Because we live in a world where everything is politics now, a fairly small protest was enlarged by our thin-skinned president, the media and people acting in bad faith miscommunicated that these were “anthem protests” instead of “protests against inequality and racial injustice during the anthem” and now the monolith that is self-proclaimed “Shield” has become white-hot controversial.
I cannot believe that I am writing this sentence, but the data from this poll combined with one of the latest Pew surveys demonstrates that roughly the same percentage of Trump voters view the NFL somewhat or very unfavorably as Republicans who believe that abortion should be illegal in all/most cases. Per the New York Times:
About three weeks ago — before President Trump said that N.F.L. owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem — Democrats and Republicans held relatively similar views about the league. About 60 percent said they viewed it favorably, while about 20 percent said they viewed it unfavorably, according to daily online surveys conducted by Morning Consult, a polling, media and technology company.
Since Mr. Trump’s remarks, though, many of his supporters have changed their attitudes.
Trump voters are now much more likely to say that they view the N.F.L. negatively, reflecting a sharp change around Sept. 23, when Mr. Trump criticized the players at a speech in Alabama. The views of Hillary Clinton voters have not changed appreciably over the last few weeks.
Some of the difference may be a result of our collective filter bubbles, which make Americans more likely to engage with and share articles that reinforce their views.
This Morning Consult poll is indicative of the changing attitudes within the Republican Party. Here are the top 10 most polarizing brands in America, along with their net favorability rating in parentheses (meaning that Trump Hotels is -52 amongst Democrats and +48 amongst Republicans, so its net favorability is +100 Republican).
Raise your hand if you can spot the commonality here.
1. Trump Hotel (+100 GOP)
2. CNN (+82 Dem)
3. NBC News (+72 Dem)
4. The New York Times (+71 Dem)
5. MSNBC (+70 Dem)
6. Fox News (+69 GOP)
7. NFL (+62 Dem)
8. ABC News (+61 Dem)
9. Huffington Post (+56 Dem)
10. CBS News (+48 Dem)
Within a couple weeks of Trump’s broadside against the NFL, the league has fallen in with the mainstream media as one of the most widely despised entities on the right. Don’t ever let anyone tell you the Republican Party is not the Party of Trump. All available data proves otherwise.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.