Progressive strategist says Dems shouldn't be surprised at Trump's base support

Progressive strategist Ruy Teixeira said in an interview that aired Thursday that Democrats should not be surprised by President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE's level of support among his own political base.

"I don't think people on the left should get so surprised by the fact that there's a certain percentage of the population particularly in a partisan country like this that aren't willing to throw Trump overboard all at once," Teixeira told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"Politics changes slowly. Parties change slowly. It doesn't all happen at once, we're not going to wake up tomorrow and Trump's going to have a 20 percent approval rating and the Republican Party will completely reinvent itself as a sort of progressive centrist party. That's not going to happen," he continued.

An NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found that Trump enjoys an 88 percent approval rating among Republicans compared to 46 percent overall. Forty-one percent of voters said they would "definitely" or "likely" vote for Trump in 2020.

"Politics takes time. Elections happen. Policies are put forward. They gain some support. They're implemented," Teixeira said. 

"The left would be better off if it looked at history in its own ideas, and how they've evolved over time in that way," he said. "People don't wake up and decide, 'Hey, you're right about everything.'"

Teixeira was discussing his book, "The Optimistic Leftist," which encourages progressives to be optimistic about the future of 21st century America, despite President Trump's surprise victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

— Julia Manchester