Are you willing to go to Washington and not cabal with the other side? Because they [Republican voters] want somebody, above all, that’s going to fight the Democrats. They actually don’t really care often what you’re fighting about.”Marc Hetherington, a political-science professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says this is where efforts to “refine” Trumpism will very likely hit a wall, as they implicitly assume that Trump’s supporters see his “aggressiveness” as a distraction from his appeal rather than a key feature of it.
Hetherington and his colleagues are in the early stages of research that suggests Trump’s most salient contribution to the party is in many ways apolitical. They’ve found that those who agree that only fighters are successful in life, or that the best strategy is to play hardball, even if it means being unfair, tend to prefer Donald Trump, while those who agree with statements like “cooperation is the key to success” tend to prefer Mitt Romney. “It’s not a partisan thing at all,” Hetherington told me. “It’s a worldview thing. And now, there’s a constituency in the Republican Party for that (emphasis added).”