Next November, when most voters are trying to forget the partisan antics of President Trump’s impeachment, they will decide his fate based on the same criteria they always use to determine if a president deserves reelection. Committed Republicans will vote for Trump, of course, and committed Democrats will vote against him. But party loyalists are about evenly split among only 54 percent of the electorate. Fully 45 percent of Americans now identify as Independents, and their votes will hinge on more pragmatic concerns. This is good news for the president. A new Gallup survey shows very significant increases in public satisfaction on eight key issues since Trump took office:
Gallup records double-digit increases in public satisfaction with the nation’s economy, security from terrorism, military strength and the state of race relations.
Satisfaction is also up by between six and nine points on crime, the position of blacks and other racial minorities, the distribution of income and wealth, and the opportunity for a person to get ahead through hard work.
In other words, most Americans clearly believe they are better off than they were during the incumbency of former President Obama and his VP, Joe Biden. Moreover, the general sense that things are improving isn’t limited to the issues listed above. In addition to improved public satisfaction associated with those eight, Gallup noted another 19 about which Americans also feel more positive than they did in January 2017: “Average satisfaction across 27 issues is higher than when Trump took office.” These Gallup findings came on the heels of a new Fox poll that suggests the public is inclined to give President Trump and the Republicans credit for the improved state of affairs:
Voters give the economy its best ratings in nearly two decades in the latest Fox News Poll.… The poll, released Sunday, finds 55 percent give the economy positive ratings.… Moreover, the bulk of voters credit Trump for the economy. When asked to say who or what they think is most responsible for the current economy, without the aid of a list, the top answer is Trump.
This, combined with the increase in public satisfaction on so many national issues is, of course, why the Democrats have failed to make the sale on impeachment. Most voters, with the exception of a shrinking minority of Democratic partisans and Never Trumpers, just aren’t willing to remove a president they believe has improved the nation’s economy, the nation’s security from terrorism, the nation’s military strength and preparedness, the state of race relations, the nation’s policies to reduce or control crime, the position of blacks and other racial minorities, the way income and wealth are distributed, and the opportunity in this nation to get ahead by working hard.
The voters can tell the difference between Trump’s positive vision of the United States and his predecessor’s economically anemic “new normal” ruled by a tyrannical administrative state and a corrupt intelligence apparatus. The voters prefer the former. The president’s positive view of the nation’s future — symbolized by the red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats so reviled by those who would bring him down — resonates with tens of millions of Americans. And they are not the cartoons conjured by empty suits like CNN’s Don Lemon and the talking heads that bray for pay on his unwatchable program. As Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, explains,
Contrary to the media’s straw-man portrayal of a stereotypical Trump voter, Keep America Great rallies attract voters of all demographic descriptions from across the political spectrum.… Trump supporters are not embarrassed by our founding, our history, or our Constitution. All they want is to live in a great America, and Donald Trump is the only leader who unabashedly shares that goal.
Parscale goes on to point out that, of the attendees of Trump’s recent Ohio rally, 22 percent of those attending were Democrats and another 21 percent were Independents. About 20 percent of the attendees of the recent Pennsylvania rally were Democrats and 18 percent were non-white. If the Democrats continue to hemorrhage members of their own party, Independents, and non-whites, it doesn’t matter who they nominate — they lose. They need every last Democrat, a majority of Independents, and the kind of non-white turnout enjoyed by erstwhile President Obama. Otherwise, they won’t come close.
According to Gallup’s voter affiliation figures, 27 percent of the electorate consists of Democrats, 27 percent are Republicans, and 45 percent identify as Independents. All are filled with voters who express increased satisfaction involving eight key issues since Trump took office. The most important is the economy. Unemployment is low, real wages are rising, and inflation is all but nonexistent. If the economy keeps humming and the voters continue to feel that they are better off than during the Obama–Biden era, Trump will easily win reelection, partisan impeachment notwithstanding.