
And I’m willing to talk and I’m willing to answer on almost anything you want, I don’t know.

Jeff Timmer 39:31
At least, at least a sound convincing when you say

Mark Brewer 39:36
Such a depth of experience, I know it was a big change in your career in your life when you came to us in McComb county to try to figure out, you know, what famously became the Reagan Democrats. And well,

Stan Greenberg 39:49
Well, that’s where I learned what you know, it mattered and you know, it’s real people listening to real people and the, you know, I was I was an academic at the time. You know, I had, I had just, you know, written some books on South Africa and, and I was trying and in Israel and and northern Northern Ireland, and I was trying to listen to, you know, workers in all those places and kind of understand the decisions they were, you know, making, you know, how do they, you know, deal with the fact that you have these, you can use race, and the governmrny is going to be with you, you know, and how does it affect the union leader in terms of what choices he makes, okay. But I’ve met listening about him and listen to them, and saying, look, I have to accept they have a legitimate position here. They’re coming at this, you know, with, I’m trying to understand, you know, how they’re making the choices. They are factoring in race, there’s racism there. But there’s also the labor market is structured, you know, by, you know, the legal racial framework. And these are the these are actually real unionists, trade unionists, you know, what choices they make. So I think that was in my head when I went to Macomb and I listened to voters and I was it was at a time, you know, Jesse Jackson was running, there’s a lot of conflict within the Democratic Party. And I was listening to Macomb voters. And you recall, you know, ehen, when, you know, I mentioned a quote from, you know, from RFK, you know, they said, No wonder they shot him. And, you know, a lot of these folks said, race, race, this thing, no doubt racist, but I was arguing, they had reasons why — they’re working people — and they have reasons why they pulled back and Democratic Party that go beyond that. And they’re still Democrats. You know, they feel like Democrats, you know, have betrayed them. They weren’t. They weren’t. Republicans, and Democrats had a chance to speak to them. But I wasn’t willing to write people off, based on what they said I was that I’m gonna listen to them, listen to them and give voice to what I hear.

Mark Brewer 42:06
Stan, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. It’s great to see you again. I follow your word and your articles very closely, and always, always a learning experience when we get a chance to talk

Stan Greenberg 42:18
I will try to come to Macomb much as I can to try to stay in touch as we go into the future elections.

Mark Brewer 42:25
Great, Stan, thanks again. Take care.

Jeff Timmer 42:27
That’s it for this week. Thanks for listening. And take a moment to tell the world how you feel about our chats on Apple podcasts.

And if the Republic is still standing in the week, we’ll be back.

Announcer 42:43
A Republic, If You Can Keep It with Mark Brewer and Jeff Timmer is a production of Michigan Citizens for a Better Tomorrow.

Transcribed by