WASHINGTON (AP) — It was supposed to be her “47 percent” moment.
When Hillary Clinton said that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables,” Republicans thought they just might have found her campaign-crushing-blunder.
The gaffe, they hoped, was a way to cement an image as an out-of-touch snob, just as Democrats did four years ago to Mitt Romney after he said “47 percent” of voters backed President Barack Obama because they were “dependent on government.”
But a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that Clinton’s stumble didn’t have quite the impact that Trump and his supporters wanted. Instead, it’s Trump who’s viewed as most disconnected and disrespectful.
Sixty percent of registered voters say he does not respect “ordinary Americans,” according to the poll. That’s far more than the 48 percent who say the same about Clinton.
Trump supporters had begun showing up at his rallies with shirts and signs riffing on the word “deplorable.” The hashtag #BasketofDeplorables began trending on Twitter, as the Republican nominee’s backers demanded an apology. At a rally last week in Florida, Trump walked out to a song from the play Les Miserables.
“Welcome to all you deplorables!” he shouted, standing in front of a backdrop that read, “Les Deplorables.”
But the poll findings underscore how Trump’s no-holds-barred approach may be wearing on the country. Despite efforts by his campaign to keep him on message, his image as an outspoken firebrand who brazenly skips past societal norms appears deeply ingrained among voters.
Nearly three in four do not view him as even somewhat civil or compassionate. Half say he’s at least somewhat racist. Those numbers are largely unchanged from the last time the AP-GfK survey was conducted in July.
Even among those saying they’ll most likely vote for Trump, 40 percent say they think the word “compassionate” doesn’t describe him well.
“He was always a decent guy even with his marriages and everything,” said David Singer, a retiree from Simsbury, Connecticut. “But when he got on the debate stage something happened to him. The insults just got me crazy. I couldn’t believe what he was telling people.”
Trump is viewed unfavorably by 61 percent of registered voters, and Clinton by 56 percent. But despite her similarly high unfavorability rating, voters do not hold the same negative views about her as they do of Trump.
Only 21 percent believe she’s very or somewhat racist. Half say she’s at least somewhat civil and 42 percent view her as compassionate.
Democrats see Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric as a major campaign asset — for them. Clinton’s campaign spent much of the summer casting Trump as a dangerous force in American society, one that consorts with racists, anti-Semites and white supremacists.
“Our most cherished values are at stake,” Clinton told students at Temple University on Monday. “We have to stand up to this hate. We cannot let it go on.”
It’s a strategy lifted right out of the party’s 2012 playbook. Four years ago, Democrats seized on a leaked video showing Romney at a private fundraiser in Florida dismissing “47 percent” of voters who pay no income tax, people who believe “the government has a responsibility to care for them” and would automatically vote for Obama.
The comment helped Democrats paint the GOP nominee as a heartless plutocrat only concerned about protecting the wealthy, a message they’d been pushing for months through a barrage of battleground state ads.
This year, Clinton’s campaign and allies have spent more than $180 million on TV and radio advertising between mid-June and this week, according to Kantar Media’s political ad tracker. Trump and his supporters spent about $40 million in the same time period.
Many of the Democratic ads focus on Trump, featuring footage of him insulting military leaders, women and immigrants — often with explicit language.
“You can tell them to go f— themselves,” he’s shown saying in ads aired repeatedly by the campaign. The word is bleeped out, but the message is clear.
Clinton’s comments about Trump’s supporters at the fundraiser were a clumsy version of her campaign message, one that she’d expressed in other settings as well.
Speaking to donors in New York City, Clinton said half of Trump’s supporters were in “a basket of deplorables,” a crowd she described as racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic. Clinton later said she regretted applying that description to “half” of Trump’s backers, but stuck by her assertion that “it’s deplorable” that the GOP nominee has built his campaign on “prejudice and paranoia” and given a platform to “hateful views and voices.”
Most American voters don’t see his backers as deplorable. Seven percent say Trump’s supporters are generally better people than the average American, 30 percent say they’re worse, and 61 percent consider them about the same.
But Clinton’s comments resonate with the voters her campaign must turn out to the polls in large numbers on Election Day. Fifty-four percent of Democratic voters think that Trump’s backers are generally worse people than the average American.
