According to the polls, Donald Trump is heading for humiliation.
He has himself (and Covid) to blame for that — but it’s important that the right lessons are learned from his likely defeat.
If he loses, it will be seen as a loss not just for the man and his administration, but also for any resistance to the liberal agenda. While Trump’s national conservatism may have worked for him in 2016, it will be portrayed as evermore out-of-step with an increasingly diverse America. Eventually, the future always overwhelms the past.
But do the facts fit with that narrative? Polling evidence featured on the FiveThirtyEight site, reveals a more complicated picture. Contrary to what one might expect, Donald Trump has gained, not lost, support among black and Hispanic voters since 2016. The deficits are still huge of course — for instance, a massive 71% among black voters; but that compares to 82% four years ago. Especially interesting is that most of that gain is among younger black voters (men more than women). Trump has also gained ground among younger Hispanic voters.
Republicans should note that the rising generation of non-white Americans are open to a patriotic, pro-worker platform — and why shouldn’t they be?
If Trump is set for defeat then it’s because he’s lost support among white voters — specifically older white Americans without a college degree. Remarkably, the polling shows Trump gaining support among younger white Americans and those with degrees. Again, this is not what the standard narrative would lead us to expect. (The only non-surprise is that Trump has lost support among women.)
So, if Trump loses, it’s primarily because he hasn’t held onto the voters who made him President. There’ll be more than one reason for that. For instance, older, poorer Americans have the most to fear from the mishandling of the Covid crisis. They might also find Joe Biden’s folksy persona more attractive than Hillary Clinton’s hauteur.
Above all, there’s issue of delivery. Did Donald Trump come through for the blue collar, ‘blue wall’ voters that took a chance on him last time?
It’s a question that Boris Johnson should pay very close attention to.