Editor’s Note: Two political scientists find Trump still has winning hands
In a Sunday column in The Washington Post, “Stop laughing at Donald Trump,” a liberal analyst from the Brookings Institution tries to warn the Washington, D.C. beltway elites that they should take the businessman seriously because he has figured out how to win a national election—by taking the white vote. This is the “silent majority.”
While it is true that minorities and other groups helped elect President Obama twice, “the white portion of the electorate, which votes strongly Republican, underperformed in support of John McCain in 2008, and white turnout was down in 2012,” when Mitt Romney was the Republican presidential nominee, notes William H. Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a population studies professor at the University of Michigan.
In other words, if McCain and Romney had only come across in a more conservative and assertive manner, and had appealed to more white voters, they probably would have won.
Frey comments that Trump “appeals to a vein of the U.S. electorate that will remain a significant voting bloc for several election cycles to come: older whites.”
Yet, GOP politicians and Fox News commentators such as George Will and Charles Krauthammer have been attacking Trump and his policy positions. McCain went further, smearing Trump supporters as “crazies,” before Trump fired back, in comments on McCain’s war record. Veteran reporter Sharyl Attkisson said Trump’s comments were taken out of context and distorted by The Washington Post.
It appears that the “crazies” include a lot of ordinary Americans who are sick and tired of politics as usual. Trump, in contrast to McCain and Romney, has figured out a way to fire them up and tap their anger and frustration.
A 2014 study by Professor Marisa Abrajano on the coming backlash to immigration policy not only explains the Donald Trump phenomenon, but also why the liberal media are so determined to destroy him. The media know that Trump’s appeal threatens the ability of the Democratic Party to continue to fool white voters into embracing liberal policies that destroy their own communities.
Her academic paper, published by the Brookings Institution, was clearly designed to warn liberals about how a “broad backlash” to immigration could damage the Democratic Party. She said a backlash could not only “shift the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans” but benefit “rightward leaning candidates throughout the country” who want to do something about it.
The paper was based on the book, White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics. co-authored with Zoltan L. Hajnal.
“Immigrants may be arriving in historically high numbers,” she noted, “but they account for only a relatively small fraction of the nation’s population. Native-born whites still represent 63 percent of the population and, perhaps more importantly, some 75 percent of its voters.”
Hence, the key to Democratic Party success lies in manipulating the minority groups and immigrants into voting for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, as they currently do, while also conning a significant number of whites into voting Democrat. This is a con because the Democratic Party has no interest in protecting the interests of white people as a political or special interest group.
The Abrajano report has some interesting comments about media coverage of the issue that may help explain the reaction to Donald Trump. It says, “At the aggregate level, we find that when media coverage of immigration uses the Latino threat narrative, the likelihood of whites identifying with the Democratic Party decreases, and the probability of favoring Republicans increases.”
Of course, the liberal media never use the “Latino threat narrative,” and the phrase is meant to suggest that concerns about immigration are somehow racist or improper. Our media have done their best to play down the problem, through such maneuvers as banning the term “illegal alien” and substituting “undocumented worker.”
What Trump has done is bring the issue to the fore, making it out to be the threat that it is. The Trump surge, plus the murder of a young American in San Francisco by a Mexican illegal alien and the prison escape in Mexico of a drug cartel leader, have put the dangers on the front pages of our newspapers in a manner that has garnered the attention of the nation. Our media have been forced to cover the issue in a way that captures the peril our nation currently faces. As a result, the Democrats and their liberal media allies fear that white voters have now been dramatically educated about the political stakes and may vote accordingly in favor of their own interests.
The media have no problem with blacks and Hispanics voting for Democrats in large numbers and affirming and protecting their own racial identities. But when whites do it, it suddenly becomes racism. That charge has carried a lot of sting in the past, but with illegals streaming across the border and Middle Eastern Muslims creating enclaves in places like Tennessee, it looks more and more like members of the “silent majority” are deciding to be silent no more. They are realizing that the lives of their family members and the cultural identity of their nation are at risk.
“Immigration and other factors appear increasingly to be pitting the declining white majority against the growing non-white minority,” she wrote. That majority may have found its voice in Trump, a man unafraid of the liberal media and the GOP establishment, which wants to continue the losing strategy of pandering to the minorities who overwhelmingly vote Democrat.
Abrajano also wrote, “The conventional view of pundits and prognosticators and maybe even most social scientists is that the dramatic growth of the minority population and its strong ties to the Democratic Party portend the demise of the Republican Party.” She adds, “That may be true in the long term. But that prediction ignores the white population and the possibility of a widespread white backlash in the short term.”
It appears that “short term” has now arrived. His name is Donald Trump.
Abrajano’s co-author, Hajnal, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, recently wrote that Republicans’ “opposition to immigration reform actually represents a winning strategy, not a losing one.”
Of course, the term “immigration reform” is code for amnesty for illegals.
That aside, he acknowledges that “Republicans win or lose largely depending on white voters. Whites still make up the vast majority of voters—some 75 percent in 2014—and whites tend to favor the Republican Party by large margins. Republican congressional candidates garnered 60 percent of the white vote in 2014. All told, 89 percent of all Republican votes in 2014 came from white voters. Put simply, the Republican Party doesn’t really need the minority vote.”
Since the Republicans have a winning strategy, what holds them back from using it? It’s called political correctness, which holds that appealing to people based on their fears of immigration destroying their country is racist and wrong. Trump didn’t care what the media thought and decided to address the issue anyway. The response speaks for itself.
It’s not surprising that GOP presidential candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio would go after Trump. For whatever reason, perhaps because they want to appear “inclusive,” they are desperate to appeal to Hispanics, a voting bloc that is essentially owned by the Democrats.
This is not to say that some Hispanics do not agree with Trump.
Maria Espinoza launched the group America First Latinos, in order to “prove, once and for all, that the majority of Latino citizens are solidly behind the U.S. Constitution and a secured national border.” Espinoza also launched the Stolen Lives Quilt project, whose members appeared with Trump at his July 10 news conference. The group remembers the victims of illegal alien crimes in the U.S. and is coming to Washington, D.C. this week to press their case against criminal aliens coming across America’s open borders.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org