by Jeffrey A Rendall
How amped up are you for the 2020 election?
It’s a hard thing to measure. Asking someone about their degree of enthusiasm for an upcoming election isn’t all that different than gauging how they feel about Christmas, their birthday and their wedding anniversary. It differs from person-to-person and depends on many factors, none of which a pollster has any inkling when posing the questions. Yet still the so-called “enthusiasm factor” is sampled in survey after survey trying to pinpoint how likely voting group x or demographic group y is to show up and support their candidate on Election Day, 2020.
How excited are you about your favorite sports team’s prospects for winning a championship (a lot if you’re a baseball fan and living in the DC area)? Or your grandkid’s baseball tournament? How about your office picnic?
Such is the nature of polling. How do you ask someone you don’t know about something they may or may not appreciate (the candidates) and trust them to provide an answer that makes sense when added to a big pool of other respondents? Not only that, how do you take the data and project thirteen months into the future when there’s no way of determining what intervening events could potentially alter someone’s opinions?
Most pollsters got it wrong in 2016 — or should I say, most didn’t calculate how many would or would not bother to vote for Hillary Clinton vs. Donald J. Trump. A few polls nailed the national support level but missed badly on certain individual states — you know, the ones that make all the difference in the Electoral College. The Republican candidate prevailed by a fairly wide margin in the constitutional sense, and was leading in the popular vote as well until the ultra-liberal west coast was tabulated.
Trump won pluralities or majorities in 30 states (including six Obama took in the previous election, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) and 306 Electoral Votes. Not exactly a landslide but hardly a squeaker either. Why were the polls so wrong?
Despite the difficulties of nailing down American attitudes, pollsters are now saying there’s never been anything like the current level of enthusiasm for next year’s balloting. Tal Axelrod reported at The Hill, “Roughly equal amounts of both Democrats and Republicans are highly engaged in the 2020 race over a year before the general election, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday…
“Gallup notes that the marginal difference between the two parties is notable given Republicans’ historical advantage in enthusiasm in each of the past seven final presidential pre-election surveys and in most polls conducted in past presidential election years…
“The poll found enthusiasm spiking near the ends of the ideological spectrum, with liberal Democrats (including Democratic-leaning independents) and conservative Republicans (including Republican-leaning independents) showing considerably more interest in the 2020 race than moderate and conservative Democrats and liberal or moderate Republicans.”
The polarized enthusiasm spike is easy to explain on both ends. Democrats’ hate for President Trump is exponentially fierier than their dislike for George W. Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney. Those wishy-washy establishment GOP pols didn’t generate strong feelings from anyone — except those who foresaw how bad it would be if/when they lost. If Republicans were more enthused than Democrats heading into the 2012 election it was because folks-in-the-know understood what another term of Obama would mean for the country.
They were largely right, too, as subsequent events proved. But Romney couldn’t get people excited enough to vote for him, and therein lies the difference.
Democrats loathe Trump for legitimate reasons. It has nothing to do with his non-traditional presidential personality, his mannerisms, his family or his business empire. Likewise, it isn’t about his unwillingness to pamper and praise and capitulate to Nancy Pelosi and “Chucky” Schumer. Even Trump’s famous fondness for labeling his opponents and assigning them nicknames (“Pocahontas” Warren? “Sleepy” Joe Biden?) doesn’t supply the distinction.
No, they’re jacked up to vote because liberals and Democrats can’t live with another four years of Trump’s MAGA policies. Think about it. Name a policy area and see where Trump rates along the liberal/big government spectrum. On immigration, for example, a second term for Trump means the border wall will likely be completed, sanctuary cities will be cut off, deportations will reach new levels and the chances of pushing an amnesty bill across the president’s desk are next to nil.
Pelosi’s (or whoever is the next Speaker or Democrat House leader) and Schumer’s excuses for not dealing with immigration will expire. Democrats will need to abandon any pretense of caring about Americans vis-à-vis their illegal alien communities.
On “climate change,” an extended Trump White House stay would mean no revival of the Paris Accord, no new authorizations for the Environmental Protection Agency to penalize American businesses for trumped-up violations, no fracking bans or moratoriums on nuclear power. Further, Trump will see to it that the Keystone Pipeline (and other similar energy transports) will be built and the country’s oil and gas industries become the largest and most profitable in the world.
