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Culture Is Replacing Class as the Key Political Divide

When United Kingdom voters last week narrowly approved a referendum to leave the European Union, they underscored again how an era of unrelenting economic and demographic change is shifting the axis of politics across much of the industrialized world from class to culture. 

Contrary to much initial speculation, the victory for the U.K. leave campaign didn’t point toward victory in the U.S. presidential election for Donald Trump, who is voicing very similar arguments against globalization and immigration; The British results, in fact, underscored the obstacles facing his agenda of defensive nationalism in the vastly more diverse U.S. electorate.

But the Brexit referendum did crystallize deepening cultural fault lines in U.K. politics that are also likely to shape the contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton. In that way, the results prefigure both a continuing long-term realignment in the electoral base of each American party—and a possible near-term reshuffle of the tipping-point states in presidential politics.

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Both geographically and demographically, the British referendum split the U.K. along lines familiar in America. An extensive election-day survey by Lord Michael Ashcroft, a...

Donald Trump Issues a Warning to Republicans

Only a few weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump is preparing for what’s likely to be a charged event, as some Republicans look to upend the gathering. How? The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign are threatening to keep those who are not in favor of the party’s nominee from taking speaking slots at the gathering, according to The New York Times.

It’s the culmination of a heated primary season that began with 17 Republican presidential candidates and that, over time, narrowed, as Trump swept states across the nation. And right now, it’s unclear if some of those who exited the race will be permitted to speak at the convention, given Trump’s conditions. Take Senator Ted Cruz: He dropped out of the race in May, and he still has not endorsed Trump. But as the Times notes, however much Trump may want to bar the Texas senator, it may not be possible for him to keep Cruz from speaking. That’s because, since Cruz “won a majority of delegates in at least eight states, he would probably be able to have his name entered into nomination, guaranteeing him a speech under...

Why Hillary Clinton Should Worry About Brexit

The out­come of the pres­id­en­tial elec­tion will hinge on wheth­er dis­af­fected voters be­lieve it is a choice between two can­did­ates or—like Brexit—a ref­er­en­dum on the dir­ec­tion of the coun­try. Hil­lary Clin­ton holds ad­vant­ages over Trump in nearly every way can­did­ates are usu­ally meas­ured: She’s qual­i­fied for the job, she’s run­ning a bet­ter cam­paign, and she has the tem­pera­ment to be com­mand­er in chief. But if anxious voters want to take out their deep-seated dis­sat­is­fac­tion on a feck­less and feath­er-nest­ing es­tab­lish­ment—con­sequences be damned—Clin­ton should be run­ning scared.

If there’s a par­al­lel between the Brit­ish vote to with­draw from the European Uni­on and Don­ald Trump’s pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, it’s the dis­con­nect between the elite and the people they rep­res­ent. The vast ma­jor­ity of the Brit­ish polit­ic­al es­tab...

Donald Trump's Coalition of Restoration

The failure to construct a credible general election fund-raising and field organization eminently justified Donald Trump’s decision this week to fire his combative campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. But it’s likely that Trump himself has already made the decisions that will most shape—and constrict—his general-election prospects. 

As a first-time candidate with no record in public office, the most important decision Trump faced was how to define himself to the public. From the outset, he has stressed three principal identities. One is as a savvy business executive who would use his private-sector smarts to turn around the government and economy. The second is as a political outsider untethered to special interests who will clean up a self-serving political system. But through the primaries he subordinated each of those to a third emphasis: his role as the embodiment of resistance to America’s rapid demographic and cultural change.

A major national poll released Thursday morning illuminates how strong a tailwind that definition provided to Trump during the Republican primary—and how fierce a headwind it presents for him in a general election. The poll also helps clarify why the contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton is likely to pivot...

Is Trump’s Presidential Run Nothing More Than a 'Scampaign?'

Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign has just $1.3 million in cash on hand, the latest Federal Election Commission filings (pdf, pg 2) for the month of May show—compared to $42.5 million for Hillary Clinton.

The small amount of cash on hand, coupled with his small staff (a few dozen, compared to hundreds for Clinton) has led to a new round of speculation that Trump isn’t waging a serious campaign.

Nonetheless, Trump continues to collect $75 to $1,000 donations from retirees, housewives, warehouse workers, and car dealership owners, through the Great America PAC and his own campaign.

At the same time, the campaign paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump-owned businesses (and offspring) in the first five months of 2016, according to an itemized list of disbursements.

The Mar-a-Lago club, part of Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida residence, received the most, for “facility rental/catering” fees, but many other Trump connections fared well too. This chart doesn’t include every Trump-connected payout, only some of the biggest. (Tag Air is his private airline, Eric is his son).

Trump making payments from his campaign’s funds to his own companies is nothing new—as...

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