• Is 2020 Already Decided?

    April 24, 2019

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Trump


     

    Does anyone in the Democratic Party understand the 2020 election is going to hinge on purple voters in a handful of key states? After years of culture warfare the red and blue bases are set. Electoral College, not midterm, math applies. It is easy to predict a close vote deciding the election.

     
    If the Dems have any inkling of all this, then it is unclear why their primary candidates are talking about things like reparations, Mayor Pete’s hubby, why we must have a woman president, that AOC/Omar (D-Late Night) are the future (and maybe they are; all flash and no substance, D-Late Night), how Stacey Adams got cheated and so deserves to be at least a Senator, identity politics, trans- anything or #MuellerPutinTaxGate. While many purple voters do care about LGBT rights and having a woman in the White House, it is less clear they will vote that way when other issues are of concern.
     

    Democrats run a real risk of under-emphasizing the gulf between social media and the real world. If you fell from outer space and only had Twitter to help you understand this election, you would be convinced the electorate is demanding a female, black, left-handed nominee to drive through a legislative agenda centered on banning hate speech. A significant portion of the MSM lives in that world, so disgusted by Trump that some three years into his administration they still cannot accept the idea that people actually voted for him (Esquire’s political columnist adds an asterisk to the word president* to signify the election was bogus.) Post “Trump is literally Hitler ya’all” and thousands will “like” and agree into a self-reinforcing coma. They’re missing that Democrats who do not share political content on Twitter are more likely to identify as moderate or conservative. In fact, early polls suggest gender and race are not decisive factors for Democratic voters. Too few people talking to each other create narrow, and wrong, impressions that may prove fatal for 2020.

    The central Democratic plank — Trump Bad Man — is not what Dems expected it to be at this point in the 2020 campaign. Russiagate collapsed. There will be no obstruction trials, no impeachment hearings on afternoon TV. Trump is still the only president since the end of the Soviet Union who hasn’t yet dragged the country into any new war, and he has toned down some of the pre-existing ones. The economy did not collapse. A trade war did not devastate any place. Trump got 57 miles of the wall paid for, and had the Supreme Court validate his “Muslim Ban.” Trump continues to enjoy strong ratings on the economy and for combatting terrorism, two issues of heightened importance in family-oriented suburbs. The Resistance piffed away, achieving little while its Hollywood heroes molested each other. The Women’s March ate itself over infighting. And all the Dems have to go into Michigan with is “we still haven’t seen his taxes.”

    Dems did take control of the House and have done what… with that power? Pelosi, who has tamped down the impeachment rabble and dropped shade on her angry freshmen, seems to have a better sense of this than most. All purple voters who chose Dem in the midterms been is more empty talk of socialism, demands for less white supremacy, and a need for more investigations. Plus a quickly-failed Green New Deal alongside lots of anti-Israel chatter that can alienate a potential Jewish voting block in battleground Florida. The Dems could have made a decent DACA-for-the-Wall deal, and gone into 2020 with a popular victory for some of the most vulnerable immigrants. Instead they got just the wall, and watched Trump declare a national emergency over their dead body to get it. At the same time, what Obama recently labeled a “circular firing squad” haunts the party, with the guns aimed right now at Joe “I’m Your Handy Man” Biden. Who is pure enough? Let’s ask Al Franken!

    House Democrats pushing for the release of the Mueller report say they are oddly not hearing much interest on the subject from their constituents back home. “The vast majority of what I hear is about kitchen-table issues,” a Michigan representative said. Because while the Dems may not have much to offer up, the voters indeed have their own lists.

     

    People are anxious over immigration, and many uncomfortable with Trump’s actions. But unless the Dems come up with specific answers to that anxiety they will punt away the issue. There is no doubt communities across the midwest and elsewhere have been dramatically affected by immigration. Some for the better, some less so. Cultural values have been challenged without anyone seeming to care. It is not a new story in America, but it does matter, because purple voters understand the impact on their communities and they see it daily. They are well-aware the New York Times pundit’s  great-grandfather came over from Poland with five dollars in his pocket, hell, their grandfather came over from Poland with two dollars in his pocket. Even if the media won’t ask the hard follow up questions, they’ll still exist in voters’ minds.

