Posted on June 10, 2020

Will the Riots Reelect Donald Trump?

Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, June 10, 2020

Many Republicans think a platform of “law and order” in response to the recent wave of riots guarantees that President Donald Trump will win the upcoming election. Some Democrats fear this is true. Two past examples of rightwing blowback to violent disorder are almost always cited: Richard Nixon’s victories in 1968 and 1972 in the face of race riots and urban crime, and Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016 shortly after a spat of Islamic terrorism and rising murder rates in several major American cities. However, we should remember that despite the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and high national crime rates, George H.W. Bush failed — even as an incumbent — to defeat Bill Clinton.

Contradictory polls further complicate predictions. Earlier this month, one poll showed that, “71 percent of polled American voters said they support the use of the National Guard to supplement city police forces in addressing ‘protests and demonstrations,’” and 58 percent supported sending in the military. But only a few days later, a different poll found that 59 percent “of voters were more troubled by the police actions and [George] Floyd’s killing than protests that have turned violent.”

There is little evidence to suggest a large share of President Trump’s base will either not vote or vote for another candidate. Likewise, the black vote is unlikely to change dramatically from its 2016 level. The two groups who are most in play are moderate white suburbanites and Hispanics. Suburbanites are perpetual swing voters. Hispanics, meanwhile, usually vote for Democrats at a rate between two to one and three to one. Interestingly, in 2016, Hispanics did not vote Republican in dramatically lower numbers than usual. Also, given their scant participation in the rioting, they may view the events of the last two weeks as unjustified and criminal, and want a President who can restore order. Though I don’t believe there is any chance of a majority of Hispanics voting Republican this November, even a modest increase could make several different swing states go red.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.