Democrats doubling down on identity politics for 2020 elections

Democrats are doubling down on identity politics as the top focus for their 2020 elections strategy after polls claim that President Trump got no positive bounce from the end of the special counsel investigation.

The FiveThirtyEight polling aggregation site, named after the number of electors in the United States electoral college, is breathlessly crowing that President Donald Trump got no net approval bounce from the end of the "Russiagate" probe.

With an average of 52.8 percent disapproval and 42 percent approval after 803 days in office, FiveThirtyEight claims that Trump is more unpopular than every president since Harry Truman in 1947, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, whom Trump beats by 0.8 percent.  

In an article titled, "Why Identity Politics Could Be Good Politics for Democrats In 2020," the site argues there is plenty of data and political science research "for Democrats to talk a lot about equality and identity issues" in order to turn out a winning plurality of nonwhite voters and white people with college degrees.

The polling site's editor and chief data geek Nate Silver does admit that his models in 2016 gave Hillary Clinton a 7-to-3 chance of winning, and he expected her to swamp Trump in the Electoral College.  Although Silver admits that Hillary Clinton's "invoking terms like the 'privilege' of white Americans and embracing the Black Lives Matter movement" "might have exacerbated the shift of racially conservative white voters away from the Democratic Party," he blamed her shocking loss on traditional media that over-reported on then–FBI director James Comey's letter and the WikiLeaks hack of Democratic emails.  

FiveThirtyEight polling suggests that the Democrats' success in the 2018 House races was getting Midwestern white voters without college degrees to be "thinking about economic issues and not cultural or racial ones."  Their polling attribute Democrats' attacks on the GOP push to repeal Obamacare to have been highly effective on a local level in 2018.

Democrats talking more about pocketbook issues may incrementally help their 2020 presidential nominee, but FiveThirtyEight's data research suggests that the Democrat must "talk a lot about equality and identity issues to win in 2020."

Black voters were 25 percent of the Democrat electorate in 2016, and capturing almost 80 percent of the black vote was the key to Clinton winning the Democrat nomination.

But a 2016 election postmortem analysis by the leftist Center for American Progress blamed Democrats losing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida on 2 million fewer African-Americans voting in 2016 versus 2012, and Clinton capturing only 88 percent of the black vote, 6 percent less than Obama in 2012.

Democrats presidential hopefuls are getting lots of press from the adoring media, but it is President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign that has cranked up its data machine and has $32 million of campaign cash in the bank.  Trump has held 59 political rallies (none paid for by the White House) and has never been more popular with his base.

But Trump is also focused on breaking the Democrats' hammerlock on African-American voters.  His economic programs have driven the unemployment rates for black Americans to the lowest levels in four decades and an all-time low for black teenagers.

After four decades of partisan battles over criminal justice reform that would disproportionately help black Americans, President Trump signed "The First Step Act" in December that reduces mandatory minimum sentences in some cases and expands "good time served credits" for shorter sentences for the well behaved prisoners.  The act also instructed the Justice Department to provide new guidance on inmate "housing, grouping, and program assignments."

Despite sneers and bad-mouthing by the many black celebrities and the entire Congressional Black Caucus, a Rasmussen poll last August found that Trump's job approval ratings among African-Americans at 36 percent.  Even if the number in 2020 is only 20 percent, it would crush every Democrat nominee's entire presidential election strategy.

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