Monday, March 14, 2016

One of my friends...

...just sent me this email:

Mike, all your readers will be interested in your first-hand reports of the called-off Trump rally!

So I guess someone's reading this blog after all.

I have to admit, ever since I got back from California last week I've been struggling with writer's block. I've always gotten over it in the past so I'm sure I'll be back in business before too long. And, if not, well, I've been writing this thing since '08 -- maybe I'm finally running out of gas. (I doubt it, though; people in my family are pretty opinionated.)

So I'll get to work on that post about the rally real soon.

In the meantime, I had an interesting conversation with one of my neighbors on Friday afternoon about -- who else? -- Donald Trump. She and her husband are super-nice people but I had a sneaking suspicion they were Fox News watchers (which is very unusual for this neighborhood). We were talking about the Donald and she made reference to some right-wing talking points:

But what if Democrats cross over and vote for Trump?


What about the missing white vote from 2012?


I tried to tell her that the math just wasn't there. To put it bluntly, there aren't enough white people. 

Dan Balz, writing in the Washington Post, says (all emphasis mine):

...if the next GOP nominee wins the same share of the white vote as Mitt Romney won in 2012 (59 percent), he or she would need to win 30 percent of the nonwhite vote.

Romney won only 17 percent of nonwhite voters in 2012. John McCain won 19 percent in 2008. George W. Bush won 26 percent in 2004.

If the nonwhites I saw on Friday night are any indication, Trump will do worse among this demographic than Romney.

Or this from Politico:

The math suggests Trump would need a whopping 70 percent of white male voters to cast their ballots for him. That’s a larger percentage than Republicans have ever won before — more than the GOP won in the landslide victories of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and far more than they won during the racially polarized elections of Barack Obama.

The overwhelming fact about American general elections right now is that white male voters just aren’t as powerful as they used to be. In 1980, when the electorate looked very different than it does today, Ronald Reagan cruised to an easy victory by winning 63 percent of white males, according to exit polls. In 1988, George H.W. Bush took 63 percent of that group in his rout of Michael Dukakis.

By 2004, however, winning 62 percent of white men barely got George W. Bush past John Kerry in a squeaker. And eight years later, Romney won 62 percent of white men—and lost to Barack Obama by 3.5 million votes.

So what happened? Between Reagan and Romney, the white male share of the total vote had dropped from 45 percent to 35 percent. The two biggest factors: From Reagan to Romney, Hispanics’ share of the national vote soared from 2 percent to 10 percent; and women, post-feminism, jumped from casting 49 percent of all ballots to 53 percent. Winning the same percentage of white men got the party less and less. And those changes have continued. It will get the GOP even less this year. That’s why Trump needs to jack the number up so high. 

(I remember reading somewhere that, with current demographics, Jimmy Carter would crush Ronald Reagan. Chew on that!)

Barring a recession or a terrorist attack between now and November, Hillary (or Bernie) has the upper hand in the general election. And no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that.

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