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is traveling here and there announcing she is today “ashamed” of immigration positions she supported just a few years ago, solid Trumpian things from blocking certain benefits for undocumented immigrants to establishing English as an official language. She proclaims her 180 degree change of view hoping to win the primary so she can downplay in the general election how she proclaimed her 180 degree change of view. It is unlikely purple voters will see this as the serious leadership on immigration issues they crave.

    Multiple candidates say they will abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE. Every country on earth controls its own borders in some fashion. So abolish ICE. And then?

    Purple voters don’t live in the multicultural holiday camp of Brooklyn, and know it is not 1900 anymore with an economy demanding millions of new farmers and manual laborers. They understand not everyone agrees, but also know you can’t tell groups of people what they believe is just wrong, racist, and un-American, at least not and expect their votes. Dems tried and failed to enact gun control legislation by saying people who owned a hunting rifle in Iowa were complicit in killing children in Florida. Nobody wants to see kids in cages. But “We’re not Trump” by itself only goes so far.

     

    Claiming the economy is in shambles is also a bad strategy when it plainly is not. It makes Dems look out of touch. The economy is doing very well for the band of purple voters who have 401ks; the DOW was at 18,000 when Trump took office and it’s above 26,000 now. Yes, yes, Obama helped but that’s not how credit gets apportioned on the ballot. You don’t have to agree with them or even understand it fully, but many are convinced they accept food stamps because they have to while other people accept them because they are lazy. It’s not about jobs, it’s about good jobs somehow still isn’t the message. Got infrastructure plans? Less well-off purple voters understand economic inequality at a gut level; most Dems sell it as a minority problem pandering for black support and forget many of those purple voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania are poor and very white.

    Many voters know there is no such thing as a mass of POC as white Dems imagine it. This is a false construct Dems are wasting energy on. There is, in just one example, a real cleavage between established later-generation Hispanics and new arrivals (55% of Hispanics believe immigrants’ illegal crossing of the border with Mexico is an important problem. Some 97% of foreign-born Hispanics in America identify as Hispanic, while only 50% of fourth-generation or higher Hispanics do.) Few Asians outside of social media traps imagine they have much in common with urban blacks. Every Asian immigrant, for example, expects his kids to live in the suburbs someday. He’s too busy with three jobs to spend time complaining about how unfair things are.

     

    People need help with healthcare. But at some point Medicare for All has to move beyond a tweeted slogan and explain how the government will simply do away with the multi-billion dollar private insurance business, force doctors to change how and how much they are paid, explain how to legislate drug prices, and institute price controls for all medical services to keep the system from going broke (you need all those parts, that’s how it works in other countries.) And of course, explain how to pass the legislation and then fund all this. “We’ll tax rich people” makes as much sense as “We’ll ask Beyonce to set up a really big GoFundMe.” “Check my web page for the details” is not going to be 2020’s killer debate line.

    In 2016, both Sanders and Trump stood out from other candidates for their willingness to frame the campaign as an existential struggle, using terms like “revolution” and “movement” to drive home their anti-establishment credentials. With Democrats now seeking to redefine themselves after more than two decades of dominance by the Clintons, such terms have become the norm. Purple voters may easily see such words as code for too-left, too-progressive ideological politics they are wary of backing.