Coal regions will thrive until they’re able to fully convert to substitute clean burning job producers like natural gas. Families won’t be ruined. Heck, the opioid crisis might even be vastly reduced.
The Green New Deal will continue to be a dead letter until at least the mid 2020’s and this means citizens with large fuel consuming SUV’s can keep their cars and buy inexpensive gasoline for them too. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Greta Thunberg and their misguided alarmist “the world is ending” ilk will need to delay reproducing a little longer so as to not overpopulate the earth. And meat eaters will go on ordering juicy steaks without the slightest pangs of guilt.
In the foreign policy sphere, Trump will still partake in photo ops with Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-Un knowing it ticks off his detractors. He’ll put even more pressure on NATO “partners” to pay their fair share. And the president will sustain his efforts to toss out America-trashing trade agreements in favor of popular measures to protect American jobs. Trump will also keep his word on not overcommitting the U.S. military and engaging in more unnecessary stupid wars.
On taxes and the budget Trump will push for another major tax reform proposal which will keep the economy growing strong, people employed and consumers feeling good about buying things to improve their standard of living. Entitlement reform? It won’t happen under a Democrat.
Lastly (had to end somewhere), the conservative cultural movement will at least enjoy a friendly ear in the White House with Trump at the helm. Trump himself might not be a principled cultural conservative on certain issues but he appoints judges and Supreme Court justices that allow states and localities to set their own limits and permissions on abortion, the LGBTQ onslaught and religious freedom. Think liberals will legislate from the bench if Trump gets another shot at appointing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor?
In other words, four more years of Trump means another term of speaking truth-to-power, punching back at the media, giving as good as he gets and driving his enemies crazy. Impeachment won’t work this time around, so how could Democrats get away with resuming the charade of Trump’s “unfitness” for office? They’ll still be energized to try, of course, and the country will remain uber-polarized. Neighbor will distrust neighbor, longtime friends will split and marriages could end. But Trump will endure.
Liberals won’t like any of it. Too bad.
Meanwhile, conservatives are galvanized about voting next year for the prospect of maintaining Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda and finally, at long last, sticking it to the Democrats for decades of falsehoods, lies, distortions and brow-beating. Trump doesn’t stand for any of it — and therefore, he stands for us. Is it really any secret why the election is drawing such intense feelings from everyone?
Perhaps most importantly, liberals won’t be able to hide behind their hypocrisy if Trump is reelected. Alex Swoyer reported at The Washington Times, “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has allowed life in Washington to go to her head — literally.
“The self-declared socialist, who regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway, spent nearly $300 on her hairdo at a pricey salon she frequents in downtown Washington, The Washington Times has learned.
“The New York Democrat ventured into Last Tangle Salon on 19th Street Northwest last month and shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights, according to sources familiar with the salon. A 20% tip would have added $52 to the bill.”
Anyone who lives in a household with adult females knows they spend money on haircare, but at least the ones I know aren’t out preaching about the evils of climate change and imploring others to cease using cost-effective fossil fuels, all the while demanding income redistribution as the Millennial Bronx nutcase does.
Did Ocasio-Cortez sip a beverage out of a plastic straw while her coiffure was being worked on by her highly paid specialist? Inquiring minds want to know.
“Do as I say, not as I do” is the two-faced mantra of the left.
Swoyer’s article highlighted AOC’s repeated calls for a congressional pay raise as well as her decision to take up residence in a high-rent district of Washington, when she could be saving a little more of her taxpayer provided dough by frequenting Congress’s rate-controlled hair salon. If the woman was serious about knowing how the “other half” lives, why isn’t she dwelling among them and conserving on non-essential things like the rest of us?
Democrats like AOC are helping to gin-up the conservative Republican voter base over a year before the 2020 election. If pollsters wonder where the passion is coming from, just look in her direction.
Any way you slice it, Donald Trump evokes strong reactions from Americans on both sides of the ideological fence. If polls indicate people are already eager to cast votes for the next president, it’s not difficult to see why. Some predict a record voter turnout…who will prevail?
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Photo “Trump Rally” by Epoch Times. CC BY 2.0.