What Trump Must Do to Win
Donald Trump is now the Republican candidate. But what does he need to do to win in November?
The simple answer is that he needs to persuade lots of white people to, first: go to the polls, and second: vote for him. Remember: Mitt Romney got 59 percent of the white vote in 2012 but still lost because Barack Obama got 93 percent of the black vote, 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, and 73 percent of the Asian vote. White people didn’t get the president they wanted because non-whites wanted the Democrat.
Mr. Trump will not get a majority of any non-white group, so he’s got to get a big chunk of the white vote.
Whites are still about 70 percent of America’s voters. That means that if they voted as a bloc they could choose the President even if every single non-white voted the other way. Neutered Republicans keep saying the GOP is never going to get more than the 59 percent of the white vote Mr. Romney got and that the party therefore has to pander to blacks and Hispanics. Wrong. Pandering would drive a lot of whites away in disgust. And Republicans seem to forget that getting just one percent more of the white vote is the equivalent of getting 7 percent more of the Hispanic vote. Which would be easier for Donald Trump?
Some whites will vote for Hillary no matter what, and some will vote for Mr. Trump no matter what. It’s the others he has to think about, and more and more of them just don’t vote at all. Every time Mr. Obama ran, the white turnout fell: by one percent from 2004 to 2008, and it dropped another two percent in 2012 to just 64 percent of eligible white voters. That means more than a third of whites who could have voted didn’t. If a lot more whites came out to vote, Mr. Trump wouldn’t even have to increase the percentage of whites who vote for him. But I think he can increase the turnout and get more of them to vote Republican.
The whites who are least likely to vote are the ones with the least education. Only 35 percent of white high school dropouts voted in 2012. As for whites who were under 30, and never went to college, only 27 percent of them voted. Almost three quarters of those white people didn’t vote.
And it’s whites under 30, who never went to college, who are the most obvious Trump voters. They can’t afford a nice, white neighborhood like the one Hillary lives in. They are the ones who are hurt when factory jobs go overseas. They have to compete with Mexicans for what’s left. They are the ones out in the cold when America “celebrates diversity.” Their children get stuck with classmates who can’t speak English.
They are the forgotten, despised Americans Mr. Trump says he will fight for. And you can be sure that not one government agency or non-profit or party outreach committee is trying to register poor whites to vote or will charter buses to take them to the polls. Poor blacks and Hispanics? Of course. But forget about poor whites. Mr. Trump should think really hard about how to get these people registered and make sure they vote.
It’s whites with advanced degrees who are the most likely to vote. 83 percent of them voted in 2012–that’s more than three times the rate of young whites without much education. And they, as the media love to remind us, are more likely to vote Democrat.
The fact is, though, there isn’t nearly as much of a class split among whites as most people think. For example, if you look at whites with a college education or more, 36 percent are Republicans and 27 percent are Democrats. But for those who never went to college, the figures aren’t that much different: 34 percent Republican and 27 percent Democrat. These are differences of just one or two percent. Wealth doesn’t make that much difference in party preference either.
So the main thing Mr. Trump needs to do is go all out on policies that appeal to whites–and those aren’t always the ones the Republicans have been pushing.
Here is a list of policies that majorities of whites either support or oppose. The first line is “Favor Increasing Taxes on Millionaires.” You can see that 76.6 percent of whites are for it. And 75.1 percent of non-whites are for it, too. The number in the right-most column is the difference between white and non-white support.
As you can see from the next two items, there are big majorities of whites who want to be nice to homosexuals–unlike many hard-line Republicans. Also, very few whites want an outright ban on abortion–even though lots of Republicans do. You might want stop the video to look at the other policies, but whites want higher taxes on corporations, and less money spent on the poor, welfare, or child care. And, as you can see at the bottom, they hate “affirmative action.”
There are other policies not listed here, that are important for whites. Large majorities want to build a wall on the Mexico border, and most whites don’t like free-trade agreements.
So Mr. Trump should hit all these policies very hard.
And the fact is, Mr. Trump has put together an almost perfect program to appeal to whites. He’s different from standard-issue Republicans on taxes and trade agreements, and their tough talk on abortion and homosexuals. I don’t think he sat down and worked it out that way. It was probably pure instinct.
What he says isn’t likely to change the minds of non-whites, so he shouldn’t worry about them. Of course, there’s no reason deliberately to offend them. And he can always throw in a few fluffy lines about making America great again for every American of every race and religion.” But the main thing he should do is wake up every morning and ask himself: “What can I do to get more white votes?”
There are two policies he should add that will fire up whites. One would be a fierce attack on “affirmative action” or racial preferences. Whites hate them, and would love it if Trump called them what they are: discrimination against whites.
The second is something he unveiled at the Republican convention and should push even harder, and that is a powerful defense of the police. Whites do not think of the police as their enemies. Whites overwhelmingly approved when the officer who shot Michael Brown was not indicted. They are furious when blacks riot or kill police. If Mr. Trump treated Black Lives Matter with as much contempt as he did Jeb Bush, whites would be so happy they’d pop.
These two things–attacks on racial preferences and Black Lives Matter–would get a lot of whites off their duffs and down to the polling stations. The media would screech about “racism.” Let ‘em screech. It won’t hurt him.
White turnout will make or break Donald Trump. But has already set a record for primary election turnout. This year there were 36 percent more Republican primary voters than in 2012, and for just one reason: He was on the ballot. If he could boost the white general election turnout by, what, 5 percentage points? 10? he would sail into the White House.
And if anybody can do it, he can. There is not one white man or woman in the whole country who doesn’t know that Donald Trump crushed every one of the Republican party bosses who thought they had it in the bag. Ordinary whites got a huge kick out of seeing Jeb Bush slink off with his tail between his legs. And I think a record number of them will go to the polls in November–even the high school dropouts will find a way.
There is one group of whites who are real renegades, though, and that’s single women. In 2012, only 44 percent of them voted for Mitt Romney. A lot of them are going to vote for Mrs. Clinton. And that is why Mr. Trump must make the most of his daughter Ivanka. Women care a lot about what other women think, especially beautiful women. Ivanke and also the glamorous Mrs. Trump should get on television as much as possible. They should be in Mr. Trump’s TV ads. They could win over some of those single white women, and they certainly won’t scare men away. They could even pick up non-white voters.
This is going to be a hard fight. The entire media class hates Donald Trump. The sore losers in the Republican Party hate him. Black and Hispanic race hustlers hate him. The fancy white people who hire Guatemalan nannies hate him.
It’s ordinary white people who love him. But if Mr. Trump doesn’t love them back, and work day and night to convince them he won’t let them down, they’ll stay home. This may be their last chance to vote for an America that isn’t a multi-culti nightmare.
But ordinary white people are cynical. The Republicans have kicked them around for years. Mr. Trump has got to convince them he really can change the country. He’s got to inspire them. If he does, he’ll be our next president.