Trump’s contradictory coalition roils elections in Virginia, Georgia

It’s been two years and a day since President Trump announced his candidacy for president — and the Republican Party hasn’t been the same since. Trump upended the traditional GOP politics, and his presidency offers near-daily evidence of strains within the party that aren’t going away anytime soon.

Anyone looking for real-time evidence could see it in the results of last week’s Republican gubernatorial primary in Virginia. Many analysts believed Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chair and adviser to former president George W. Bush, would cruise to victory in the primary. Instead, he barely defeated Corey Stewart, a Trumpian candidate who campaigned against immigration and for the preservation of the state’s Confederate monuments.

More evidence of the Trump effect on politics exists in Georgia ahead of Tuesday’s special congressional election in the 6th District in suburban Atlanta. Pre-Trump, Republican Karen Handel likely would hold a comfortable lead. In the age of Trump, she at risk of losing to Democrat Jon Ossoff. Days before the vote, neither side is confident of the outcome in a district that former presidential candidate Mitt Romney won by 24 points in 2012 but Trump won by just 2 points last November.

The Virginia and Georgia elections offer two angles from which to examine the impact of Trump’s presidency on the politics of both parties. In Virginia, it is the story of a GOP coalition at odds with itself. In Georgia, it is Trump’s capacity to unite otherwise fractious Democrats, even as he unnerves many of the well-educated Republican voters.

As these contests unfold, Emily Ekins of the Cato Institute has provided a timely typology of Trump voters and by implication the Republican Party of 2017. Her work is one of a series of reports produced by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, which has brought together analysts from across the political spectrum to design and analyze survey research conducted by the online polling firm YouGov.

Republican candidate for governor Ed Gillespie announces his policy initiative during Loudoun Kitchen Table Conversation in Sterling, VA, March 16, 2017. Gillespie, who was the 61st Chairman of the Republican National Committee and a 2014 U.S. Senate nominee, opposed tax cuts for all Virginian during the event. (Astrid Riecken/Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)

Elkins puts Trump voters into five groups: American Preservationists, Staunch Conservatives, Free Marketeers, Anti-Elites and The Disengaged (a relatively small group). Her takeaways are instructive and, for Republican leaders, challenging. She says there is “no such thing as one kind of Trump voter who voted for him for one single reason.” Trump voters hold “very different views on a wide variety of issues,” from immigration to national identity and race to trade and economics.

There are many traditional Republicans in the Trump coalition. He wouldn’t have won without them. But it was other voters who were attracted to his messages on race, religion, immigration and national identity that have left the Republicans in the state they are in. A look at just two of the five groups — the American Preservationists and the Staunch Conservatives — helps explain why navigating can be difficult for any Republican elected official or aspirant.

Elkins describes both as core Trump constituencies. The American Preservationists “lean economically progressive and embrace a nativist conception of American identity, take nativist stances on immigration and believe the system is biased against them.” Staunch Conservatives are “conventionally conservative” and distinct from Trump in that way. “They prefer less government intervention in the economy, support moral traditionalism and do not fear a rigged system,” Elkins said.

During the primaries, she writes, more than eight in 10 of American Preservationists voted for Trump, the highest of any of the five groups in her typology. “They helped catapult him to the nomination,” she says. Meanwhile, Trump was also the first choice of about six in 10 Staunch Conservatives in the primaries and played a key role in his success in winning the nomination.

At the same time, not quite six in 10 of these American Preservationists voted for Romney in 2012 while about one in six backed then-president Barack Obama. Among Staunch Conservatives, however, nine in 10 backed Romney in 2012. Still, both groups overwhelmingly cast positive votes for Trump last November. Far higher percentages of Trump voters among the Free Marketeers and Anti-Elites cast negative votes against Hillary Clinton.

There are a variety of similarities between two groups that make up core Trump constituencies, but on issues, they part company. About three in four American Preservationists favor raising taxes on the wealthy while a similar percentage of the Staunch Conservatives oppose that idea. Nearly three in four Preservationists say Medicare is an important issue, significantly higher than among the Staunch Conservatives. Voters in both groups overwhelmingly favor Trump’s travel ban, but the Preservationists are far more likely to say legal immigration should be made more difficult for foreigners.

