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Democrats face an inconvenient truth: Turnout for President Trump is huge although he is essentially running uncontested

by | Mar 3, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

One of the great pleasures of dutifully watching and/or participating in politics is that you know (to borrow from football) the greatest show on turf is the quadrennial race for the presidency of the United States. As pro-abortion Democrats maneuver to win their party’s nomination, this year promises to be the most thrilling and unpredictable presidential contest in decades.

As I write this, voters in fourteen states and one U.S. territory are participating in “Super Tuesday.” As Amber Phillips of the Washington Post wrote Monday, more than a third of all delegates to the Democratic National Convention , July 13-16, in Milwaukee, are at stake—a  total of 1,357 delegates. “To put that in perspective,” Phillips writes,” you need 1,991 delegates to win the nomination.”

What we’ve seen in the last less than 72 hours is horse-race journalism at its finest—or its worst, depending on your perspective.

We were told that former Vice President Joe Biden was on his last legs and Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders was close to running the table. Then, Biden carries South Carolina (as had been predicted for months to do, until political reporters got cold feet) and suddenly it’s a competitive race.

What changed? Oddly, very little. Three minor candidates—Steyer, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar—dropped out and the latter two threw their support to Biden. This is truly much ado about nothing, except it furthered the emerging narrative.

Since the prospect of Sanders being the Democrat Party’s nominee was and remains totally unacceptable to party insiders and almost all of the major media, there had to be a “comeback” story for Biden, even though 24 hours ago, the conventional media wisdom was that Sanders would do very, very well today. 

But while those stories ebb and flow, and flow and ebb, one aspect that only occasionally gets addressed forthrightly was thoroughly dealt with yesterday by Rolling Stone Magazine. In a nutshell (as Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey put it today), “Republicans appear to be far ahead of Democrats on that [turnout] scale. It’s not that Democratic turnout is poor, but it’s not spectacular either. Among Republicans, however, spectacular seems to be the right word.”

Rolling Stone’s Andy Kroll cuts right to the chase:Democrats Have a Turnout Problem:  Trump is setting turnout records. The Democrats need to replicate their historic 2008 voter mobilization — but they keep falling short.”

The article is must reading, so let me make just two points.

First, as Kroll observes, “Let’s start with the Republican Party. Voters have mobilized in huge numbers even though Trump is essentially running uncontested.” [my emphasis.) The importance of this simply cannot be exaggerated. 

“Huge” is putting it mildly. Not only are large stadiums being filled to capacity, there are thousands and thousands of people waiting outside. It is incredibly impressive, made more so by President Trump’s uncanny ability to pump his supporters up. 

As one political scientist told Kroll, “Trump’s huge levels of support defy historical trends about sitting presidents who run for reelection.”

Second (and Kroll’s conclusion), 

Here’s the bottom line: The revolution has yet to arrive. No candidate has rebuilt the coalition that delivered Obama the nomination in 2008. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen — anger at this president and fear of another four years of Trump will undoubtedly motivate huge numbers of Democrats in November who aren’t tuned into the primary. 

And yet. Those are potential Democratic voters. Trump is turning people out in historic numbers right now. Democrats need to act — fast. (the underlining is mine)

More tomorrow as we analyze what happened in “Super Tuesday.”

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Categories: Donald Trump