Sometimes, to make a point about something in the news, we will create a little interactive tool. For example, we could create a President Trump Endorsement Generator™, which would take a person’s name and cobble together random phrases to create a facsimile of a Trumpian tweet of approval.
But that’s not really very fun, because it would look just like this:
That’s the wording, over and over.
Different names in front of the phrase and different election dates afterward but the same consistent message. At least recently. Before June, the messaging varied a bit more. Trump touted the candidate’s commitment to tax cuts, for example, something the president doesn’t do as much these days. Health care, like tax cuts, was mentioned back when that was the hot issue on Capitol Hill.
Otherwise, it has been fairly consistent.
In 4 of 5 tweets of endorsement, Trump has mentioned that the candidate will be tough on crime. In three-quarters, that they will be in support of strong borders. In 6 of 10, that the candidates support our military. That they explicitly support veterans, only a bit less than half the time. In some cases, Trump just offered an endorsement without explaining why.
The chart above includes negative endorsements, tweets in which a candidate’s challenger is disparaged for not strongly supporting the Trump agenda. This is the same rhetoric he uses broadly against Democrats.
It’s not really clear that this is necessarily a winning message for Trump. Certainly, he has seen more success in his endorsements since he consolidated his Twitter patter, but he has also moved from endorsing in Republican-vs.-Democrat contests to Republican primary battles, in which he has more clout over the electorate. Clearly, Trump thinks this is a winning message; it’s just not guaranteed that it is.
We’ll also note that there are several levels to a Trump endorsement.
The basic endorsement.
The full endorsement.
The “full and total.”
And then there’s the not-really-an-endorsement.
Trump’s endorsed candidate, Roy Moore, lost that Senate race in Alabama.