A Few Things to Chew On

 

First, if the exit polls can be trust, a majority of white women voted for . . . Donald Trump. Second, Trump got a larger slice of the Hispanic vote in 2016 than Mitt Romney did in 2012. Third, Hillary did not lose. Trump won. If you juxtapose the vote Trump received state-by-state in 2016 with the vote Barack Obama received state-by-state in 2012, as Tim Alberta did yesterday on National Review Online, Trump wins the electoral college. You should read the entire article. Trump in 2016 outpolled Obama in 2016 in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, and Utah. He, in fact, did so in every state that Romney carried in 2012.

What we saw on Tuesday was not just the defeat of a truly terrible Democratic candidate. It was a referendum on the last eight years, and Trump — for all of his faults — was a better candidate than Mitt Romney, who is a better man. What Trump brought to the table was a capacity to connect with ordinary Americans. If he handles himself well — above all, if he and the Republicans deliberately develop ties with African-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-Americans who are patriots — the base of support for the Republicans can be expanded.

We have heard a lot about the divisions within today’s Republican Party. What we have not heard about are the deep, bitter divisions — mainly generational — within the Democratic Party. The latter has become a top-bottom party, bringing together in the same tent the super-rich, the rather rich, the highly educated, and those dependent on Medicaid, Food Stamps, WIC, and the like. As Bernie Sanders showed, the younger adherents of the party are quite radical, and something of the sort can be said for the party’s Congressional delegation. Thanks to Barack Obama, there are no more conservative Democrats, and there are no more moderate Democrats. There are radicals and there are those who are considerably more radical; and, to judge by the attitudes of those in the millennial generation the future belongs to the latter. What has happened to the Labour Party in Britain may happen to the Democrats here.

The more decisive Donald Trump is, the more he does to get rid of Obamacare, to cut back on the administrative state, to increase the number of private-sector jobs, to restore our military strength, the more attractive he and his party will become. Big business abandoned the Republicans this year. They will be back. Many of the neocons jumped ship. They will be back. Hispanics respect manliness. More of them will flock to the Republican standard if the Republicans display strength (not their customary weakness) and reach out to the small businessmen and ordinary working folk in the Hispanic community.

Correction: This was written ca. 10 a.m. this morning. By the time it was posted Tim Alberta had backed off his claims. Apparently, he used the wrong numbers.

One more item: In today’s Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove reports, citing Martha MacCallum of Fox News, that the polling data shows that 14% of the voters thought neither candidate qualified, and they split in the end with 69% of these voting for Trump and 15% for Mrs. Clinton. The same percentage thought neither candidate had the temperament for the job, and 71% of these broke for Trump and 12% for Mrs. Clinton. I was one of these. When the lady claimed that half of the Trump voters were “deplorable” and “irredeemable,” I thought, “Enough of the shilly-shallying. We cannot allow this bigot to become President.”

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  1. Probable Cause Member
    Probable Cause
    @ProbableCause

    As a candidate, I do like that Trump did something very un-Republican — he criticized his opponent.

    [edit]

    He also showed that a Republican can talk about immigration (even badly) and not erode the Hispanic vote.

    • #1
  2. The Question Member
    The Question
    @TheQuestion

    Tim  Alberta updated his article.  Obama would have beat Trump.

    • #2
  3. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Probable Cause: . It was a referendum on the last eight years, and Trump — for all of his faults — was a better candidate than Mitt Romney, who is a better man.

    I’m Rob Long and our local Buju in trying to promote reconciliation.  But I can’t help but feel that maybe you should have said, “Mitt Romney was a worse candidate than Trump because he was better man.”

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Paul A. Rahe: The more decisive Donald Trump is, the more he does to get rid of Obamacare, to cut back on the administrative state, to increase the number of private-sector jobs, to restore our military strength, the more attractive he and his party will become

    He understands how important it is to be a winner.

    • #4
  5. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    For the record, Tim Alberta has corrected himself.

