I always enjoy the hot takes on how Trump will “probably” be re-elected in 2020 written by lazy pundits. He might be re-elected (anything can happen), but here are some sound reasons why he should not be considered the favorite. And that’s not accounting for a recession, a damaging Mueller report, and who knows what else.
The GOP has just two problems: Trump and Trumpism
More generally, college-educated voters and suburbanites. That, however, is not the worst of it for Republicans.
After an election in which Trump’s tax cuts were a political loser and attempts at killing Obamacare were a political death sentence, Republicans should wake up. On nearly every issue, what they are selling voters aren’t buying.
This hack @BrianKempGA is the next "governor*" of Georgia. But he cheated & undermined democracy every step of the way. @staceyabrams should be governor, but isn't due to actions that can't be tolerated. She has a bright future. We need a new, enforceable Voting Rights Act. Now!
— John Weaver (@jwgop) November 17, 2018
Stan Greenberg/NY Times:
Trump Is Beginning to Lose His Grip
It isn’t just white suburban women who switched to Democrats. Parts of rural and white working class America peeled off too
In 2016, the white working class men that Mr. Trump spoke most forcefully to as the “forgotten Americans” gave him 71 percent of their votes and gave only 23 percent to Hillary Clinton. This year, the Republicans won their votes with a still-impressive margin of 66 to 32 percent. But what was essentially a three-to-one margin was deflated to two-to-one, which affected a lot of races.
Even The Hill, usually little more than a Republican cheerleader, gets it:
The Memo: Trump seethes, two weeks after midterms
President Trump is seething, publicly and privately, almost two weeks after midterm elections in which he at first believed he had scored a moral victory.
Democrats have run up the score in the House of Representatives and the political world has turned its focus to ominous signs for the president’s reelection hopes. In response, Trump has hit out on Twitter, in impromptu comments to reporters, and in a Sunday TV interview.
Behind the scenes, it’s no better.
About 60 million people turned out to vote for Democrats for the House this year. That is a **crazy** number. (Republicans got 45m votes in the 2010 wave.)
And this was sort of missed. Why so many stories about Trump voters in truck stops and not so many about "the resistance"?
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 18, 2018
AMONG the many ways that Donald Trump has transformed American politics is by rearranging the country’s electoral map. In 2016 he broke through the “blue wall” that the Democrats fancied themselves to enjoy in the upper Midwest, winning three states with large populations of white voters without college degrees—Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—that had not supported a Republican for decades. He also set record lows for a Republican presidential candidate’s performance in areas with higher levels of schooling, such as Orange County, California. This proved to be a prudent trade in the presidential race: the higher-education regions that repudiated him were clustered in uncompetitive states like Texas and California, whereas the lower-education ones that embraced him were concentrated in hotly contested battleground states.
In the 2018 mid-terms, however, Mr Trump’s party appears to have been stuck with all of the electoral costs of this strategy and none of the gains. Whites with college degrees still flocked to the Democrats: Orange County, previously home to four House Republicans, is expected to send none to the next Congress. However, many of the regions that defected from the Democrats to support Mr Trump in 2016 returned to their liberal roots this year.
This race was a disgrace:
• 1.5 million voters purged by Brian Kemp
• 53k registrations on hold
• 4.5 hour lines to vote
• 214 polling places closed
• Dems falsely accused of cyber crimes
• AND Kemp oversaw his own election https://t.co/E7ojoWHH6v
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) November 17, 2018
Nativism Isn’t Going Away
What is nativism? And why does it matter?
As a suite of attitudes involving immigration (legal or otherwise), nativism is something of an amorphous psychometric construct (see: here for a good explainer). It can conceivably involve rational beliefs rooted in economic self-interest. If an influx of immigrants are perceived as a labor market threat, then native workers might react negatively towards the prospect of being displaced. Alternatively, nativism can involve negative reactions against immigrants who might displace cultural or social norms regardless of their material or economic implications; in this version, anti-immigrant sentiment more closely resembles raw prejudice.
In either version, the key ingredient with respect to “negative” attitudes toward non-natives involves perceptions of threat. Put simply, if immigrants might threaten material well-being or social status, then native persons may hold negative attitudes toward them. The problem, of course, regards the manner in which these sorts of attitudes are expressed and, more importantly, the ends to which they lead. Coherent immigration policy that takes seriously the idea that 10 million undocumented workers cannot live in limbo in perpetuity and values notions of law and order is one thing. Insinuating immigrants are “rapists” or “thugs” or “invaders” is another – and is precisely the sort of dehumanizing rhetoric that usually paves the way for mass atrocity. This issue is not just academic; it has real consequences.