About half of black and Hispanic voters, and more than 4 in 10 voters under 30 years old, agree.
“He’s a bully and he’s just made it acceptable,” said Patricia Barraclough, 69, a Clinton supporter in Jonesborough, Tennessee. “Since he started running, civility has just gone down the tubes. The name-calling. The bullying. All of a sudden it’s like it’s OK to act on it.”
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,694 adults, including 1,476 registered voters, was conducted online Sept. 15-19, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, and for registered voters is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t have access to the internet were provided access for free.
AP writer Jill Colvin contributed from Philadelphia.
Poll results: http://ap-gfkpoll.com
Follow Lisa Lerer and AP Polling Editor Emily Swanson on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/llerer and http://twitter.com/@EL—Swan
NEW YORK (AP) — Gene Luen Yang, a prize-winning author and the national ambassador for young people’s literature, and Claudia Rankine, one of poetry’s brightest and most innovative stars, are among this year’s 23 MacArthur fellows and recipients of the so-called “genius” grants.
The fellows were announced Thursday by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which gives each honoree $625,000 over five years to spend any way he or she pleases, with no strings attached. More than 900 people have received the grants since 1981, with previous fellows including “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, author-journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates and dancer-choreographer Merce Cunningham. Fellows, brought to the foundation’s attention by an anonymous pool of nominators, do not apply for the money and are not informed they’ve been chosen until shortly before the awards are announced.
The idea behind the grants is to give people of “exceptional creativity” the “flexibility” to further pursue their ideas and projects.
“While our communities, our nation, and our world face both historic and emerging challenges, these 23 extraordinary individuals give us ample reason for hope,” MacArthur President Julia Stasch said in a statement. “They are breaking new ground in areas of public concern, in the arts, and in the sciences, often in unexpected ways. Their creativity, dedication, and impact inspire us all.”
Yang is an acclaimed graphic novelist whose books include “American Born Chinese,” which in 2006 became the first novel of its kind to receive a National Book Award nomination. Earlier this year, he was appointed young people’s literature ambassador by the Library of Congress. In an email to The Associated Press, he said he hoped the grant money would enable him to have a private work space. “Practically speaking, I haven’t had a studio for a while now. For the past few years, I’ve been working at local cafes and from a corner in my bedroom,” he told the AP.
Rankine is best known for her book-length tapestry of poems, prose and images about racism, “Citizen: An American Lyric,” a 2014 release which won the National Book Critics Circle prize and several other honors. More than 100,000 copies are in print, a remarkable total for poetry. During a recent telephone interview, Rankine said she planned to use at least some of the money to open a performing-creative-educational space in Manhattan that would challenge “the discourse that created this internalized hierarchy in white people.”
“We need a space where we can get together and put pressure on the language,” she said.
The foundation also selected author Maggie Nelson, New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman, composer Julia Wolfe, theater artist and educator Anne Basting and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
“I’ve had a very fortuitous year and I almost think I’ve learned the definition of an embarrassment of riches,” Jacobs-Jenkins said Thursday by phone. “I just feel like I’m in shock and I’m trying to understand what’s happening to me. I’m very happy to have it happen to me, whatever it is.”
Just 31, the Princeton-educated Jacobs-Jenkins has made a name for himself as an inventive theater writer. Two of his works tied for Obie Awards for Best American Play, and his play “An Octoroon” was finalist for The Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.
His works include “Neighbors,” in which a family of minstrels in blackface moves in next to a contemporary mixed-race family; “Appropriate,” where a white family discovers its racist past; and “Gloria,” about a group of catty editorial assistants at a magazine whose lives change on a random day.
Jacobs-Jenkins learned of the MacArthur grant a few weeks ago in a phone call. “I was convinced I was hallucinating it for a while and then I happened to run into my college roommate and the street who confirmed to me that there was, in fact, a phone number in my recent call list,” he said.
Others chosen ranged from financial service innovator Jose A. Quinonez and human rights attorney Ahilan Arulanantham to linguist Daryl Baldwin and bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum.