    [Running behind The Question, above]

     

    • #5
  6. Father B. Member
    Father B.
    @FatherB

    As others have already pointed out, Alberta was wrong and has corrected himself. Trump would not have beaten Obama in 2012. Republicans need to be very careful about overreading this election: Their numbers are going DOWN. Trump got fewer votes votes than McCain and Romney. He only won because the Democrats nominated such a dismal candidate.

    • #6
  7. Demaratus Coolidge
    Demaratus
    @Demaratus

    Tim Alberta’s analysis is wrong.  First, he just admitted on Twitter that he didn’t use the right voter totals yesterday, and now several states that he thought Trump would have beat Obama in are no longer looking that way.  Second, he does not adjust for population growth; there are more voting age Americans now than four years ago, so comparing voter totals without adjusting for this is folly.  Finally, the votes aren’t done being counted yet, so any vote totals available today are incomplete.

    Paul,  should adjust your piece to reflect these facts, as right now you are spreading disinformation as to the effectiveness of the Trump campaign.  Right now it appears, based on the number of senators that ran ahead of Trump, that the GOP brand carried Trump, not the other way around.  Thus, as many of us have been saying, there was no reason for us to accept nominating a Democrat for President when we could have nominated a real conservative instead.  The fundamentals were such that we would have won anyway.

    • #7
  8. Demaratus Coolidge
    Demaratus
    @Demaratus

    The Question:Tim Alberta updated his article. Obama would have beat Trump.

    Thank you.  And he still didn’t adjust for population growth, even though I sent him several tweets pointing this out.

    All analysis for this cycle that assumed we were running against Obama again was mistaken.  We were never in the desperate situation that the Trump faction said we were, so there was no reason to cast aside all reason for ignorant hopefulness.  After eight years of Obama and a felon at the Democratic nominee, the GOP brand was well positioned to dominate, as it just did.  However, we have squandered a generational opportunity by nominating a Democrat.  If Trump doesn’t behave as he has never done before, we will have voluntarily surrendered our best chance to reform the Federal government, for nothing.

    Today, we could have been assured of reform.  Instead, we’re hoping that Donald Trump has a good day and doesn’t go off on a tirade because someone wrote an unfavorable article about him.

    • #8
  9. erazoner Coolidge
    erazoner
    @erazoner

    Paul A. Rahe:If he handles himself well — above all, if he and the Republicans deliberately develop ties with African-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-Americans who are patriots — the base of support for the Republicans can be expanded.

     

    Identity politics is a lose-lose for Republicans, because the Democrats will always beat them at it. Trump’s victory was partially a rejection of such politics, as his campaign concentrated on the right side of the hyphenated term.

    • #9
  10. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Paul, that’s a really good analysis.  And Trump’s victory cannot be attributed to personal character.  It seems then that Trump’s agenda expanded the Republican base.  So which part of his agenda was decisive?  Immigration?  America first trade?  SCOTUS picks to turn back abortion?  I would say all three.

    You know, other than abortion the other two issues were traditional conservative issues prior to the 1960s.  Perhaps this is a calling to return to traditional conservatism.

    Does the data show how self-identified Libertarians voted?

    • #10
  11. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    “The more decisive Donald Trump is, the more he does to get rid of Obamacare, to cut back on the administrative state, to increase the number of private-sector jobs, to restore our military strength, the more attractive he and his party will become. Big business abandoned the Republicans this year. They will be back. Many of the neocons jumped ship. They will be back. Hispanics respect manliness. More of them will flock to the Republican standard if the Republicans display strength (not their customary weakness) and reach out to the small businessmen and ordinary working folk in the Hispanic community.”

    Just beautifully stated, Paul!

    • #11
  12. JLocked Member
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    HA! Chickens are coming home to roost my friends.

