In the latest edition of the Ashcroft in America podcast I speak to Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary on Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, about the President’s record, the prospects for 2020, his likely opponent, and communicating with sceptical voters in an age of fake news.
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 February issue of magazine has four pages on the life and bravery of Major-General Sir Christopher Charles Teesdale, who was awarded the VC for bravery during the Crimean War.
Teesdale was born in Grahamstown in the Cape Colony of South Africa on June 1 1833 and was only two when he travelled to England with his family. In 1848, he was accepted as a gentleman cadet in the Royal Artillery and he was commissioned into the regiment in June 1851, shortly after his 18th birthday. (more…)
Last week’s pause in the parliamentary shenanigans over Brexit provided an opportunity to hear what the voters made of it all. This I did with a round of focus groups, conducted in London, Plymouth, Leeds and Newcastle. Though few have the time or patience to digest every morsel of Westminster news, their summary of the state of play was always succinct: “Theresa has had to go back to Europe, but they’ve said ‘non’,” was a typical summary. “She’s just collecting air miles. She’s going round in circles;” “As a country we now look very weak and very silly to the rest of the world. It’s come to the point that it’s almost embarrassing.”
On 23 June 2016 I conducted a survey of over 12,000 people who had just voted in the EU referendum. With the politicians still talking and the 29 March deadline looming, it is worth reading again how the country voted, and why.
Victoria Cross hero who joined the IRA: the WW1 soldier whose awesome courage during the conflict has been forgotten by history
First published in the Mail on Sunday on 27 January 2019.
At first glance, his simple grave at Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin appears no different to those of the other 622 fallen soldiers from two world wars.
Only the inscription etched in the pale grey gravestone indicates that this is the last resting place of a highly decorated war hero: ‘Coy. Sgt. Major Martin Doyle, VC, MM, Royal Munster Fusiliers Died 20th Nov. 1940.’ (more…)
First published in the Telegraph Magazine on Saturday, 26 January 2019.
Rainbow leans forward and rests her chin on Peter Dunning’s left leg as he sits on a large discarded rubber tyre. The baby rhinoceros then lunges towards the plastic teat of a litre bottle of powdered milk that Dunning is clutching in his right hand.
It is feeding time under the late-afternoon African sun and Rainbow knows it. ‘Come on, gorgeous,’ Dunning says affectionately, but she needs no encouragement as she guzzles down the milk. Dunning reaches forward and gently rubs the thick hide on her neck with his left hand, slowly bringing it higher to tickle her ears.
This article was first published at TIME.com on 23 January 2019.
This past weekend marked the midway point between the last presidential inauguration and the next one. The contours of the race to decide who gets to deliver the next inaugural address are already beginning to emerge, and it promises to be no less spectacular than the last one. My research over the last two years, including a survey of 15,000 people conducted after November’s midterm elections, gives some clues as to how the battle might unfold.
The start of 2019 is midway between the last presidential inauguration and the next – but will it also prove the halfway point in Donald Trump’s presidency? Following up Hopes and Fears, which set out why America sent Trump to the White House, Half-Time! American public opinion midway through Trump’s (first?) term – and the race to 2020 brings together more than two years of research from my Ashcroft in America project, exploring what the voters make of the President’s agenda and character, how they see the issues at stake and – with voices at the far ends of the political spectrum set to dominate the debate – how they are lining up for the 2020 election.
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.
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.