     

    While the effect on purple voters is unclear at present, “Whither Bernie” looms large. The 2016 Bernie never imagined he’d do much more than use the primary to air his signature issues of healthcare and economic reform. That’s why in the beginning he didn’t run against Hillary so much as alongside her, always gentle on her tender spots like those damn emails. But his message about Wall Street excesses and income inequality resonated. Bernie 2020 starts with a large block of serious supporters and some good ideas. But it is very hard to see how a guy five years older than Trump who talks about socialism is going to fare. Last time around the Dems buried Sanders in a rigged primary and lost many of his supporters. It is unclear how the eventual Democratic nominee (you don’t really think the DNC will run an independent old man with no corporate love, do you?) will handle him this time around to try and retain those voters. It is also unclear how many voters will be hesitant to back Bernie, wondering in the end which other candidate they’ll be traded to this time.

     

    It’s a primary, so candidates think they are talking mostly among friends to the Base. But in a 24/7 always-on world statements now are amplified and will be remembered. This is an old story for Republicans, who in the past used to say crazy racist things to small rural groups to win primary votes, and then try to clean up their act back in town.  The old “must do X to get nominated and then renounce X to get elected” paradigm doesn’t work anymore.

    A good example is Mayor Pete, who has made a little set piece out of calling out Mike Pence. Pete recently said “If you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is with my creator.” Who is Pete talking to here? Homophobes are not going to change their minds, and evangelicals are not going to be brought over by being told their reading of God’s word is wrong. Nope, Pete is pandering to a small segment of the Democratic base focused on LGBT issues. Once upon a time that was a workable strategy, different approaches for different audiences. But not today. How is his approach going to play to purple voters worried about a broad range of pocketbook issues? If Mayor Pete, who so desperately wants to be this year’s Plain Spoken Warrior Poet from the Heartland, ends up in front of possible Trump voters in Ohio explaining he won’t be The Gay President, he’ll lose. Ask around; how’d that I’m going to be The Woman President thing work out in 2016?

    So here it is: Democrats, if you want a better chance at winning in 2020 instead of just congratulating yourselves you were right while recounting the popular vote, tone down the Trump hate. Stop emphasizing identity politics. Have specific plans to offer on immigration, infrastructure, and healthcare. Talk about economic inequality more broadly, and STFU about socialism. Be very careful what you feed the base in the primaries lest you have to walk it back in the general election. Pay more attention to real life purple voters and less to social media. Get your angry freshman women off and your candidates on the front pages. Resolve your Bernie problem well. Stop alienating the very voters who can push you to victory.

     

    At this early stage, Joe Biden (age 76 to Trump’s 72, lost twice) and Bernie (lost once, age 77) seem like the best the Democrats have and that’s pretty sad. It’s still very early days, but we’re watching Dems set the stage to blow it.

     
     

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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Blue Wave goodbye to the Red Party of Putin

      Assuming the Dumbocrats cannot find someone like Hillarious who can give Demented a race for most disliked candidate- Biden, I am looking at your roaming fingers- then the Party of Putin will lose 2020.

      For example, Pennsylvania and Michigan are now goners for the Party of Putin.

      1. Inspite of Biden’s association with the old Dumbocrats, Trump would still lose a hypothetical 2020 matchup against Joe Biden by a 53–40 margin.

      2. Trump would lose a hypothetical 2020 matchup against Bernie Sanders by a 52–41 margin.

      3. Trump Loses in Michigan and PA against Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren by smaller margins—but that’s because more respondents said they were undecided in head-to-heads involving the two lesser-known candidates, not because Trump got significantly more support himself against them than he did against Biden and Sanders.

      What’s most worrisome for Trump about these results is not just that Biden and Sanders are both very well-known—only 9 percent of Americans said they didn’t have an opinion about Sanders in a recent Gallup poll, and Biden is Biden—but that they’re well-known for being about as far apart ideologically as two Democratic presidential candidates could be. Biden is the guy strongly associated with the Democratic Party establishment who has a long record on issues like criminal justice and financial regulation that now qualify as conservative; Sanders is the fiery leftist outsider who wants to crush the banks and raise taxes to pay for universal health care and higher education. If both of those guys would trounce Trump, it suggests that there’s not much that voters could learn about Warren or Harris—or really anyone with a (D) next to their name—that they would find disqualifying.

