Monday, December 16, 2019

Are Trump Supporters Over Confident About 2020?

In what I hope my turn out to be a prophecy, a piece in New York Magazine posits the question of whether Donald Trump supporters are too over confident about Trump's re-election prospects in 2020 and, as a result might not turn out in force to vote.  The piece considers the non-stop pro-Trump propaganda by the right wing media which could result in his cult like followers finding themselves in a bubble detached from mainstream America where - much as the far left of the Democrat base - and posed to receive a severe shock if the con-man of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not re-elected. The piece also notes the over confidence of the Clinton campaign in 2016 that allowed Trump to eke by in three states by the slimmest of margins and win the Electoral College.   Democrats are nowhere as confident and, hopefully, this will cause them to strive harder and to go to the polls to stop the human cancer that currently inhabits the White House.  Here are highlights:

If you forced yourself to watch significant portions of the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of articles of impeachment, you undoubtedly heard the Republican hypothesis that the entire exercise is an effort to head off a certain Trump reelection next year. This assumption was often hurled at Democrats as a taunt . . . .
 Impeachment aside, any casual perusal of pro-Trump conservative news and opinion outlets shows an impressive consensus that the president is cruising to a 2020 victory, with impeachment viewed as a base-mobilizer rather than a development that will repel swing voters, . . .
 This take on impeachment rather notably collides with the claim that it is intended to head off Trump’s reelection, since Democrats infallibly know the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit him. But the fact remains that Trump fans are feeling more, not less, confident about 2020, and they were pretty confident earlier, as National Review observed over a month ago: . . . . The survey shows that 56 percent of voters believe the president will be reelected. Eighty-five percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents were confident in Trump’s reelection effort, compared to 35 percent of Democrats.
Eighty-five percent is a lot of confidence in a president who lost the popular vote the first time around and has never been anything other than underwater in his job-approval ratings.
You don’t need a poll to grasp that Democrats aren’t remotely as confident about 2020. The simple fact that Democratic voters are obsessed with the electability of prospective nominees tells you all you need to know about that. And this anxiety — if not pessimism — is constantly reinforced by analysis suggesting Trump can again win while losing the popular vote by an even greater margin than before.
This contrast in moods is, to put it mildly, a reversal of the situation going into the 2016 general election. Of all the reasons Trump won, you have to figure overconfidence in the HRC camp — leading to strategic missteps by the campaign, and indifferent turnout and protest voting among the rank-and-file — was a significant factor.
There is no polling lead by the Democratic nominee or mistake by Trump this time around that will convince Democratic voters this election is in the bag. But it’s possible that a solid year of triumphalist braying from Trump, his campaign, his party, and his media allies, will persuade some of his own voters that he’s already won, so it’s safe to spend Election Day in other pursuits, or at the grocery and liquor stores stocking up for the big victory celebration. It could be a fatal mistake.

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