The Shy Conservative Voter Next Door

 

Pundits and pollsters alike spent the weeks leading up to Election Day dismissing the idea of the “shy conservative voter” (voters who are secretly conservative but don’t telegraph it). Well, these fantastical characters are real, and they live and work amongst us.

Conservatives should bask in the validation and schadenfreude as they watch pundits eat crow, but the long-term implications of “hidden” like-minded voters require some serious reflection.

Wary of their 2016 performance, most mainstream pollsters collected extra-large samples of voters in swing-state polls. They still wrongly projected a bloodbath for conservative candidates. Meanwhile, the behavior of 2020 voters told a much different story:

While right-of-center voters in purple states turned their ringer on “silent” to avoid pollster calls, they quietly registered as Republicans and searched online for information on candidates to support. Later, as they mingled at the kids’ soccer game or their company water cooler, they pressed their lips tightly together, smiled, and nodded as their liberal friends spouted off political takes without hesitation. Then quietly, but in great numbers, the shy conservatives voted.

What if “shy conservatives” were less … shy? There are both short- and long-term impacts worth considering:

  • GOP candidates would get more donations. While the Dems’ small donor base is growing at a mind-boggling pace, the number of GOP donors – especially non-Trump donors – is anemic at best. Democrats are proud to donate, and then add the sticker to their social media profiles. To Republicans, it’s both a chore and a personal risk. According to OpenSecrets.org, “In the 2020 election, women giving over $200 have donated nearly $1.3 billion to Democrats and roughly $570 million to Republicans.”
  • GOP candidates would get more votes. It’s reasonable to assume that some shy conservatives take things a step further and abstain, or worse — vote for the other guy. By stepping out of the shadows and finding one another, conservatives begin to build a social permission structure to vote conservative without apology.
  • The long-term sustainability of conservative values will improve. It’s impossible to pass along our values unless we have the confidence to say them out loud. Liberals certainly pass along their values without fear. A conservative who knows he is not ideologically alone is more likely to be brave in the face of liberal pressure designed to shame and silence opposing viewpoints.

Conservatives are already seeking out alternative media, podcasts, and communities to feed their intellect and values. Last year, I co-founded an online community to help conservatives find each other locally, CaucusRoom.com. No trolls allowed. We’re growing fast, particularly in blue communities.

We also are excited to begin working with the Ricochet community to help CaucusRoom users find and discuss great content on Ricochet’s platform, and to help Ricochet users find conservative neighbors, groups, and events near them. It’s time to come out from hiding and encourage one another.

Matt Knoedler is the Co-Founder and CEO of CaucusRoom.com, an online community for conservatives to gather, encourage, and engage locally.

Published in Elections, Politics
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  1. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    I think you have a point, but there is a deeper and more important one.  Years ago I read Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind Its a great book and if you haven’t read it I would highly recommend it for its statistical analysis of media bias using multiple methods.

    One of his points is that when the media is biased to the left, it actually affects how people vote.  He looked at 2000 and 2004 elections in precincts that added Fox News between 2000 and 2004 and corrected for similar precincts that had Fox News prior to 2000 and those that didn’t have it until after 2004.  He showed that just adding Fox News to the cable lineup made people more likely to vote for Republicans.

    Now, lets look at Social Media in conjunction with media.  When you see FB blocking the hashtag #StopTheSteal and #SharpieGate it sort of makes you wonder how else they are shaping the narrative.  When Twitter and FB block or down check stories about Hunter Biden, one should ask, how that affects the election.  Just as you point out that Shy Trump voters are reluctant to share their views, like my neighbor on Halloween who tentatively asked me if she was the only Trump supporter on the street, to people not wanting to donate to GOP or conservative causes because they don’t have to lose their jobs like what happened to Brenden Eich.  There are real consequences to donating due to reporting requirements.

    • #1
  2. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Elections are won and lost at the state level.  (Yeah federalism!)   If “shy” voters let Dems run corrupt elections they get what they deserve, good and hard.

    • #2
  3. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    When a conservative donates to a conservative cause, the daily bombardment of calls, emails, and postal correspondence never lets up. The conservative mind does not respond well to harassment. Nor are they fools. I have given to my kid’s college from time to time. They send me reminders, but not a multiple times daily onslaught.

    No trolls allowed.

    We can’t even keep trolls out of Ricochet, where one must pay to be a member. How do you keep trolls off your website?

    Conservatives are a pretty live-and-let-live bunch. They don’t cause problems for their employees or employers. Bolsheviks – not so much.

     

    • #3
  4. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    That is all well and good but locking the doors, turning out the lights and relegating any political discussions to quiet, dark rooms in secret societies is going to get us nowhere.

    It is time for Trump rallies to take a new form.

    Small numbers of leftist goon squads in Democrat precincts are forcing millions of us in large swaths of these otherwise conservative states to live in such fear. 

    These goons are wretched, miserable, unintelligent, bitter, emotionally deranged people. But they are organized and motivated.

    These Trump rallies have been throngs of thousands of intelligent, successful, upright, fun people who have never really been organized or motivated. 

    These rallies need to continue with a vision. Election/media integrity is priority one but we need a plan. Marxists destroy and feed off anger and hate. We need to start building again. This time we need to do a better job of safegaurding what we build against the same destruction these marxists brought upon our universities, media and churches.

    • #4
  5. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    I posted this yesterday on a different thread but I think that it fits here better.

    I was listening to Jeffrey Goldberg, the Editor of The Atlantic on Morning Joe, and he suggested that Democrats need to find a way to stop hectoring people and insisting upon political correctness. I agree. One strength of Trump was that he eschewed political correctness, except that he opposed it reflexively, using a sledge hammer where Reagan “Well…” would have worked to disarm the left.  Socialism, defunding the police, the Green New Deal, and the 57 varieties of sexual identity are all foreign to Americans, and they provide a vehicle for the Republican Party.    

    • #5
  6. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I posted this yesterday on a different thread but I think that it fits here better.

    I was listening to Jeffrey Goldberg, the Editor of The Atlantic on Morning Joe, and he suggested that Democrats need to find a way to stop hectoring people and insisting upon political correctness. I agree. One strength of Trump was that he eschewed political correctness, except that he opposed it reflexively, using a sledge hammer where Reagan “Well…” would have worked to disarm the left. Socialism, defunding the police, the Green New Deal, and the 57 varieties of sexual identity are all foreign to Americans, and they provide a vehicle for the Republican Party.

    Gary, I just read on another website how to make people consider you likeable and trustworthy. Mr. Reagan was the very object lesson on this as your avatar illustrates. We need to be firm, but be likeable.

    • #6
  7. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Where conservative leadership could start is not feeling dirty about being associated with common conservatives.

    Trump had massive approval because he stood in the way of an onslaught typically aimed at us and didn’t back down or apologize for our ideas.

    I’d like to see more of that from our leaders.

    • #7