    • #12
  13. Demaratus Coolidge
    Demaratus
    @Demaratus

    Peter Robinson:“The more decisive Donald Trump is, the more he does to get rid of Obamacare, to cut back on the administrative state, to increase the number of private-sector jobs, to restore our military strength, the more attractive he and his party will become. Big business abandoned the Republicans this year. They will be back. Many of the neocons jumped ship. They will be back. Hispanics respect manliness. More of them will flock to the Republican standard if the Republicans display strength (not their customary weakness) and reach out to the small businessmen and ordinary working folk in the Hispanic community.”

    Just beautifully stated, Paul!

    The great risk being he does none of these things because he’s a loose cannon, easily distracted by his vanity.  We would be in a much better position if we hadn’t needlessly put our hopes in someone so unreliable.

    • #13
  14. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Paul A. Rahe: What has happened to the Labour Party in Britain may happen to the Democrats here.

    Paul,

    Who represents British working people more accurately Farage or Corbin? Only a tone-deaf left wing ideologue could possibly pick Corbin. Who represents American working people more accurately Trump or Hillary? Only a left wing Manhattanite zombie or a brainwashed millennial snowflake could possibly pick the pantsuited little Ceaser over that big crazy Orange dude.

    I’m still exhausted from these last couple weeks. Feels like six days on the road but I’m gonna make it home tonight.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #14
  15. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Paul A. Rahe: The more decisive Donald Trump is, the more he does to get rid of Obamacare, to cut back on the administrative state, to increase the number of private-sector jobs, to restore our military strength, the more attractive he and his party will become

    He understands how important it is to be a winner.

    Thank you, Bryan. Many people won’t get this, but it is the most important thing.

     

    • #15
  16. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Well this kind of falls apart when you realize Obama would have won. I do a similar analysis to Tim’s over on the member feed but comparing Romney (ie. generic republican) to Hillary. In that match up Hillary wins the electoral collage in the end but loses the popular vote. So I think it is still up in the air whether Trump won or Hillary lost. In the electoral collage vote though I doubt any Republican could have done better, though. An inspirational Democrat like a 2008 Obama though would have blown Trump away in PA, MI, WI, IA, etc. which is what you see in fact if you compare the numbers from 2008 Obama to 2016 Trump. Only Florida I think is still in play since Trump outperformed all previous candidate in that state. Actually in Florida Hillary out performed 2008 Obama also. Of course Florida is a hotly contested state so I think that is likely to drive numbers up. In 2020 I think you can be sure the Dems will put way more work in to all of the rust belt states, and considering how close the election was for Trump in these places he better have some way to get even higher number in the or he could easily be a one term president.

    • #16
  17. clmac Member
    clmac
    @clmac

    I’m, admittedly, not the best at analyzing statistics and tend to think from an anecdotal/theoretical perspective, so I wonder if someone could help me figure out my notions. First, Tuesday was a wave election. The GOP held on to the Senate and House and increased the number of governorships and control of state houses. However, Trump’s unfavorables were barely above 40 percent in many polls leading up to the election (the trustworthiness of the polls is another questions). This is where things get a little anecdotal, but my pastor told me he wrote in a different candidate for president but voted straight GOP the rest of the way. My intention had been the same until the last couple of weeks when I decided to vote for Trump. I’m sure we’re not alone.

    Come Wednesday morning I learn of the Trump win as well as the historic gains for the Republican party, with the pundit class giving the credit to Trump, and I just can’t square that circle. On the one hand, he was deeply disliked, had no ground game, etc. but somehow managed to pull off the most incredible political upset of our lifetime carrying the down ticket races on his coattails. My notion is all this was achieved in spite of Trump, not because of Trump and that he darn near blew what was going to be a GOP rout anyway. Am I off base?

    • #17
  18. Polyphemus Member
    Polyphemus
    @Polyphemus

    James Gawron:

    Paul A. Rahe: What has happened to the Labour Party in Britain may happen to the Democrats here.

