This. I hear of lot of “listen to the other side” but it’s all coming from one side. Has there ever been a serious suggestion in the Republican party that “Democratic voters have some legitimate concerns. We should listen and see how we can address them?”
It is to laugh. Occasionally a Republican politician will suggest trying to broaden the party’s appeal to minorities, or to urban residents, or other non-traditional Republican demographics. They are either ignored or shot down by the party power-brokers. Any such increase in acceptance will upset the base and so is a non-starter.
Okay. Let’s have that conversation. Medical scientists have been saying for months that social distancing and mask wearing are two of the main ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19. What has been the response from the core Trump supporters? Did they jump on board? Did they believe the science? Did they insist it was the socially responsible duty of every American to follow the guidance of medical professionals?
Or did they instead decide the pandemic was a hoax and wearing masks was a threat to their freedom and god given right to behave like petulant fucking assholes?
You tell us how and why Democrats failed to reach these people on a subject of life and death of 250,000 Americans, and counting.
Yep, it’s always one-sided. Just like Republican concepts of “bipartisanship” and “compromise” which just amount to the Democrats capitulating with them. And why do they do that? Because it works every time.
The Dems are so concerned with being the better person that they continually let the Repubs walk all over them. We don’t need to listen to Trump voters, what we need to do is crush them. Trump and the Republican Party are a bunch of racists and fascists and those kinds of people need to be opposed at every turn.
The democrats had a massive campaigning failure this election cycle. That wasn’t about reaching out to Trump voters, it was about tracking down everyone on their side, knocking on their doors, making sure they overcame registration or mail-in ballot challenges, all to maximize their own turnout.
The campaign failures were a combination of the fact that the Dems massively overreacted to the optics of door-knocking during a pandemic and some of their institutional issues with relying too much on TV or chasing the wrong technological strategy. It wasn’t that there were Trump voters waiting for 1 or 2 conversations with a Democratic campaigner to be swayed, any more than the tiny fraction that might be swayed in any election.
Yes, this shows that it all comes down to turnout. It’s not about talking to the other side. Campaigns spend months and years figuring out the broad groups they can reach and the races they should be contesting, and then they try to reach everyone they can. You try to get your own supporters to turn out, and then use basically the only (legal) tool in your arsenal that works to depress your opponent’s turnout which is negative advertising. They did the research on who cared about which issues, and which races they could send their message and were successful. Then they failed at the easy part - actually finding everyone who leans Democrat and knocking on their door.
The one point I’ll give in your favor is that I read somewhere that the GOP had a lot of effectiveness finding social media and IM apps that non-english speaking communities use, and the Dems weren’t even on there sending any message. So that’s an area where they should have at least been putting some message out. I think this may partly explain the drop in minority support (BTW that is also overinflated - relative to the GOP it wound up being 2% for black people and 4% for Latinos - which is bad but not a sea change), but I wouldn’t say this is a failure to reach the bulk of Trump voters or even marginal Trump voters.
This is all premised on a model of politics that is constantly being disproved right in front of us. That’s my point. They don’t try to change anyone’s vote, because their campaign is based on their polling. They just assume that they need to turn out “the Democrats,” and then when those allegiances shift they act shocked and betrayed. “If you’re considering voting for him, you ain’t black,” and all that.
I don’t accept that there are Democratic voters and Republican voters, and you go and find them and get them to vote or not and that’s how every election goes. Again, Obama-Trump voters. These things are dynamic. Record turnout in Florida, record turnout in Texas, right?
Also, just for the record, I haven’t said anything about “the bulk” of Trump supporters. Obviously the bulk of Trump supporters are not going to be responsive. There’s a big difference between “the bulk” and not none.
And I don’t accept your premise of the mythical Obama-Trump voters voting in statistically significant enough numbers to turn an election result. Else you’d better start working on a hypothesis in which there were Trump-Biden voters in even more significant numbers that swung this election.
Record turnouts in this election are largely due to the fact that people were able to vote by mail instead of going to the polls and standing in lines for hours.
No, they didn’t turn out the Democrats. That was the problem.
The Republicans for the most part had an oldschool campaign where they drove up their own turnout through a combination of advertising and canvassing and drove down their opponent’s turnout through negative advertising, and then peppered in some modern viral marketing. The Democrats tried to entirely replace canvassing with digital marketing and phone/text banking, and pumped more money into the TV ads. The results were that while turnout was massively up across the board, the Republicans beat polls, won on the state level, held their ground in congress and came within striking distance of the presidency in an election where they had no right to. The two main states that the Democrats can point to as outlying successes were Arizona and Georgia. In Arizona it was built off of progressive organizers that had cut their teeth campaigning against Joe Arpaio (also the whole McCain thing may have hurt Trump) and in Georgia it was built off of a nearly unprecedented voter registration effort.
It’s absolutely true that there are large shifts in voting trends, and that the entire country is not divided neatly into Democrats and Republicans. However, there are big long-term reasons for those shifts happening. I have never seen evidence that the American public has turned to Trump’s nationalist, populist brand because they weren’t listened to. Most of the evidence points to the real problem - they live in places where the careers they expected to have are dying out, they never recovered from the financial crisis, they’re in debt, drug addiction is rampant etc. It doesn’t matter who listens to their concerns - those problems aren’t going away.
Listening to Chump voters is akin to listening to Nazi Party members before Hitler’s takeover or to Khmer Rouge. The US Republican Party is the modern-day Nazi Party and Khmer Rouge, and I believe many members would gladly murder just as many as those other two entities if they were given half a chance. We have to make sure they do not get that half a chance. As it stands, they’re making do with driving up the Covid death toll. It may be time to outlaw the Republican Party as a subversive organization.
I feel like you’re ending up where I started – I think it is necessary to understand “those problems,” which “most of the evidence points to,” in order to sell a solution to some of them, which is what politics is. Right?
That’s how I understand the calls for “listening.”
Republicans made significant gains in the House, strengthened their hold on state legislatures (this is a redistricting-year election,) Collins withstood the challenge in Maine despite most polls showing her trailing, Biden didn’t beat Trump by 8-10 percent in the popular vote as predicted, but rather, by less than half that.
Sure, it was because Republicans turned out in high strength. But Democrats could/should have had millions more of their own turn out.
‘Taken for granted’ is not a problem; It’s a justification. No amount of attention from a Democratic party candidate is going to persuade a pro-life latino voter to vote for what they view as anti-Christian, pro-abortion, socialist platform.
By and large, voting has never been easier than it has in this election given the increased opportunity for mail-in voting. If Democrats didn’t turn out despite the most clear and present threat to democracy, then I submit they would not be turned out if you set their beds on fire. No. I don’t believe it was a lack of motivation that had many Democrats sit this one out. It’s time to face the same reality we’ve been dealing with since Nixon. This remains a conservative country at its core.
This was a ridiculously high-turnout race, but the GOP drove up their own turnout more than the Dems drove theirs, and the fact that the Dems generally didn’t do the same kind of canvassing across the board is probably a good reason.