      So, other than the clowns whose polls predicted a close 2018 election, the majority of polls are indicating the Blue Wave will not only drown Demented but the GOP Senate will be caught in the undertow.

      04/24/19 12:17 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      2

      “I’m With Her”. Free Chelsea and Assange.

      04/24/19 2:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Just in case something terrible happens to Demented, Steve “Jesus” King is available to run.

      “ In describing his experience on Capitol Hill, the congressman conjured a courtroom scene, evoking the trial that, in the telling of the New Testament, preceded the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. King called his fellow lawmakers “accusers.”

      “And when I had to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers — you know, we’ve just passed through Easter and Christ’s Passion — and I have a better insight into what He went through for us, partly because of that experience,” he said.

      Seeing that his travails had biblical parallels, King said, made him grateful for the sizable share of Christians in his district, which lies in the northwest quadrant of the state.

      This of course is gonna piss off Pence, who talks to God all the time, that he wasn’t Gods choice.

      04/24/19 2:24 PM | Comment Link

    • J.L.Seagull said...

      4

      Keep an eye on Mike Gravel.

      04/25/19 1:32 AM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      5

      Assange/Manning2020

      04/25/19 7:45 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      6

      We shouldn’t rule out Hillary running in 2000. She says she lost in 2016 because she was a target of Russia. It that like pulling out the race card with a geopolitical twist?
      By the way when Hillary- along with her pal Obama – “targets” someone- they die. They don’t lose an election. Gaddafi can testify as to that fact.

      04/25/19 4:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      7

      Sure feels that way. The Washington Post is at it again, too. They couldn’t be any more obvious short of falling out of a ten story building right on top of a person either.

      The Dems are going to lose this if they don’t follow what you outlined above. Sometimes it seems like that is just the idea – leadership takes courage and this round of politicians, irregardless of their ages, is short on ideas and planning

      04/25/19 4:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      The Corporate Dumbocrats on MSNBC are frantically trying to call this a foregone Biden victory.

      04/25/19 5:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      If 2020 is already “decided” in the age of METoo, it would be bizarre that the two candidates for Presidunce would be two creepy feely old white guys. If so, then a black woman running as an Independent will win the popular vote…which means nothing of course.

      04/26/19 2:23 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      10

      Bauer you might be on to something. The Democratic party is now fractured into many angry factions. I don’t see anyone currently running being able to unite all the quarreling factions to keep Trump from a second term.

      04/26/19 4:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      Correction: Demented says he is a young, vibrant man. Kids, this is why you have to stay off drugs.

      04/26/19 11:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      Twitter is a Purple people eater

      “ Pay more attention to real life purple voters and less to social media.”

      Funny that Demented the Great Divider bitched to the big Bird Brain about his deleted Twitter followers. Pay attention, people. Peter is right. The first step to sanity is for everybody to delete their tweets.

      04/27/19 10:36 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      13

      So the current qualifications for the Democratic nominee for POTUS are: a handicapped black lesbian who has an undocumented Central American immigrant?

      04/28/19 9:47 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      14

      for her running mate VP.

      04/28/19 9:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      Well, at least the lesbian won’t be bending over for Putin.

      04/29/19 8:27 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      Did anyone predict the party of Reagan would ever trust the Russkies over the FBI?

      04/29/19 8:30 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      17

      You should have a photo instead of Trumpie holding hands with his lover, Putin. What everyone wants to know is if Trumpie already blew it.

      04/29/19 8:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      18

      Is 2020 already decided? Yeah, if Trumpie has his way.

      When Kirstjen Nielsen was the secretary of Homeland Security, she reportedly wanted to warn the White House about Russian interference in the 2020 election, but chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told her not to bring it up to President Donald Trump.

      According to a report from The New York Times, Mulvaney made it clear to Nielsen that the president still believes any discussion about Russia’s election interference undermines his 2016 election victory.

