By Dave Andrusko
Just guessing, but I’m thinking the New York Times’ Nate Cohn is getting an ear-full from “progressives” and Democratic officeholders and party officials. For the second time in a week, Cohn analyzed data from “569 respondents to recent New York Times Upshot/Siena College surveys in the six closest states carried by the president in the 2016 presidential election” and came up with results that can be interpreted in no other way than highly favorable for President Trump.
We talked three days ago about how David Leonhardt, another Times columnist, lamented, “The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.”
I added, “It’s actually much worse than that. The poll demonstrated that, as weak as he is, former Vice President Joe Biden stands a better chance than fellow pro-abortionist Sen. Elizabeth Warren who is not particularly well-liked and seen by many as essentially a Socialist. She is a tough sell that some ‘centrist’ Biden supporters would vote for President Trump over Warren, if those are their choices.”
Kick in the solar plexuses Part Two came in another Cohn story headlined, “A Sliver of the Electorate Could Decide 2020. Here’s What These Voters Want: A demographically disparate group values both moderation and great change [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/upshot/swing-voters-2020-election.html].”
The core of the analysis is that this group (as many as 15%!) which could see itself voting for either Trump or one of the Democrats, is more favorably disposed to Trump vis a vis Sen. Warren and, to a lesser extent, Biden. Cohn writes
The size of that persuadable pool depends on how they are defined. Although there is reason to think some voters have more of a partisan lean than they realize, let’s call the 15 percent who are still thinking of voting for Mr. Trump or a Democrat the potentially persuadable.
As a group they are 57 percent male and 72 percent white, and 35 percent have college degrees. Most, 69 percent, say they usually vote for a mix of both Democratic and Republican candidates. Among those who voted in 2016, 48 percent say they voted for Mr. Trump, 33 percent for Hillary Clinton, and 19 percent for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein or no one. Those who voted in the midterm election voted for the Republican congressional candidate by one point.
For me, the most telling paragraph was early in Cohn’s story where we learn it’s not the usual categories that are persuadables (or “swing voters”):
The poll adds a new mix of characters to the quadrennial cast of swing voters, like a somewhat conservative, college-educated suburban man who does not approve of the president’s performance, but strongly opposes a single-payer health system. Or a young man, perhaps even black or Latino, who is not conservative on policy but resents his generation’s stringent cultural norms and appreciates the president’s defiant critique of political correctness.
Put another way, (a) all the leading Democrats (including the pretend “moderate” Biden) are far, far to the left of the electorate; and (b)the country is sick to death of a political correctness which is quickly becoming shorthand for stifling free speech on a massive scale.
Let’s dig deeper into these persuadables…
*They are divided on major issues but, Cohn writes, “they are fairly clear about what they would like from a Democrat. They prefer, by 82 percent to 11 percent, one who promises to find common ground over one who promises to fight for a progressive agenda; and they prefer a moderate over a liberal, 75 percent to 19 percent. Overall, 40 percent describe themselves as conservative, compared with 16 percent who say they’re liberal. Forty percent are moderate.”
To Democrats like Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Biden, many of these would qualify for inclusion into a “basket of deplorables.”
*It’s no secret that Democrats count on a massive vote from Non-White voters. But consider this:
The persuadable nonwhite voters seem to be an unusual group. They are likeliest to be male — 64 percent are men — and 39 percent are younger than 35. They back single-payer by the widest margin, 54 percent to 40 percent. Those who voted say they voted for Mrs. Clinton in 2016 and for Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
By a wide margin of 52-32, they prefer a Democratic nominee who would bring fundamental, systematic change to American society over one who would return politics back to normal in Washington.
Yet Mr. Trump’s approval rating is positive among these nonwhite persuadable voters, with 50 percent saying they approve and 44 percent saying they disapprove. A majority opposes an assault weapons ban. They want a more moderate Democrat, 69-26, over a liberal, even as they demand fundamental change, and 35 percent self-identify as conservative. [My underlining.]
It’s just incredible that Cohn has been given a long enough leash at the New York Times to publish not one, but two analyses that cut against the Times’ #1 objective: defeating Donald Trump.
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