Friday, March 8, 2019

Are We Underestimating Trump?

Maybe we are. He is the incumbent President after all and the economy has been pretty good. He's got a strong base. That said, he is pretty darn vulnerable as incumbent Presidents go. Democrats are very motivated and his approval ratings have been consistently bad with extraordinarily high strong disapproval.
But, let's face it, he could win again and therefore you really, really don't want to make too many mistakes in the effort to get rid of him, David Byler, the Post's new political data columnist, makes this case strongly in a new article. After noting Trump's strong points and cautioning against the assumption that Trump's approval rating can only go down, not up, he has the following words of wisdom for Democrats:
"Democrats could underestimate Trump and incorrectly think they have more room to move to the left than they really do. I want to be clear here — this isn’t a “Back To The Center, Democrats” take. I think a Democratic Party that adopts a people-versus-the-powerful ethos, heads left on economics and pushes on issues where Trump has been especially un-populist could work. But not every left-leaning position is as popular as marriage equality. Some 2020 Democrats (most notably Kamala Harris) have signaled that they’re open to some form of reparations for slavery. Whatever you think of the merits of that policy, it polls badly.
Underrating Trump could also lead Democrats to make bad decisions about the map. It would be easy for Democratic politicians to look at Trump’s low approval numbers, the growing number of Asian American and Latino voters, and conclude that they should de-emphasize the Midwest (or take the region for granted) and run hard in long-term targets such as Georgia, Arizona and Texas so they can run up the electoral college score.
Democrats shouldn’t do that. They should try to play on a broad map that includes Midwestern swing states as well as suburban, diversifying America. It’s smart for Democrats to try to get Republicans to spend money and effort on Georgia and Arizona, but Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are still arguably the lowest hanging fruit and the best route to 270 electoral votes."
Sound right to me. We just can't afford big mistakes this time 'round...We gotta play it smart.
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WASHINGTONPOST.COM
The conventional wisdom is underrating Trump. And that could lead to bad decisions and consequences for both sides.

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