I’d like to think that I’m far and away the best the best writer on current politics that there ever was. But there’s a guy out there named Shankar Narayan, who posted a column on Medium last week which has me all beat to Hell.
What Narayan did was to take the trouble to drill down into the last three election returns in specific states, and what he found might constitute the beginning of the end for the GOP. Or at least the GOP if it continues its craven support of Donald Trump.
Narayan begins his analysis by reminding us of what we all know to be true, namely, that most elections are won or lost by a shift from red to blue or blue to red by voters who refer to themselves as ‘independents,’ a group which constitutes less than 10% of the voting population as a whole.
In 2016, independent voters went for Trump over Clinton by a margin of 1 percent. In 2018, when Trump held more than 60 rallies and claimed the mid-term election was a ‘plebiscite' on him, independent voters went for the blue team by the astounding number of 15 percent! In 2020, Trump did pull out more voters than any previous incumbent was able to draw, but the independent vote went for Biden by 9 percent.
Let’s remember one important point about 2016. This was the last election where independent voters showed a (slight) preference for the GOP. And while Trump’s campaign promoted the MAGA narrative, in fact this message was secondary to his assault on Hillary, who came into the campaign carrying as much or more negative baggage than Trump dragged around.
Remember the Billy Budd tape where Trump indulged in some locker-room talk? It took Trump exactly one day to go on national TV and offer a contrite and believable apology for his remarks. Know how long it took Hillary to say one word about the email server in her home? Try almost three months, during which time Trump held endless rallies happily leading the crowds in ‘lock her up’ chants.
The problem with pre-election polls, however, is that what someone tells a pollster over the phone or by tapping on a keyboard isn’t the same thing as showing up to vote. And while Trump can continue to brag about the fact that no sitting President ever received the vote that he received in 2020, no Presidential candidate ever rang up the vote that Biden rang up. Not even close.
All of a sudden, by the way, the ‘red wave’ that was going to splash ashore in November appears to be looking more like a ripple. Not only do recent polls show that Democrats have grabbed the lead in generic Senate and House voting, but donations have slowed down to the point that the DNC has $60 million more cash on hand than what’s sitting in the bank for the RNC. That ain’t good.
Here’s a guy, I’m talking about Donald Trump, who has twice been told by the national electorate to go take a flying leap. He also led the GOP into the worst mid-term election in more than 40 years. He’s possibly going to be indicted by not one, but two grand juries.
So, tell me this: How does Trump manage to stay on top of the heap? It certainly isn’t because of his social media presence because his so-called social media network is about to go bust. If a free-lance political writer like Shankar Narayan can figure out the numbers, you mean the professionals working for the GOP and RNC can’t? Give me a friggin’ break.
I’ll tell you why Trump isn’t gone. He’s still around because the Fake News media continues to take him seriously, in the same way they have been boosting his political stature since he announced in 2015.
I remember early on during the 2016 campaign watching Trump in an interview with some female reporter from CNN. Before Trump was asked a single question, he told the reporter that he wouldn’t answer any question about something-or-other which was a hot issue at the time.
To my utter astonishment, the reporter agreed to leave the issue alone! How do you conduct a credible political interview if you allow the person being interviewed to decide what questions can be asked and what questions can’t be asked? That’s absurd, and yet Trump got away with that kind of coddling by the Fake News and he’s still getting away with it again and again.
It turns out that Trump’s Truth Social app now hosts all the QAnon jerkoffs who were banned from Twitter and other social media feeds and Trump regularly posts content from QAnon users to his Truth Social page. That’s enough of a reason for the Fake News media to stop mentioning anything having to do with Trump.
But you know what? If the November voting numbers end up where they appear to be ending up, the Fake News can give Trump free time and free space, but it won’t mean very much.
What’s the GOP going to do in 2024? Let themselves be led by someone who will have lost four national votes?