Mr President, Did you actually intend to misspell the Congressman’s (soon to be Chairman’s) name. Might want to make a note. You will be seeing it soon on subpoenas. https://t.co/fPIGRUbS5a
— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) November 18, 2018
Anatomy of a blue wave: Why Nevada Democrats won decisively in races that were supposed to be close
To hear Democrats tell it, the victories in competitive Senate and governor’s races, all but one statewide race, two competitive House races and a large number of competitive legislative contests are a product of reaching out to voters on the ground early and often, of a political infrastructure years in the making, and of courting infrequent, younger and minority voters. They also believe Republicans misstepped by hewing too closely to a polarizing president, focusing on a base that’s euphoric about the president’s leadership at the expense of the moderates they needed to cross the finish line.
“Certainly Trump has a lot of supporters here, and strong supporters,” said Michelle White, state director of the progressive organization For Our Future. “But I think they overestimated how big that percentage was and they underestimated how much that was turning off folks in the middle.”
To hear it from billionaire progressive activist Tom Steyer, whose wealth funds For Our Future and other groups active in Nevada, the results were an extension of sentiment expressed across the country by Democrats who picked up at least 32 more House seats and seized the chamber from Republicans.
“This was a referendum on our president and this administration,” he said in a post-election debrief call with reporters last week. “The biggest takeaway is the president was on the ballot … and he got creamed.”
Of course, this reflects 3 things we already knew: 1) Trump was elected despite losing the popular vote; 2) D's won by a big margin this year and 3) Turnout was VERY high.
But Trump is a very unpopular president, and I don't think that's totally sunk in yet in how he's covered.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 18, 2018
RIP, California GOP: Republicans lash out after midterm election debacle
The latest blows wiped out the last two GOP seats in Southern California: Democrat Katie Porter, an UC Irvine professor, on Thursday was declared the winner over Republican Rep. Mimi Walters in a district which represents the beating political heart of Orange County, and Democrat Gil Cisneros completed the sweep Saturday, winning the neighboring open seat formerly held by Republican Ed Royce.
“I believe that the party has to die before it can be rebuilt. And by die — I mean, completely decimated. And I think Tuesday night was a big step,’’ says veteran California GOP political consultant Mike Madrid. “There is no message. There is no messenger. There is no money. And there is no infrastructure.”
Republicans like Madrid also mourned another low point this week: the defeat of Southern California Assemblyman Dante Acosta, marking the demise of the last GOP Latino legislator — in a state where Latinos comprise the fastest-growing electorate.
CA GOP: "The smaller it gets, the more monolithic is gets. The whiter it gets. The more populist-nationalist it gets. What you’re seeing in the Republican Party is that it’s the party of white identity politics.” https://t.co/gM2xkT3uQq via @politico
— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) November 18, 2018
Daniel Dale, guest-posting in WaPo:
It’s easy to fact check Trump’s lies. He tells the same ones all the time.
Fact-checking Trump is kind of like fact-checking one of those talking dolls programmed to say the same phrases for eternity, except if none of those phrases were true. As any parent who owns a squealing Elmo can tell you, the phrases can get tiresome. I’m sure my Twitter followers get bored when I remind them that Trump wasn’t the president who got the Veterans Choice health-care program passed (Barack Obama signed it into law in 2014 ), that U.S. Steel is not building six, seven, eight or nine new plants (it has recently invested in two existing plants) and that foreign governments don’t force their unsavory citizens into the lottery for U.S. green cards (would-be immigrants enter of their own free will).
Is Trump country really better off under Trump? No. It’s falling further behind.
Two years have passed since Donald Trump made his famous campaign promise in disaffected regions across the country: “We are going to start winning again!” For many voters who felt that they had lost ground in recent decades, the candidate argued, a vote for him would be rewarded with renewed prosperity and prominence.
It was a classic campaign promise, overly ambitious and cleverly vague. What exactly did “winning” mean? Certainly, many reporters believed voters perceived the promise as an economic one. So let’s measure the promise’s success that way. How have Trump voters fared economically, compared with Hillary Clinton voters?
Not noticeably better, according to the data. By most measures, my latest research shows, Trump counties — and especially counties with higher proportions of Trump voters — continue to fall farther behind the rest of the country economically. The story of our economy, like the story of our politics, continues to be a story of division and divergence.
Also Dems have now won 21/25 House R seats that Clinton carried in '16 (with Valadao not yet out of the woods). The price of agenda & rhetoric aimed almost only at party base & clear signals to swing voters that a GOP majority would never constrain Trump. That's on @SpeakerRyan https://t.co/6NhIoYLnR0
— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) November 18, 2018
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.