Numb to Outrage, Republican Voters Feel a Deepening Bond to Trump

Republican voters repeatedly described an instinctive, protective response to the president, and their support has grown in recent months: Mr. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is now about 90 percent. And while polling has yet to capture the effect of the last week’s immigration controversy, the only modern Republican president more popular with his party than Mr. Trump at this point in his first term, according to Gallup, was George W. Bush after the country united in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Trump has also retained support across a range of demographics other than the working-class voters who are most identified with him. This includes portions of the wealthy college-educated people in swing counties, like Virginia’s Loudoun, in the country’s most politically competitive states.
Many of these voters say their lives and the country are improving under his presidency, and the endless stream of tough cable news coverage and bad headlines about Mr. Trump only galvanizes them further — even though some displayed discomfort on their faces when asked about the child separation policy, and expressed misgivings about the president’s character.
The increasingly tribalized politics on the left and right have helped insulate Mr. Trump from the paroxysms that have jolted his party and eroded longstanding expectations of restraint, humility and honesty in American presidents. This era of tumult has left Democrats energized and determined to win back Congress and act as a check on Mr. Trump, and their intensity has been reflected by strong turnouts in the primaries so far. But still, in just the last year and a half, Mr. Trump has bounced back from crises that at the time seemed as if they might be too severe for him to recover politically.
He tried to unilaterally bar visitors from several Muslim countries from the United States, angering U.S. allies and provoking clashes with Congress and the courts over the limits of executive power. He praised some “very fine people” at a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in remarks that shook some members of his cabinet so deeply that they considered resigning. He defended Roy S. Moore, a Senate candidate in Alabama who was accused of fondling teenage girls, by suggesting that the allegations were old and possibly made-up.
And so as another immigration crisis of his own making smoldered this past week, critics inside and outside Mr. Trump’s party predicted another devastating, irremediable low point in his presidency. Yet many Trump voters said that they no longer had the patience or interest to listen to what they see as another hysterical outburst by Democrats, Republican “Never Trumpers” and the media.

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