Democratic US House of Representatives candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican US House of Representatives candidate Karen Handel. (EPA photos/EPA photos)

Trump assembled and held this coalition together in the presidential election, but as the Virginia gubernatorial primary showed, the conflict between the ardent Trump supporters and other Republicans continues. Lee Drutman of New America think tank, in another of the reports from the Democracy Fund study group, writes of the tension; “The nativist populism on which Donald Trump campaigned is at odds with much of what Republicans have traditionally embodied.”

Meanwhile, Trump is affecting Democrats as well. The battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is a common theme these days, and there is something to the friction between the progressive wing of the party led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the more moderate wing. But Democrats appear less divided on issues than Republicans and some of those differences are overshadowed by the unity that Trump’s presidency provides to the opposition party.

In Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam easily defeated former House member Tom Perriello. Northam had the support of the Democratic establishment while Perriello had the support of Sanders and Warren. It seemed a proxy war for the overall battle for the direction of the party.

Yet, both candidates were broadly liked by Democratic voters, with high favorable and minuscule unfavorable ratings. Both candidates adopted generally progressive positions and especially shared harsh rhetoric aimed at Trump. A race that many believed would be close turned out to be the opposite, and the Trump presidency likely will hasten a coming together ahead of the fall election.

Drutman argues that the divisions within the Democratic Party are more about disposition than about issues. “The main divide within the Democratic Party electorate is about attitudes toward the establishment and the existing order than it is about specific issue positions (with the exception of trade policy),” he writes. “Democrats are also quite unified on social/identity issues.”

The Democrats aren’t without problems. The party could be pushed farther left on social and identity issues, given attitudes of their young voters and wealthy contributors, both of whom are more liberal on these attitudes that other Democrats. That represents a challenge as Democrats weigh how they can appeal to white, working-class voters who have defected to Trump and the Republicans.

Tuesday’s results in Georgia will provide more clues to the state of the two parties, though given the huge amounts of money spent in behalf of both candidates, it is an unusual laboratory. But already it’s clear the degree to which the president looms over both parties and especially the challenges he continues to present to the party he adopted to win the White House.

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Stockbridge High to host youth basketball camp June 19-22

Rodney Latham and the Stockbridge High School basketball program are hosting youth camps June 19-22. (File Photo)

STOCKBRIDGE — The Stockbridge High School basketball program will host the Tiger Basketball Play With Heart Camp June 19-22 at Stockbridge High School.

The camp is aimed at both boys and girls entering grades 1-9. Campers will be divided by age and ability during group instruction to promote fair assessment & competition.

“Through this camp, we are trying to accomplish a relationship with our youth so they have something to look forward to when entering high school,” Stockbridge head coach Rodney Latham said.

Campers will be taught fundamentals through stations while receiving direct instruction from qualified staffers such as high school and college coaches, as well as former players ranging from high school to the professional ranks.

The theme of the camp this year is centered around life character as well as teaching student-athletes how to play with “heart.” Campers will learn life skills they can use on and off the court.

“The Play With Heart camp is more than just basketball,” Latham said. “We want you to have character that will carry on and off the court.”

Camps are set to last from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with check-in scheduled for 8:00 a.m., before each camp. Station and fundamental development begins at 8:55 a.m. with breakfast scheduled for 9:35 a.m., according to a flier from Stockbridge High.

A group game and contest will start at 9:50 a.m. before guest speakers and character development at 11:20 a.m. The camp will conclude with a full court game at 11:50 a.m.

“Any of my youth camps are special to me because we are working with our future,” Latham said. “I even have my own children attend the camp. Tiger basketball prides our self on the next generation.”

The registration fee is $75 when arriving on the first day through cash or money order. For additional information regarding the camp, contact Rodney Latham via email at or or telephone at 470-252-2519.

