Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Future of a Fractured Electorate

No question that Trump and Hillary represent two very different sides of a fractured country.

"Trump, Clinton run on opposite sides of a fractured America

'It feels like a fraying at the seams of the country.'

Read more:

Still, I think this misses the point:

"In so many ways, you feel that there’s nobody that represents the whole,” said Peter Hart, who has been a Democratic pollster for 50 years. “That Donald Trump has his constituency. That Hillary Clinton has her constituency. And they are talking to their part of the world, and neither is really talking about how you knit a country back together.”

"Both Clinton and Trump paused their campaigns on Friday. But even as they pledge healing and unity in a moment of national mourning, the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees are assembling competing political coalitions with so little overlap that it will be hard for either to emerge as a unifying figure."

"The Democratic coalition — composed of urban white liberals and minorities — is more racially diverse than the GOP, which has been becoming older and more white for years. Yet if Clinton is to win, she will have to do it lifted by a tide of nonwhite voters. If Trump is to win, he’ll have to do it with a dramatic surge in turnout among the white electorate."

"The resulting campaign has left the country hurtling toward the most racially divisive and acrimonious election in at least a generation."

“I think that we are headed for a very, very divided election based on race, unless one of the candidates can show some real innovative leadership and raise us above this moment,” said Al Sharpton, the prominent African-American leader and informal adviser to President Barack Obama.

Read more:

I don't know why Sharpton always goes out of his way to ding Hillary.

Let's be clear. The electorate has been fractured for a long time. This is not new. We've seen this divide in every national election since LBJ.

"The Pew Center national poll this week showcased the split: Trump led Clinton among white voters, 51 percent to 42 percent. She crushed him among African-Americans (91 percent to 7 percent) and Latinos (66 percent to 24 percent)."

“It feels like a fraying at the seams of the country,” Hart added, with more than a hint of resignation. “Not since 1968 have I felt that essentially the events are just overrunning the country.”

Read more:

What's interesting, is that among white voters, it's actually a lot tighter than usual. The GOP normally gets in the high 50s or low 60s among whites. In 1984, Reagan got the highwater mark at 64 percent.

So she's actually doing better-or more to the point, Trump is doing worse. He's consistently struggled to get much more than 50 percent. Most polls have shown him just a little North or South of 5 in 10 white voters which is abysmal.

So if anything, Trump might be uniting the country-at least in opposition to him and what he represents.

I still believe that Hillary has the real potential to bring the country together. Interestingly, Eric Dyson called this a long time ago, when he controversially argued that she could unite the country in ways that Obama couldn't.

The idea is she will be able to call out white folks in a way he couldn't.

Trump has a way of bringing people together in opposition to himself.

"International perceptions of Trump were revealed in recent polling. Asked if the businessman would do the right thing once in the White House, only 14 percent of Canadians said he would. Some 12 percent of Britons expressed confidence in the mogul, along with nine percent of French respondents, and eight percent of those in Spain. Only three percent of Greeks welcomed a Trump presidency."

"Donald will have seen those numbers — surveys are the one election tool he regularly consults (around 10 percent of Trump’s personal tweets push data)."

"So the nominee is also aware of his historically bad polling inside the U.S. — he’s unfavorable with 88 percent of African-Americans, 87 percent of Hispanics and 55 percent of white voters. Even his own party doesn’t like him, with 51 percent of Republicans saying they’d prefer a different nominee."

Again, 55 percent of white voters. Maybe we should give white folks more credit!

Among white voters what you do see is a divide. College educated whites-especially the women-are disgusted by Trump. His success is among his favorite group, 'the poorly educated.'

Regarding the issue of national unity, Jonathan Chait:

"If there is a single premise dividing Obama from his critics on both the left and the right, it is that intractable conflict is irrational rather than rational. The promise of reasoned, evidence-based progress is gains for all, not merely for one group at the necessary expense of others."

"Obama’s placid vision is obviously not a panacea. There are murderers, racists, and hysterics afoot who will not calmly gather around the table for a data-based discussion of reforms. There is an element of struggle to his vision — a contest to maintain calm, to impose order over chaos and reason over passion. The dissidents to Obama’s vision, by necessity and by definition, are loud and conspicuous. They capture our attention. But they are not the majority, and they are not bound to prevail."

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