As a political outsider I often find both Democrats and Republicans to be very funny. The current Democratic primaries are the most interesting I’ve ever seen. In a recent survey, Democrats said the most important quality in a candidate, more important than agreeing with them, is their ability to beat Donald Trump. Yet, Democrats seem to be actively working towards the exact opposite.
In recent conversations with staunch Democrats I have learned two important things: Democrats have no idea how to attract voters, and Democrats don’t understand why they lost in 2016. Don’t worry, I promise I’ll enlighten you. In fact, the two are closely related. Plus, as the title suggests, we’ll wrap it all up with the two easiest ways to defeat Donald Trump.
The first problem is Democrats aren’t appealing to anyone but Democrats. I know, it sound incredibly simple, yet they don’t seem to understand. I’m sure you all remember the outrage over how Bernie Sanders was treated. Now this time around there has already been allegations of favoritism towards Joe Biden. History seems doomed to repeat itself.
In a recent conversation on Facebook, I told a couple Democrats that if Biden is their nominee I will not vote for him. Can you guess their response? Was it:
- Why not?
- Who would you vote for?
- A defense of Joe Biden?
If you guessed none of the above, they called me an obstructionist, you win today’s no-prize!
The core of the reason that Clinton lost is because she didn’t appeal to anyone but Democrats, and she didn’t think she needed to. Democrats thought they would win by default because they dislike Trump so much. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that not everyone dislikes Trump as much as you or I do.
Democrats were watching these old fashioned, antiquated polls and believing that they already had the election in the bag. But, as the election showed us, these polls don’t reflect the reality. They relied largely on phone calls, which on the surface seems the safer way to go, after all online polls are so easily swayed. But if you stop to think about it, these will always give skewed results. How many young people answer phone calls from an unknown number? Or for that matter how many people who are in debt? Those are the voters Democrats needed to appeal to, and they likely weren’t being polled.
This isn’t just some opinion I have, there is data that shows how bad of a job Clinton did of appealing to independents and even the Democratic base. Here’s a map showing which party has more registered voters in each state.
Of course, many of these states don’t have voters register with a specific party. But to contrast here is how the votes fell in the 2016 election.
Trump won every state where there are more registered Republicans with the exception of New Hampshire. Clinton however lost six states where there is a Democratic majority in registered voters. How does that happen? Well let’s look at Florida as an example of a “swing state”. Clinton’s votes amounted to about 94% of registered Democrats, while Trump’s were 101% of registered Republicans. That’s the power of appealing to outsiders rather than ignoring them.
So what are Democrats doing this time around? They’ve tied their debates to many of those old fashioned types of polls. Not only that, but they’re trying to nominate Joe Biden, even though he doesn’t appeal to outsiders. Some people never learn. Of course, as I was getting ready to write this piece, I thought maybe it’s just me. Maybe not everyone dislikes Biden as much as I do.
I mean, how hard can it be to beat Trump? He forgot the name of the city that just had a shooting while giving a speech about it. Then again Biden did the same thing. Okay, I don’t really need to list all the reasons I don’t like Biden. I came here to present data.
For years the conventional wisdom has been that you need the older vote to win elections. And it was true. Baby boomers were a force to be reckoned with. However, in 2016 the older generations were finally outvoted.
The PEW research center shows that in 2016 Millennial votes exploded from 18.4 million to 31.3 million. Depending on the candidate that number could rise even farther. But that’s the thing, it will depend on the candidate. As time has gone on less and less people have affiliated themselves with a political party.
According to the PEW research center, only 52 percent of millennials consider themselves a true member of a political party, and that only includes registered voters. This is incredibly important for Democrats to understand, because it shows that millennials don’t vote for a party, they vote for a candidate.
So, how can we figure out who these younger voters will support? The easiest way is to look at their donations. They show, very clearly, who is appealing to younger voters.
You’ll see a tiny sliver next to Joe Biden, showing that the vast majority of his supporters are older. No surprise, Bernie Sanders is drawing in a lot of donations from younger people, but the person drawing in the most was Andrew Yang. These two candidates actually have very similar fan bases.
Anyone who followed the 2016 election should know that Bernie Sanders supporters were not willing to vote for another candidate. If you don’t believe me go search Twitter for #BernieorBust. But as a member of the Yang Gang, I thought it would be helpful to take a survey and learn a little bit more about the people who are supporting Andrew Yang right now.
I started my own survey and was immediately pointed toward another with almost 3000 votes, much higher than many political polls. I kept mine up to see if the results from the first poll could be corroborated, and both got very similar results.
I expected to see a good number of people who voted for Trump, which is a great indicator that Yang could steal voters from him. But I didn’t expect that so many people, who are actively engaged in politics before a primary, didn’t even vote in 2016. I did have a few responders tell me that it was because they weren’t old enough to vote at the time, but even that is amazing. How many people under the age of 21 are paying attention to political primaries?
So this result got me thinking, if this many Yang supporters didn’t vote last time around, how many people didn’t vote. The answer is a little depressing.
The number of adults who didn’t vote vastly outweighs the number of people who voted for Trump or Clinton. These are the people the Democrats need to be actively courting. Persuading even a small portion of those voters could lead to a landslide victory.
You may be thinking that the threat of a second term for Trump is enough to scare some of these people into voting, and you may be right. I thought the same thing, so I did another survey for those Andrew Yang supporters.
I will say as a disclaimer, first of all, that this survey got far fewer responses. Many people commented and said they would need to know who the third party candidates were first. Personally, I think that means it’s unlikely that they would vote Democrat for this ticket. If they are going to seriously consider a 3rd party that means they aren’t confident in voting for Biden/Harris.
But, as far as results, we did see a small decrease in the number of people who would be voting Trump from 9% to 7%. Those 2% of votes went from Rep to Dem, but that still leaves a whopping 54% of Andrew Yang supporters not voting Democrat.
You can call these people obstructionists, or crazy, or whatever you like, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you feel about them. Or Bernie supporters for that matter. Democrats need to wake up and realize that if they nominate a moderate like Biden or Harris they will lose voters. Full stop.
If that recent surveys hold true, and Democrats number one priority is “electability” then they need to nominate someone like Andrew Yang. Even if many older Democrats don’t fully support him, they are much more partisan (see data above), and will likely vote for anyone with a “D” next to their name.
Don’t believe that Yang can win? Check out this poll, running right now on Twitter. It was even started by a Trump supporter.
This will likely ruffle the feathers of a lot of more conservative Democrats, so I have an even more easy solution for you. If you think that America should be lead by someone who is more of a centrist, here’s what you should do: Become a Republican. Okay, maybe not become one, but change your party affiliation.
Did you realize that there will be a Republican primary too? Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld has challenged Trump for the nomination. Historically, this has never worked. However, this time around there are a lot of rumblings about even more Republicans wanting to challenge Trump to a Primary.
This could be a huge opportunity. Primaries, historically, have much lower turnouts than the main election. Trump won in 2016 with just over 14 million votes. I believe that number will go down this time around. Most people won’t even realize there is a Republican primary the way the media has been covering it. Not to mention many have become disillusioned with Trump. If even a quarter of the people who voted Clinton in 2016 go vote for Weld in the primaries he will likely win.
Imagine a world where both major candidates support reproductive rights, and medical marijuana. Imagine a world where Donald Trump is the only sitting President in history to lose a primary. You can make that happen.
The choice is yours, would you rather nominate a progressive candidate who will draw in outsiders, or humiliate Trump in the Republican primaries? Those two easiest ways to beat Donald Trump.