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Places That Many People Visit When They Go To Stockbridge GA

When you plan your trip to Georgia, there is a city that you should visit called Stockbridge. This may not be as popular as Atlanta, but it does have many positive aspects that will make it a worthwhile visit. If you have never been to Georgia before, you will be amazed at how many different things you can do in this beautiful state. If you happen to be traveling up from Florida, or coming down through Tennessee, this is a place that you should stop so that you can see the following tourist attractions.

Panola Mountain State Park

When people think of a State Park, they are often thinking of places in California such as Yosemite, or even Idaho and Wyoming if they are considering a trip to Yellowstone. This particular State Park has its own benefits, unique to the state of Georgia. You can get a good hike in, see incredible vistas, and be back in time to do things in the city later that night.

Farms And Bowling

if you have them into a good farm lately, you should go to the Cottle Farm. This is a cute little farm that you will definitely enjoy visiting. Pin Strikes is the place that many tourists, as well as people that live in Stockbridge, go to have a great night of bowling. While you are there, can get snacks, drinks, and if you are visiting friends, you can have a fun time in this bowling alley.

Visiting Stockbridge is something that you should add to your travel itinerary if you are traveling throughout the United States. Once you have been there once, you will want to come back because of the many exciting things that you can do while you are traveling on your vacation.

Wood crafting with a twist; Downtown Stockbridge welcomes Barn Beautiful

Roger Custin, left, and Greg Horton, right, are the owners of new downtown business, Barn Beautiful. Horton is the shop’s craftsman and builds home furnishings through reclaimed barn wood. (Staff Photo: Asia Ashley)

STOCKBRIDGE— The smell of wood wafts its way through downtown Stockbridge from Barn Beautiful, the newest downtown business stocked with reclaimed barn wood from all over Georgia. The company re-uses the wood for hand-crafted home furnishings.

“We have a passion for barn wood, and everything you see here is handcrafted and made out of reclaimed barn wood,” said Greg Horton, owner and craftsman at Barn Beautiful. “We take pictures of all the structures and record as much of the history with the landowners before we take them down. Every piece that we make is numbered so that we can trace it back to the barn that it came from, so every piece we make has its own little history.”

Horton, an industrial engineer with a background in apparel production, said the business started out of his Stockbridge home just blocks away.

“We have a photographer in Miami that takes a lot of pictures of trees, so we thought the right way to honor them was to frame them in wood. So we went and found some old barn wood and made frames for those and that’s what really got us started,” explained Horton.

Horton has partnered with several artists who have designed pieces in the shops. Pieces include wall art, benches, tables and other home furnishings made from mostly old barns, but some from worksheds and farmhouses. Custom orders can also be made for beds, benches, cabinets, barn doors and other furniture pieces.

Before even opening its doors May 25 for business, Barn Beautiful had contributed to the city of Stockbridge residents by building and installing the city’s first Little Free Library in April at Reeves Creek Trail.

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Important Guidelines To Select The Paint Color

Important Guidelines to select the paint color

We paint the walls of the apartment after a long time and it costs a lot, therefore, it must be done very carefully. You must select the color of the walls of the room and the whole apartment very carefully. If you are going to decorate your new apartments for rent in Stockbridge GA then your first step should be to paint the walls of the apartment. You can change the entire look of the apartment by applying the best color combinations on the walls.


Tips To Paint The Apartment

Tips To Paint the Apartment

Painting the walls of the apartment is very special task. This task requires full attention to accomplish the task more efficiently. If you are going to paint the walls of the apartment then the following instructions may help you to do so more efficiently.

Keep continuity – Select a maximum of 2 patterns and 4 base colors for painting the walls of the apartment. Keep using them as the primary and the secondary colors alternatively; else you’ll have an internal part which is very inspiring visually.


Selecting the best paint for the apartment

Tips To Paint the Apartment

If you are going to shift in another apartment and want to decorate this apartment according to your taste, then you can repaint it with the beautiful colors. This is the simplest way to give an attractive look to your Apartments for Rent in Stockbridge GA. If you cannot select the best colors for the paint, then you can get some help from your friends or family members. You can also get some help from any expert of the interior decoration.