Democrats' nightmare: Trump so confident he's already campaigning to their base
How's this for confidence in 2020?
President Trump's job performance is so strong that he's almost not even worrying about shoring up his own political base in the coming presidential election. He's focusing his campaign resources on black, Hispanic, and female voters, the old-line stalwarts of the Democratic Party's political base, because the base is in the bag. This is the equivalent of Sherman taking the march to Atlanta and heading to "the sea."
Here's what Axios is reporting. (Caution: The reportage is more biased than most, so I put in some annotations):
Trump campaign officials have been discussing a digital campaign to boost President Trump's 2020 support among three key demographic groups: African Americans, Hispanics and suburban women, two sources familiar with the plan tell Axios.
Why it matters: These are the groups the president must make inroads with the most. Trump won in 2016 with less support from black and Hispanic voters than any president in at least 40 years, per Reuters. [Nonsense. These links are more recent, thorough, and accurate.] And in 2018, suburban women revolted against Republicans in the midterms [More nonsense: Ever heard of ballot-harvesting?], a shift that was widely seen as a direct rebuke of Trump.
- "We have high confidence that we'll make great inroads with key voters," a senior Trump campaign official told Axios.
That speaks of a campaign so confident that it has political capital to burn. Normally, at primary time, a candidate will first seek to win over the base so as to secure the nomination. The base is the most motivated of voters, and for Democrats, that generally means the most extremist of them.
But this news signals that Trump has already won his base over. His sky-high approval ratings among Republicans and conservatives are in the 80% range. Trump's rip-roaring overflow crowds, such as a recent one in Pennsylvania for instance, suggest as much. Rival Joe Biden, by contrast, is still drawing mere Hillary Clinton–sized crowds and struggling to disguise the quantity of empty seats at his rallies.
The appeals that Trump's making, described in the Axios pieces, are reason for optimism, too. There's no tired dreck about identity politics and victimization — just smart talk about making schools better, reforming the criminal justice system in all those one-party blue cities, and news about how U.S. natural gas production has reduced carbon emissions in a way the supercilious Europeans can only envy.
In short, it's a sharp, bright picture from Trump, based on his record, and based on not treating voters like cookie-cutter identity-politics people, and voters of all stripes are bound to eat it up. No wonder the computer models suggest that Trump is headed for a big victory. Confident candidates don't swing toward extremes to rev up their political base, which is exactly the dynamic we see in the Democratic Party's 24-member clown car of candidates. Trump's record on the economy is so strong that he's now pulling in voters who usually vote Democrat.
With Democrats trying to out-crazy each other in race for the nomination, it's bound to work. Anecdotally, I suspect it's on target. I went to the 2008 Democratic convention and met the committed Democrats there — and what I learned is that a large portion of them are reasonable, moderate normals who are grounded in the real world and not receptive to crazy-think. I liked the upstate New York and Colorado Democrats; actually, they almost seemed like Republicans. People like that are going to be potential Trump voters, and many are blacks, Hispanics, and women. If 2008 is any proxy or indication, there could be a lot of them.
With Trump going for the jugular, watch for Democrats to step up screams of racism as a response to Trump drawing in more Hispanics, blacks, and women. Democrats have long seen these voters as "their" constituency and packaged them into identity politics slots.
Trump will peel them away by exposing that approach as old hat and focusing on actually tangible good things ahead for them. That's bad news for Democrats, so let the predictable yelling about raaacism, triggering, and "Nazis" begin.
Image credit: The Guardian shareable YouTube screen shot.