President Donald Trump’s bad spelling is earning him negative reviews from voters.
According to a recent poll, Republicans and Democrats alike become less confident in the president when they read tweets of his that contain spelling mistakes, of which there are several notable examples (“unpresidented,” “honered,” and “hearby,” to name a few).
But when it comes to the voters who make up Trump’s base, it’s unclear if his orthographic blunders are moving the needle at all.
In fact, one Republican politician thinks they could even be helping Trump.
“This is something that’s endearing to his base,” Phil Van Treuren, a political consultant and city councilman from Amherst, Ohio, told Business Insider. “It doesn’t hurt him one bit.”
Van Treuren, who advises aspiring political candidates through his company Political Campaigning Tips, said he is “obsessive” about proofreading and spell-checking his campaign literature before it’s sent out.
The Trump administration doesn’t always apply the same scrutiny — in one famous incident, the White House misspelled the word “attacker” 27 times in a single statement.
Still, given Trump’s consistent attacks on the media, it’s easy for a Trump supporter to reject criticism of the president’s writing style, Van Treuren said.
“Rightly or wrongly, this populist movement that elevated Trump has very effectively labelled the writers and journalists of the world as out of touch and elitist,” Van Treuren said. “Proper spelling and grammar has almost become a liability in this crowd. It’s looked down upon.”
But Van Treuren emphasised that the degree to which one cares about Trump’s spelling isn’t a sign of one’s education or intelligence.
“You usually support candidates for office because you see something of yourself in them, and his supporters like the fact that the president tells them not to be ashamed of who they are,” he said.
“There’s a caveat, though — what the president does is way more important than whether he makes spelling mistakes.”
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