Pew just did a survey that reveals a massive gap between reality and what Trump supporters believe to be reality on a large number of subjects. This is not the least bit surprising, but it is highly dangerous to have such a large segment of the population living in a fantasy world.
But what struck me as especially notable about the new survey results is the persistence of the so-called “reality gap.”
* Unemployment: Under President Obama, job growth has been quite strong, and the unemployment rate has improved dramatically. PPP, however, found that 67% of Trump voters believe the unemployment rate went up under Obama – which is the exact opposite of reality.
* Stock Market: Since the president was elected, the stock market has soared, nearly tripling since the height of the Great Recession. PPP found that 39% of Trump voters believe the market has gone down under Obama – which is also the exact opposite of reality.* Voter Fraud: Even Trump’s lawyers concede there was no voter fraud in the presidential election, but PPP found that 60% of Trump voters apparently believe “millions” of illegal ballots were cast for Clinton in 2016 – which isn’t even close to resembling reality.
* Popular Vote: As of this morning, Hillary Clinton received roughly 2.7 million more votes than Donald Trump, but PPP nevertheless found that 40% of Trump voters believe he won the popular vote – which is, once again, the exact opposite of reality.
* Soros Conspiracy Theory: A whopping 73% of Trump voters believe George Soros is paying anti-Trump protesters – though in reality, George Soros is not paying anti-Trump protesters.
We are, in other words, looking at a political landscape in which much of the president-elect’s core base appears to be living in an alternate reality.
Unfortunately, while these people may live on Planet Wingnuttia, they vote here.