News

Trump at half-time and the race to 2020: five points from my research

By Lord Ashcroft

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President. Other things being equal, the next such ceremony will take place on 20 January 2021. In other words, we are now into the second half of Trump’s term – or should that be his current term? Since the 2016 election campaign, my Ashcroft in America project has helped explain how Donald Trump came to be elected, the hopes and fears of his supporters and opponents, and what they make of the unfolding story of his presidency and its seemingly endless controversies.

My new book, Half-Time! American Public Opinion Midway Through Trump’s (First?) Term – and the Race to 2020 brings together two years of research with new polling conducted since last November’s midterms to explore how different parts of the electorate see the President and his agenda, and how they are lining up for next year’s showdown. Here are five of the big points.

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Half-Time! American public opinion midway through Trump’s (first?) term – and the race to 2020

By Lord Ashcroft

This piece was first published in the Mail on Sunday on 20 January 2019.

It is two years today since Donald Trump entered the White House. That means we are exactly half way between the last presidential inauguration and the next one; whether it also proves to be the half-way point in his presidency remains to be seen. Does President Trump have two years left in office – or six?

As my research has found over the last two years, those who voted for him positively, rather than as the only way of avoiding President Hillary Clinton, remain solidly behind him. They point to a thriving economy stoked by tax cuts and deregulation, two conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, a newly combative approach to international affairs, willingness to reshape global trade deals in the interests of American jobs, and a tough line on immigration and border security. They like that he continues to say exactly what he (and often, they) think, and the outrage this causes in some quarters only adds to their enjoyment. And if his statements sometimes fall foul of the fact checkers, they see him as honest in what they regard as the more important sense that he is authentic and has set about doing the things he said he would: rare enough traits in an elected official.

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See the January issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The January issue of magazine has four pages on the life and bravery of Sergeant William Pickering, who was awarded the Military Medal (MM) for sustained bravery at the end of the Second World War. (more…)

The midterms and beyond: my reflections on the next chapter of American politics

By Lord Ashcroft

For many months before America’s midterm elections the conventional wisdom was that newly enthused Democrats, Republicans embarrassed by the antics of President Trump, and non-voters spurred into action by indignation at the state of their country’s leadership, would join forces to sweep the GOP from Capitol Hill.

As we know, this did not quite come to pass. While the Democrats gained 40 districts to take control of the House of Representatives, the Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate, making a net gain of two seats in the upper chamber. Hardly the rout that Democrats had predicted – in fact, more like the tide flowing in both directions at once. What’s going on?

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Special report on St Helena: the island of fading hopes and dreams

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on ConservativeHome.com on 14 December 2018.

The breath-taking view during the last half-mile of the short taxi ride from St Helena Airport to the heart of Jamestown is one that I will never tire of admiring. (more…)

Polls show that voters are hardening against a Brexit compromise

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 12 December 2018.

Many admire Theresa May’s fortitude in trying to construct a Brexit deal that will simultaneously please or at least placate Leavers, Remainers and the EU – but they have rather less regard for the fruits of her endeavours.

My latest research finds that few believe the draft Brexit deal honours the referendum result, or that it beats remaining in the EU on our current terms. And while voters overall still think, just, that Mrs May’s deal is better than no deal, Tories as a whole now disagree, as do Leavers by a wide margin.

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What should happen next? What really matters? And how bad is this crisis? My new Brexit deal poll

By Lord Ashcroft

The vote has been deferred while the Prime Minister seeks “reassurances” from the EU, but her message to the House of Commons yesterday was clear – this is the only Brexit deal on the table, and there is no realistic prospect of substantially changing it. Theresa May’s campaign to sell the agreement to sceptical MPs and the public therefore continues. My last survey in late November found that the proposed deal had a cool reception, but with large numbers still to make up their minds. My latest 5,000-sample poll finds shows that more people now have an opinion – but with the balance tipping away from the deal rather than in its favour.

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See the December issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had a new-look “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The December issue of the magazine has a new design for the four-page write-up on the life and bravery of Major Sir Tasker Watkins, VC, GBE, PC, QC, DL. (more…)

Tanzania – a case study in the bulging textbook of aid failure

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on ConservativeHome.com on 30 November 2018.

I  first visited Tanzania aged six. My father was a colonial civil servant so we were living in Malawi, then called Nyasaland and a wonderful place for a child such as me to grow up. We were heading home on leave, taking the ship to Tilbury, and so travelled through the bustle of Dar Es Salaam, enabling my dad to meet up with some colleagues. The city seemed an amazing, exotic place through my young eyes, with its thriving port and throng of cultures. (more…)

My new Brexit poll: good for Theresa May, bad for her deal

By Lord Ashcroft

After perhaps the most difficult fortnight as Prime Minister, which is saying something, the news from my latest poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, is surprisingly mixed for Theresa May. Though she would probably say this is a side issue and she is focused on other things, her personal standing among voters is actually consolidated. She now leads Jeremy Corbyn by 15 points in the best Prime Minister stakes, and while “not sure” still leads the field over both leaders, the proportion naming Mrs. May has risen while Mr. Corbyn’s numbers have fallen, most dramatically among his own voters.

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