Yesterday I made the case why Trump's racism will only get louder and more overt, because it will work and he will draw in people who didn't vote in 2016 in a dark mirror, twisted version of Obama increasing turnout in 2008.
Demographics aren't going to save us. White Millennials are even more racist than previous generations and they love Trump, and what's more, they love that whole "glibertarian nonsense" angle where they profess no love for either party as independents, but vote Republican in even higher numbers than any other generational cohort.
Most of all, they want an authoritarian leader like Trump.
Authoritarian-style leadership is much more attractive to white working-class Americans than to white college-educated Americans. Six in ten (60%) white working-class Americans, compared to only 32% of white college-educated Americans say we need such a strong leader; two-thirds (67%) of white college-educated Americans disagree.
Greg Sargent today argues that white non-college educated women are actually turned off by Trump's racism, and that 2020 will be much more like 2018, as in the latest Quinnipiac poll, these women are starting to turn on Trump.
And once again, per the data Quinnipiac sent me, this is driven by women:
That’s also striking: A bare plurality of non-college-educated white women disapprove of Trump. (And again, the depth of alienation among college-educated white women is really something to behold.)
Now, to be fair, this is only one poll. But this dovetails with the extensive amount of data and focus grouping Brownstein reported on, so it’s plausible that this is a real thing.
And if this broader dynamic is right, it could be a big deal. This has been a Republican-leaning demographic for many election cycles now, which alone makes this seeming shift striking. More specifically, Trump’s racist attacks are all about three states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — where Trump hopes to supercharge turnout and vote share among non-college-educated whites from non-metropolitan areas, allowing him to win the electoral college, even plausibly amid a larger popular-vote loss than last time.
But as Democratic pollster Greenberg told Brownstein, this becomes a taller order if the women in that demographic are getting alienated, even if the men are as gung-ho for Trump as ever. “White working-class men look like they are approaching the 2016 margins for Trump,” Greenberg allowed, but he added, “it only works if women are part of the story.”
As Brownstein summarizes it, Trump’s hopes of pulling an electoral college miracle again by winning those “blue wall” states a second time will turn heavily on “whether Democrats can fan doubts about Trump that have surfaced among blue-collar white women." That’s because those women cast slightly more than half the overall votes cast by working-class whites.
In the background of all this, the electorate continues to diversify. And it seems obvious Trump will struggle to win back the college-educated and suburban whites, particularly women, who defected from the GOP in 2018. Which may only increase Trump’s need to squeeze more electoral juice out of the non-college-educated white demographic. And if the women are not there for Trump to the degree they were last time, that means Trump’s hopes depend to an even greater degree on non-college-educated white men.
In other words, if Trump can make up what he loses with white working-class women with college-educated white men, he still wins.
Unless, of course, Democrats are able to increase their turnout by more.
We'll see who's right, but betting on Trump's racism being a losing proposition in 2020 is a sucker's bet, 100%.