Also announced Thursday were computer scientists Subhash Khot and Bill Thies, synthetic chemist Jin-Quan Yu and biologist-inventor Manu Prakash, microbiologist Dianne Newman and geobiologist Victoria Orphan. Other fellows are sculptor Vincent Fecteau, art historian and curator Kellie Jones, cultural historian Josh Kun, author-writer Lauren Redniss, jewelry maker and sculptor Joyce J. Scott and video artist Mary Reid Kelley.
AP Drama Writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report.
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago police officer recorded firing shots that injured two black teenagers is scheduled to be arraigned on federal civil rights charges.
Marco Proano is due in U.S. District Court on Thursday to enter a plea.
The 41-year-old officer was indicted last week on two counts of deprivation of rights. He’s accused of using unreasonable force while on duty in 2013. Each count carries a maximum 10-year prison term.
The shooting was captured on dashboard-camera. It shows Proano firing his handgun multiple times into a car occupied by the two teenagers, who posed no apparent threat. The car was pulled over for speeding.
The indictment and release of video follows scrutiny of Chicago police since last November’s video release showing a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Former President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday called the prosecution of her predecessor on corruption charges another attack on Brazil’s democracy, speaking just weeks after the Senate removed her from office in an impeachment trial.
Rousseff spoke in support of her mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after a federal judge ruled that he must stand trial on corruption and money-laundering charges, possibly thwarting the political comeback of one of the remaining dominant forces of Latin America’s left. A conviction could ruin his chances of running for president again in 2018 and returning the leftist Workers’ Party to power.
“Brazil is going through a very difficult moment. A process is underway that is systematically breaking the constitution,” Rousseff told supporters at a rally for Rio de Janeiro mayoral candidate Jandira Feghali. “First they attacked me, and now they are attacking Lula.”
Prosecutors accuse Silva of taking bribes from a construction company in exchange for contracts with the country’s big state-run oil company, Petrobras.
Investigators charge that the company OAS bought a beachfront apartment in the city of Guaruja in Sao Paulo state for Silva and his wife, decorating and furnishing it to their taste. The politician has denied any wrongdoing, saying he didn’t own the penthouse and only visited it.
Silva, who governed from 2003 to 2010, is still a popular contender for president, leading in a July poll for the 2018 race, even after he had been implicated in the corruption scandal.
Rousseff was never personally implicated in the kickback scheme at Petrobras, but many accused her of trying to protect Silva as prosecutors unraveled his alleged role. Much of the graft happened during Silva and Rousseff’s combined 13 years in power.
The investigation into billions of dollars in alleged kickbacks at Petrobras has led to the jailing of several businessmen and politicians.
Impeached for breaking fiscal laws in managing the government’s budget, Rousseff had grown hugely unpopular as the corruption investigation widened while the economy slumped over the past two years into its deepest recession in decades. Under Silva, Brazil had seen extraordinary economic growth, which helped lift 20 million people from poverty and elevate the country’s voice in the global landscape.
Associated Press videojournalist Renata Brito contributed to this report.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Legendary Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez is lending his voice to support Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and potentially drum up Latino voters.
In a video released Wednesday and paid for by the Washington-based Latino Victory Project, the man known as the “King of Ranchera” music sings about working “hand-in-hand” for a Clinton victory.
The group said Fernandez volunteered to appear in the video, which was posted on YouTube and on the singer’s Facebook page .
Fernandez croons that under a Clinton presidency “we will always have a bridge.” He is shown leaning on a ranch fence amid clips of galloping horses, smiling children and a campaigning Clinton.
Fernandez also sings that “my people were hurt that someone would offend us.” It’s an apparent reference to Republican candidate Donald Trump, whose disparaging comments about migrants have angered many Mexicans.
The singer alluded to Trump at an April concert, saying he would “spit in his face” if they ever met.
NEW YORK (AP) — Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (WEE’-nur) acknowledges he communicated online with a girl but says he’s also been the subject of a hoax.
An online news outlet published an interview with a 15-year-old girl who says she exchanged sexually charged messages with Weiner.
The girl told DailyMail.com the online text and video exchanges went on for several months this year. She says they included Skype chats in which Weiner asked her to undress and touch herself.
Weiner on Wednesday gave The Associated Press an email supposedly written by the girl to her teacher, in which she recants her story. But Weiner says he has “repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment” about the people with whom he communicates online.
The Democrat resigned from Congress in 2011 over a sexting scandal.