Donald Trump’s Secret Weapon

By | 6/03/2016 Leave a Comment
Donald Trump has a secret weapon - independent voters

If, as now seems likely, Hillary Clinton is officially bestowed the title of presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party after the final voting on June 7th, she will then be free to turn her full attention to defeating Donald Trump in November.

She gave a preview of things to come on Thursday during what was billed as a “major foreign policy address” but in reality was little more than a media attention grab that was sparse on foreign policy specifics and big on Trump bashing.

Despite her unexpectedly difficult and bruising path towards the nomination, she still exudes an air of arrogance and moral superiority that suggests she sees it as almost inevitable that she’ll be moving back into the White House come the fall.

It’s the same smugness that the Democratic establishment itself displays when it talks of the party’s inevitable reunification just as soon as Bernie Sanders is disposed of and his disgruntled supporters suck it up and get back in line.

Why would they exhibit such unbecoming hubris? Because that’s what happens in every election – the party always rallies behind the eventual nominee. Except that this isn’t every election.

Far from it.

In a Gallup study conducted in 2015, the country’s electorate identified itself as 29% Democrat and 26% Republican. While that might seem like a welcome advantage for the Democrats, it’s actually the lowest number the party has polled in 27 years (the Republican figure being more in line with historical averages). But the most important number to consider, however, are those voters who identify as independent – a whopping 42% of them.

Those are the people who will decide this election – not the party faithful – and among those voters, Donald J. Trump has a built-in advantage.

The enormous increase in independent voters over the last 5 years is in large part due to the public’s disapproval of the job that congress is doing, currently standing at around 78%. After years of political gridlock and economic stagnation, much of the country has become exasperated with the status quo and yearns for someone to tear up the rulebook and try something different: hence the meteoric rise of the insurgent campaigns of Trump and Sanders.

However, if Senator Sanders is pushed out of the race, that leaves Mr. Trump as the only alternative to the politics-as-usual that Hillary Clinton represents.
     
Of course, some of those left-leaning independents will undoubtedly hold their nose and vote for Clinton when push comes to shove, and some of those that lean right may not feel entirely comfortable with Trump’s brash style. But the fact remains that the largest voting block in this election is sick and tired of establishment politicians who speak much but do little – and that bodes very well indeed for Mr. Trump.

The upshot:

If Hillary Clinton and the DNC conceitedly imagine they have an easy path to victory in the fall, then they’ve clearly learned nothing from the anti-establishment fervor that’s rocked the nominating contests of both parties this year. And, fortunately for Mr. Trump, while those independent voters won’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, one thing they can all probably agree on is that they don’t want to “Make America the Same Again.”

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