Unite Conservatives, Mr. President

The Battleground Poll conducted by George Washington University published its latest findings on August 24.  America remains a profoundly conservative nation.  Those Americans who describe themselves as "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative" outnumber all other groups combined who gave a response to the pollsters. 

Excluding "moderates," conservatives outnumber liberals in America by 57% to 43%.  Even including moderates on the side opposite conservatives, the poll findings show that conservatives outnumber liberals and moderates by 53% to 47%.  If moderates split roughly equally between conservatives and liberals, that would leave conservatives (and that portion of moderates who lean conservative) outnumbering liberals (and that portion of moderates who lean liberal) by 56% to 44%.

These Battleground Poll findings have shown the same picture of America for twenty years.  The Gallup Poll findings – and, indeed, any major polls over the last two decades – show the same ideological advantage of conservatives in America.  Even polls by organizations that clearly despise conservatives show a strong conservative edge over liberals in America.

Even the above actually understates the political muscle of conservatives in America.  Electoral votes are cast by state, and because of the calculation of electoral votes – the number of House members plus the number of Senate members – the electoral votes of small- and medium-population states are magnified.  Because the Senate is composed of two members for each state, the power of small and medium states is even greater.

These small and medium states are much more conservative than the 57%-to-43% conservative to liberal split in America today.  The Gallup poll in January of this year revealed that 32 of the 50 states have a conservative-over-liberal advantage of 10 percentage points or more, and the vast majority of these 32 states are small or medium in population.

If conservatives had all voted for Trump in the last election, he would have won a majority of the popular vote and carried half a dozen other states.  Any Republican president who can unite these conservatives will be able to insure his re-election and to pad the Senate majority by enough seats to close filibusters.  Any Republican president who ignores conservatives will find it hard to do anything.  Trump has not done that yet.

President Trump, in running for the White House, seemed often to eschew ideological labels and embrace pragmatism and nationalism.  That leaves a significant percentage of the conservative majority in America disengaged.  These conservatives are motivated much less by economic success or national security issues than by the moral decline of America.

Sometimes it seems as if President Trump, who grew up in New York surrounded most of his life by millionaires, pragmatists, and leftists, does not quite grasp the importance of conservatives to his success and even to his political survival.  Sometimes it seems he does understand his dependence on conservatives. 

Because we all ought to hope President Trump succeeds, we all ought to hope he commits himself unequivocally to conservative values and principles.  This also is the way to get all of the Republican Party behind him.  The overwhelming majority of Republicans are conservatives, and if conservatives are overwhelmingly behind Trump, then Republicans in Congress will be obliged to follow him.

Trump's commitment cannot be false in any respect.  Condescension toward conservatives, for example, will be detected fast and will produce a rift that cannot be healed: every conservative knows what it is like to have arrogant and puffed up people look down on him.  Deemed dumb by the elites, conservatives, in fact, are among the brightest and best informed of all Americans.  It is the left which produces dim robots.

What might President Trump do to unite conservatives behind him?  He might give a speech explicitly telling Americans he is a conservative and then defining that in economic and, critically, social issues.  He might call to attention those conservative measures and appointments he has already taken.  Finally, he might call forth what a future America would look like under a successful Trump presidency.

With conservatives, Mr. President, you can do almost anything, but without them, it will be difficult to really do much at all.  It ought to be an easy choice: unite conservatives and be a successful president.

The Battleground Poll conducted by George Washington University published its latest findings on August 24.  America remains a profoundly conservative nation.  Those Americans who describe themselves as "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative" outnumber all other groups combined who gave a response to the pollsters. 

Excluding "moderates," conservatives outnumber liberals in America by 57% to 43%.  Even including moderates on the side opposite conservatives, the poll findings show that conservatives outnumber liberals and moderates by 53% to 47%.  If moderates split roughly equally between conservatives and liberals, that would leave conservatives (and that portion of moderates who lean conservative) outnumbering liberals (and that portion of moderates who lean liberal) by 56% to 44%.

These Battleground Poll findings have shown the same picture of America for twenty years.  The Gallup Poll findings – and, indeed, any major polls over the last two decades – show the same ideological advantage of conservatives in America.  Even polls by organizations that clearly despise conservatives show a strong conservative edge over liberals in America.

Even the above actually understates the political muscle of conservatives in America.  Electoral votes are cast by state, and because of the calculation of electoral votes – the number of House members plus the number of Senate members – the electoral votes of small- and medium-population states are magnified.  Because the Senate is composed of two members for each state, the power of small and medium states is even greater.

These small and medium states are much more conservative than the 57%-to-43% conservative to liberal split in America today.  The Gallup poll in January of this year revealed that 32 of the 50 states have a conservative-over-liberal advantage of 10 percentage points or more, and the vast majority of these 32 states are small or medium in population.

If conservatives had all voted for Trump in the last election, he would have won a majority of the popular vote and carried half a dozen other states.  Any Republican president who can unite these conservatives will be able to insure his re-election and to pad the Senate majority by enough seats to close filibusters.  Any Republican president who ignores conservatives will find it hard to do anything.  Trump has not done that yet.

President Trump, in running for the White House, seemed often to eschew ideological labels and embrace pragmatism and nationalism.  That leaves a significant percentage of the conservative majority in America disengaged.  These conservatives are motivated much less by economic success or national security issues than by the moral decline of America.

Sometimes it seems as if President Trump, who grew up in New York surrounded most of his life by millionaires, pragmatists, and leftists, does not quite grasp the importance of conservatives to his success and even to his political survival.  Sometimes it seems he does understand his dependence on conservatives. 

Because we all ought to hope President Trump succeeds, we all ought to hope he commits himself unequivocally to conservative values and principles.  This also is the way to get all of the Republican Party behind him.  The overwhelming majority of Republicans are conservatives, and if conservatives are overwhelmingly behind Trump, then Republicans in Congress will be obliged to follow him.

Trump's commitment cannot be false in any respect.  Condescension toward conservatives, for example, will be detected fast and will produce a rift that cannot be healed: every conservative knows what it is like to have arrogant and puffed up people look down on him.  Deemed dumb by the elites, conservatives, in fact, are among the brightest and best informed of all Americans.  It is the left which produces dim robots.

What might President Trump do to unite conservatives behind him?  He might give a speech explicitly telling Americans he is a conservative and then defining that in economic and, critically, social issues.  He might call to attention those conservative measures and appointments he has already taken.  Finally, he might call forth what a future America would look like under a successful Trump presidency.

With conservatives, Mr. President, you can do almost anything, but without them, it will be difficult to really do much at all.  It ought to be an easy choice: unite conservatives and be a successful president.