Has Trump Solved the Riddle of the Disappearing White Voter?

Washington Post: “White voter participation — meaning the actual share of those who turn out and vote in presidential and congressional elections — has been declining since about the mid-2000s. And in 2012, that pattern produced a first: African Americans participated in the presidential election at the highest rate, and white voters lagged behind in second place.”

“Look closely: Something is eating white voters and has been for years.”

“This begins to explain why, in the 2016 GOP primary season, a collection of men and one woman who have never held public office — businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former tech executive Carly Fiorina — are outperforming more conventional candidates with more campaign resources.”

“In the crowded Republican field, the candidate who can figure out the Trump Secret Sauce might have a shot at attracting some of Trump’s supporters if and when Trump is out.”

“But solving the riddle of the disappearing white voter is, for every GOP contender, critical.”

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  • pisher

    Given population trends, that’s a very temporary solution, of course. And I really doubt any of the other candidates can duplicate Trump’s weird mojo.

    But yeah, a lot of white voters feel like nobody is really speaking for them–at them, but not for them. That’s the key to successful populism–you’re channeling the angers and resentments of a lot of people–whether those resentments are justified or not is entirely beside the point. They’re no less real for being misinformed and self-deceiving. And the fact is, people have lost a lot–mainly because of the slavishness of their party leaders towards the rich. And no regular GOP candidate can say that–even most of the Dems tend to hold back a bit. Trump and Sanders don’t hold back, because neither depends on big donors. But Trump is the purer expression, because he depends on no donors, and because he isn’t, like Sanders, a career politician pretending not to be one.

    (And because Sanders actually knows the complexities involved in change–he’s just not talking about them, because that don’t play in Peoria).

    I really hate to say it, because the idea of President Trump horrifies me. But he is the strongest candidate they have. I think he’d probably fail to win the general, but he’s the only one who is prepared to defy the standard party boilerplate–to say what the others don’t dare to say (like breaking the deal with Iran would be stupid). He’s engaged the enthusiasms of people who frequently don’t vote at all. Many, to be sure, would turn out to vote against him, but others who don’t normally vote would turn out for him. He’s figured out how to say reasonable things to the GOP base without being rejected by it. You just couch it all in contemptuous anti-Liberal anti-minority rhetoric.

    Maybe he agreed not to run as a third party candidate because he’s figured out the other candidates are too weak to stop him. He can still stop himself, of course. Anybody ever heard of the Boulanger Affair? In France. 19th century. Google it.

    • Morethanhalf2taxes

      Self indulging butthole

      • pisher

        Wow. Great argument. You really cover the bases. Can I quote you? 🙂

  • daddyoyo

    The charts don’t support the premise. Black turnout was only 2.1% greater than white turnout in 2012. Notice, furthermore, that the trend line of falling white voter participation between 2008 and 2012 is exactly parallel with the Hispanic fall off. In other words, the net result of all 3 trends, in terms of partisan advantage, cancels out.

    • embo66

      No kidding.
      White voter turnout was also significantly LESS in cycles preceding 2004 — and sorry, but just 2 subsequent elections do not a “trend” make.

      Bottom line: The article talks about “a phenomenon” that doesn’t exist. Nor is the leap in logic — from supposedly declining white voter turnout to the success of Trump, et.al. — ever explained (at least not in the excerpt above).

      Essentially crap.

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