There is a small but significant group of donors who are conflicted about Trump. It is a large enough group that we should look at who they are, as they could potentially sway the election.
Just over 1 out of every 20 voters falls into the “conflicted about Trump” category. It boils down to this: They like how Trump is handling the economy, but they disapprove of Trump overall.
If the 2020 election becomes a referendum on Trump, he’ll lose those voters and thereby, the election.
But if Trump makes the election about the economy, he could win over the majority of those voters and the election with it.
Harry Enten, the election data expert, dug into the numbers a bit more in his article HERE. He also points out that Trump so far hasn’t focused his messaging on the economy much, instead going with his inflammatory immigration rhetoric. That’s good news for us, but of course, could change in a flash.
The Navigator, the research organization that helps progressive leaders and organizers with their messaging, did a deep dive in their report on these conflicted voters. They dig into the demographics of this group. Encouragingly, they noted that this far less ideological group overwhelmingly voted for Democrats in the midterms.
So what does this mean for us? For any of us who are pushing messages with voters in person or online, we need to frame the discussion to push these voters into making their choice based on disapproving about Trump. The “good economy” may not be doing much good for them or their neighbors. Make the effects of the economy personal.
And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that we have to make sure that all of the voters that strongly oppose Trump need to vote. We should never let a group of voters make that decision for us.
Going into this next presidential election, keep in mind that one of these two records will be broken: 1) No president has been denied re-election when the country isn’t in a recession 2 years before the election, and 2) no president has been re-elected with Trump’s low approval rates.
If all of Trump’s base votes for him, and all of Trump’s opponents vote against him, it could well be these conflicted voters who decide the election.
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They are sadly misinformed and their perspective is terribly short-sighted. Any dimwitted president could temporarily boost the economy with massive deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations; but, such moves are grossly irresponsible and inevitably result in severe economic downturns. Furthermore, Trump’s impulsive trade wars are already causing increasing concern among many economic interests that a recession is likely by next year.
That is all true. But it’s helpful to us to understand that’s how they feel. We can wish they were better informed, or work to help them see the reality of the situation, whether through canvassing, sharing good information through the various networks we each have, etc.