    Paul,

    Who represents British working people more accurately Farage or Corbin? Only a tone-deaf left wing ideologue could possibly pick Corbin. Who represents American working people more accurately Trump or Hillary? Only a left wing Manhattanite zombie or a brainwashed millennial snowflake could possibly pick the pantsuited little Ceaser over that big crazy Orange dude.

    This probably comes as close as anything to capturing the picture of this election. You can just use intuition and common sense to see what you said. My hope is that the party and conservatives in particular can look at what Trump was able to accomplish and learn from it. These voters were obviously waiting for a candidate to respond to and Trump, despite his negatives, provided that. Probably even because of some of those “negatives”.

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Chris O.:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Paul A. Rahe: The more decisive Donald Trump is, the more he does to get rid of Obamacare, to cut back on the administrative state, to increase the number of private-sector jobs, to restore our military strength, the more attractive he and his party will become

    He understands how important it is to be a winner.

    Thank you, Bryan. Many people won’t get this, but it is the most important thing.

    You would think the way star football players get away with stuff, it would be obvious.

    • #19
  20. TKC1101 Member
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Mr Rahe, I find your writing interesting but please, spare me the required phrase “for all his faults” preceding the name of Trump in your essays.

    I have known many politicians and my experience is the phrase can be applied to them all. It is getting tiresome, unless you feel the need to keep some distance for other reasons.

    • #20
  21. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Valiuth:Well this kind of falls apart when you realize Obama would have won. I do a similar analysis to Tim’s over on the member feed but comparing Romney (ie. generic republican) to Hillary. In that match up Hillary wins the electoral collage in the end but loses the popular vote. So I think it is still up in the air whether Trump won or Hillary lost. In the electoral collage vote though I doubt any Republican could have done better, though. An inspirational Democrat like a 2008 Obama though would have blown Trump away in PA, MI, WI, IA, etc. which is what you see in fact if you compare the numbers from 2008 Obama to 2016 Trump….

    Val,

    You’re still too heavy on the numbers. There is a chemistry to an election. Two distinct personalities are placed in direct comparison. Obama was more vulnerable in 2012 than he is now. Romney was just too nice a guy when it came to Alinskyite tactics. He finally came on and won a debate but then didn’t finish him off. Romney’s people should have got on the phone and told Christy not to give Obama that photo-op. Trump would have jumped up and down on Obama over Benghazi right till election day.

    I think Trump would have beat him in 2012. Call it the Trump factor.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #21
  22. Ralphie Member
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    I think that what is overlooked is that if not for the established Republican party, a Trump victory would be less likely. So those of us that supported the party for years helped. As an example, as I wrote elsewhere, Midland County Michigan always votes Republican. It is home to DOW chemical (and Dave Camp former Republican chairman of House Ways and Means) with a very highly educated population. Right next door is Bay County, which is GM blue collar traditional and always votes Democrat. My local ballot was pretty much unopposed Democrats. Bay County voted Republican this time. In the primary, Midland chose Cruz and Bernie. I do not think there is a good voter cohesive strategy or NH would not have booted Ayotte and went Trump. Not going to repeal Obamacare without the Senate.

    • #22
  23. Robert McReynolds Member
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    It seems to me that what hurts the Democrats is not having a black American at the top of their ticket who can generate the enthusiasm of their largest voting bloc: racist blacks. That’s the big take away here. I cannot believe that blacks rejected Hillary because of policy since she would have done the exact same as Obama, and then some. So the only other factor left is race. The Obama coalition is consumed with it.

    • #23
  24. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    TKC1101:Mr Rahe, I find your writing interesting but please, spare me the required phrase “for all his faults” preceding the name of Trump in your essays.

    I have known many politicians and my experience is the phrase can be applied to them all. It is getting tiresome, unless you feel the need to keep some distance for other reasons.

    I do not think well of the man. Yes, they all have faults, but he lacks impulse control — and, if he does not learn to rein himself in, we may experience a nightmare over the next four years.

