Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
Four years ago on Election Day 2016, I published a post right here on American Parser called “The Real King Of Queens Will Be President!” I had not voted for Trump, but it was clear to me then that he was going to win, and I had said as much on social media since he had secured the Republican nomination that previous summer.
So here we are again. And although you won’t hear this anywhere else, even in the most optimistic of Trump supporters, I’m going to go ahead and say it: Trump will win bigger in 2020 than he did in 2016, and, yes, this time, he’ll win the popular vote as well as the Electoral College. Here’s why.
Four years ago, Trump was a wild card. He was known broadly as a rich guy, shameless self-promoter, and television reality show star. He had never held public office, never run for public office, and his political leanings over the years seemed to run leftish, and yet, he was running as a Republican.
Today, though, Trump is a known quantity. Back in 1996, one pundit quipped, “The difference between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole is that Bill Clinton wants to run the country off a cliff at 100 miles per hour, whereas Bob Dole wants to run the country off a cliff at 60 miles per hour.”
But Trump is different, and a majority of Americans know that now. He’s not just one side or another of the same Establishment coin. Unlike previous Republican nominees in recent memory, Trump is not running to sustain the charade of political polarity between the two parties, but rather to expose the charade and actually create the necessary polarity. In short, Donald Trump is not John McCain or Mitt Romney, and conservative voters find that refreshing.
Many others do, too. They started seeing the chasm between what the press was saying and what Trump was doing. After the media warned that Trump would set back civil rights progress 50 years, Trump promptly formalized regular funding for historically black colleges and universities, signed prison reform legislation that reduced or counted as fulfilled the prison sentences of thousands of black males, and earmarked $75 billion dollars to spur investment in urban “opportunity zones” across the nation.”
When liberals complained that homosexuals would have to return to the closet and see court decisions legalizing gay marriage invalidated by Trump’s heavy fascist hand, Trump responded by hiring close advisors in the LGBT community, lobbying countries around the world to decriminalize homosexuality, and funding the Department of Health and Human Services to begin a comprehensive ten year plan, called Ending the HIV Epidemic, to eradicate HIV in the United States for everything from medical treatment to education to increased developmental research for a cure.
After Obama’s declaration that the millions of manufacturing jobs lost over the past 25 years to transnational agreements like NAFTA were gone, and that no one had a magic wand to bring them back, Trump said “Hold my beer,” and commenced to redefining the U.S. role in trade agreements, slashing tens of thousands of capital-sucking bureaucratic regulations restricting business growth, adding 480,000 manufacturing jobs in three years, which reversed twenty years of manufacturing job losses and aided in lower unemployment numbers for middle class blue collar workers, including minorities.
And on and on and on. On issues from abortion to the Middle East to health care to judicial appointments to illegal immigration, Trump has defied conventional political wisdom, exceeded the best expectations, shown considerable care in exercising executive power within constitutional limits, and been ideologically consistent with his campaign promises. He has, despite his considerable flaws of temperament, been magnanimous to those who would disagree with him on principle or policy without maligning him personally, even surrounding himself on purpose with skeptics, just to get input from all sides of a given issue instead of surrounding himself with “yes” men, as most politicians do.
As a result of the all the voters who, despite Trump’s election, are still, four years later, alive in the United States, haven’t lost their constitutional rights, don’t see their friends being rounded up and sent to concentration camps, and are generally better paid and less taxed than they were four years ago, blacks, homosexuals, union workers, Hispanics, a big swath of awakened younger voters, independents, older folks who are voting for the first time ever, and many other groups, collectively numbering in the millions, are comparing life under Trump to the burned-out hovels of Democrat-controlled cities that have been run into the ground over the past forty years and ransacked by hoodlums since May of 2020, and these millions are realizing that Trump is worth their vote because he’s worked for it.
The centerpiece of that support, the demographic whose support for Trump will alone tip the scales for him in the absence of all the others, the dagger in the heart of the Democratic Party tonight, is the black vote. Since the 1960s, blacks have voted for the Democratic president candidate over 90% of the time. In 2016, it was 88%. I have a black minister friend who told me last year he’s expecting black turnout for Trump in 2020 to be 30%, and maybe he’s right, but that sounds a little high for my betting money.
I’m going to go with 16%, though. If one assumes that 2% voted for a third party candidate in 2016, that means that about 10% of blacks voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Getting 16% in 2020 would be a 60% jump from 2016, and right at a million more black votes for Trump. I think black are hungry enough for hope and change, and tired enough of being taken for granted, to put Trump over the top this time.
How critical could that difference be? Let’s take Florida as an example. Florida’s popular vote in 2016, which is widely credited as the key to Trump’s election, was decided by a difference between Trump and Clinton of only 1.2% of votes, or about 113,000 voters. If black votes jump for Trump from 10% in 2016 to 16% in 2020, that alone is another 212,000 votes for Donald Trump. If that happens in Florida, even if Trump loses to Biden in every other demographic by the amount that Clinton lost to Trump in 2016, Trump will still win Florida by 99,000 votes. Now, extrapolate that possibility to the rest of the country.
And that doesn’t even take into account eyeballing the difference between Trump’s rallies and Biden’s rallies over the last six months. And the virtual mirrors the actual. Last night — the night before Election Day 2020 — I was scrolling through YouTube thumbnails. Near the top of the screen, I saw the Fox News channel carrying a live feed of a Trump rally in Michigan, one of his last before the election. About 27,000 viewers were on the feed at that moment. Just a few inches below that was a live feed of a simultaneous Joe Biden rally in a Southern state. I don’t remember which. It was being broadcast live by the PBSNewshour channel, which that night had had over 200,000 viewers for its nightly newscast. The concurrent viewers on that same channel for the Biden rally? 279. That’s right. While viewers of the Trump rally approximated the healthy attendance of a college football game, Biden’s rally had the equivalent of a popular bar on New Year’s Eve.
And that’s why, even without California, Trump will win the popular vote, as well as the Electoral College, in 2020. The Democrats’ remaining supporters are loud and formidable, but their numbers are static at best. Trump’s supporters are not as whiny, but they are growing as a group of adults who cherish transparency, a reach for consensus, and freedom, which Obama promised and never delivered.
Right now, at 10:58 p.m. on November 3rd, 2020, the New York Times gives the tally as Biden with 40,757,139 individual votes and 205 electoral votes, while Trump has gathered 44,288,484 individual votes and 112 electoral votes, with many states — among them Michigan, North Carolina Pennsylvania, and Texas — still in play. When the dust has settled, feel free to tell me below if I’m the fool or the king. I’ve been both, and I can live with either.