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These voters are fed up with Democrats, Republicans and, most of all.



Democrat and Republican sign with American flag

In Arizona, where the Great Recession cut a deep swath through home prices and shook all facets of the economy, voters are now increasingly buoyant about the fiscal future they envision for themselves and the nation.

They’re saving their ire for politics and politicians.

More than two dozen voters gathered in Phoenix this week delivered a bipartisan broadside against President Trump, Republicans and Democrats, dismissing the political class as serving its wealthy benefactors and abandoning everyday Americans.

Their fiercest disappointment was aimed at Trump.

Arizona has been something of a desert mirage for Democrats in recent years; Hillary Clinton made a late stab at the state before November’s presidential election, but Trump won easily.

Eight months later, however, even many of his supporters have thrown up their hands at his presidency.

“I loved him because he was different. I thought that he was really going to do a lot of change, good changes,” said one Republican woman. “I hated Obama, so I was ready for a change.”

Now, she said, “people are laughing at us.”

“Before I felt like he could do it all, and now I think just if somebody can control him a little bit.”

She said she will not vote for Trump again unless he fulfills his campaign promises — specifically his pledge to provide better healthcare at a cheaper price. She noted that he had ultimately supported GOP healthcare plans that did “the opposite.”

The focus groups, organized by Priorities USA, a liberal advocacy group, were meant to probe voter views in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. Reporters were allowed to view six hours of questioning on the agreement that they not specifically identify the voters.

The questions largely revolved around views of Trump and Republican efforts to pass healthcare and tax reform measures. Yet in the process, participants voiced strikingly little support for Democrats nor any enthusiasm about using their vote to cast out Republicans next year.

“The Democrats still have to put forward an economic vision that is persuasive,” he said. The 2018 election “isn’t just all about being anti-Trump. It’s not.”

Although Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, he said, infighting between the parties and the absence of any successful and popular legislation has tarnished both sides.

“The soup of Washington has become so thick they just believe everyone is stuck in it,” Pollock said of voters. “The Democrats do have to put forward a sort of bold positive.” As a Democratic partisan, he insisted that “they have” made positive proposals, “but the people need to hear it,” he said.

Trump’s drop in polls has featured a notable decline in support among independents and a smaller, but still significant, decline among moderate Republicans.

That decline was reflected in all three focus groups, both a Republican-dominated one and two that included Democrat-sympathetic voters.

Earlier focus groups in Florida and Ohio — two states Trump wrested from the Democrats in 2016 on his way to victory — showed the same drop in Trump support, pollsters said.

Among Republicans in Arizona, Trump seemed to have morphed from outsider candidate to just another politician, a dangerous transition at a time when anyone involved in politics is looked upon with disdain.


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