    • #24
  25. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    No one has yet picked up on the fact that a majority of white women voted for Trump. My bet is that you will not see this discussed in Pravda-on-the-Hudson or Pravda-on-the-Potomac or anywhere else in the mainstream media. It does not fit the approved narrative. But it is telling. Oh my, it is telling. In this race, the Democrats played the war-between-the-sexes card as never before, and it did not work.

    One question worth asking that someone may know the answer to. Did college-educated women run against the trend and vote for Mrs. Clinton? If so, it tells you which American women are full of resentment.

    • #25
  26. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Robert McReynolds:It seems to me that what hurts the Democrats is not having a black American at the top of their ticket who can generate the enthusiasm of their largest voting bloc: racist blacks. That’s the big take away here. I cannot believe that blacks rejected Hillary because of policy since she would have done the exact same as Obama, and then some. So the only other factor left is race. The Obama coalition is consumed with it.

    You nailed it.

    • #26
  27. Polyphemus Member
    Polyphemus
    @Polyphemus

    Robert McReynolds:It seems to me that what hurts the Democrats is not having a black American at the top of their ticket who can generate the enthusiasm of their largest voting bloc: racist blacks. That’s the big take away here. I cannot believe that blacks rejected Hillary because of policy since she would have done the exact same as Obama, and then some. So the only other factor left is race. The Obama coalition is consumed with it.

    I suspect that there is more truth to what you say than we might care to admit. What do you think of the idea that Republicans might want to try nominating a conservative black as a shallow ploy to defuse that factor? What would a Ben Carson (for example) have done to the black vote? How would that have affected the end result? We know what the media and the rest of the vocal Left would have done (Uncle Tom, not a real black, etc.) but what about actual black voters?

    We don’t like playing that game but would it be effective if we did? It would be interesting to find out.

    • #27
  28. TKC1101 Member
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Paul A. Rahe: I do not think well of the man. Yes, they all have faults, but he lacks impulse control — and, if he does not learn to rein himself in, we may experience a nightmare over the next four years.

    I survived Bill Clinton who in fact had a lack of impulse control, Obama who could not stop his narcissism, LBJ who was out of control, crude beyond the pale and had to micromanage a war, Nixon who let paranoia destroy him and you are worried about Trump?

    Sorry sir. Your concern seems to be not credible. We seem to inhabit different versions of history.

    • #28
  29. Scarlet Pimpernel Member
    Scarlet Pimpernel
    @ScarletPimpernel

    Trump can do what Republicans have been stupid and too gutless to do–appeal to all voters, Black, White, Hispanic, etc.–and do so on the basis of American principles. We are all equal before the law.  No one whatever their beliefs, deserves to be harmed simply for going to a bar.  And high standards should be expected from all students.  . . .

    Pointing out that Democrats are responsible for the mess in many of our inner cities, as Trump has done, is a start.

    Reminds me of Southern Dem fears that once Lincoln was President he would make the Republican Party legal in the South, allow Republican newspapers in the mail, etc.

    Need to break the Democrat monopoly on communications in many communities in America.

    • #29
  30. Chris O. Coolidge
    Chris O.
    @ChrisO

    clmac: On the one hand, he was deeply disliked, had no ground game, etc. but somehow managed to pull off the most incredible political upset of our lifetime carrying the down ticket races on his coattails. My notion is all this was achieved in spite of Trump, not because of Trump and that he darn near blew what was going to be a GOP rout anyway. Am I off base?

    All I can tell you is that in my state, the other candidates lagged behind Trump’s numbers, so…coattails. He garnered 5-6% more support than our victorious gubernatorial candidate, and about 5% more than our US Senate candidate. Coattails or one of two things: 5% of voters came out to support him only; or, he grabbed 5% of the vote that otherwise went to third-party candidates or Democrats down ballot.

    Seize on whatever scenario you please. The most simple explanation is he carried others with him.

    • #30

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