      When Nielsen tried to focus the White House on curbing continued Russian aggression ahead of the 2020 election, The Times reported that Mulvaney said it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below [Trump’s] level.”

      The IC actually agreed. Didn’t want it to be a topic when Trumpie met with his Russian handlers.

      04/29/19 9:34 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      19

      Assuming “Game of Thrones” is a prophetic look at our current events, Putin from frigid Russia is the Night King coming to attack our lameass voting security. Melissandra the Red Witch aka Hillary Clinton makes a late return to set the whole scene on fire. While the dead are voting in masses, leave it to the smallest female to put a stake in it. AOC, ready with that pointy thing?

      04/29/19 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      20

      White Walkers are the real threat

      Why is it the White Trumpists, who never turned down a military defense bill to protect US from the Russkies, are not in favor of increasing voting security to protect US against the Russkies?

      In Georgia, the home of the Walking Dead, the brain dead Republicans say there is enough accuracy of touchscreen voting machines, but Democrats said paper ballots bubbled in with pens would be more secure from hacking or tampering. Republicans say touchscreens are familiar to voters and still have fears of another Gore v Bush voter paper audit.

      04/29/19 10:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      21

      Speaking of GoT and Putin -Trumpie doggie sex, hindsight is 2020. I predicted the Night King would die from syphilis he got from Cersei, who was cold as he was from sitting on the Iron Throne. So, Putin better be careful. Trump has probably been exposed to every STD known to mankind.

      04/29/19 11:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      22

      Speaking of revolting images, for the love of God, will someone please destroy the video of Kraft resurrecting his dead weapon? We don’t need to see it.

      04/29/19 12:06 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      23

      Bauer you have to get over the myth that Putin and Russia influenced American voters in the 2016 election. Obama jumped the line in 2008 when it was clearly Hillary’s turn thus begetting Trump. Your wrath should be directed at the formerly closeted but now out plutocrat- Obama.

      04/30/19 2:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Lorna MacKay said...

      24

      Rich Bauer, it continues to amaze me that otherwise seemingly intelligent people still believe the story that Putin/Russia affected the 2016 presidential election, and/or that Trump is in any way ‘run’ by Russia/Putin.

      If any foreign government or its opperatives seriously affected those elections, it would be Israel, not Russia. If you think Americans are so easily swayed that a few FB posts and ads could convince them to vote Trump over Hillary (whose campaign far outspent the measly amount said to have been spent by Russia), then you have a much lower opinion of the average American voter than I do.

      I preferred Trump to Hillary, much to the dismay of my ‘progressive’ friends, not because I thinkh he is at all admirable, but because he called for rapprochement with Russia, and extracting America from its endless and disastrous wars in the Middle East.

      He has been prevented from attempting either of these by the myth of Russian collusion perpetrated by the Democratic leadership and followers like you. If he had managed to do either – normalizing relaions with Russia, or getting out of the Middle East, I would consider him one of the better presidents of the 21st century.

      04/30/19 3:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      25

      Lorna,

      Getting out of the Middle East quagmire is quite the noble peace gesture. But your Nobel Peace Prize Presidunce alarmed even the diehard hawks in the Pentagon when he kept asking why the US doesn’t use nuclear weapons there. This clown is dying to invade Venezuela for its oil. This is the same clown who complained that we haven’t taken Iraq’s oil. The guy is a pathological iiar, a bigot and a sex pervert. Great qualifications for “one of the better Presidunces” of any this or any century.”

      04/30/19 6:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      26

      I’m not saying Demented is Putin’s boy toy, butt just like it ended for Thanos and the Night King, keep your eye on the hands.

      04/30/19 7:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      27

      Speaking of 2020, what goes around…

      WashPo headline: Don’t call it a coup, Venezuelans should overthrow an oppressive regime

      Really? Charity begins at home.

      05/1/19 6:13 AM | Comment Link

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