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Will Suppression Truthers Depress 2020 Democratic Turnout?
David Catron
by
Stacey Abrams (YouTube screenshot)

What do Stacey Abrams, Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris have in common beyond their party affiliation and delusional presidential aspirations? They are actively promoting a conspiracy theory about a nationwide voter suppression scheme they claim has already cost the Democrats key contests in 2018. Harris became the latest to join the chorus when she told an NAACP gathering, “Let’s say this loud and clear: Without voter suppression, Stacey Abrams would be the governor of Georgia. Andrew Gillum is the governor of Florida.” Ironically, the probable effect of such evidence-free claims will be to depress Democratic turnout in 2020.

It should be obvious to these Democratic demagogues that supporters upon whom they heavily rely are also the most likely to believe the suppression canard and conclude that there is little point in trying to vote. Several surveys conducted before and after last year’s midterms show that the voter blocs that tend to lean Democratic are the least confident that vote counts are accurate in national elections. Blacks, for example, constitute a crucial voting bloc for Democrats and the Pew Research Center found that only 20 percent were “very confident” their votes would be counted as they intended. Hispanics and Millennials tend to be even less sanguine.

How are these already-jaded voters likely to respond to Democratic claims, amplified via the “news” media, that the Republicans are engaged in widespread — and successful — voter suppression programs aimed at key Democratic voting blocs? It will, of course, tend to demoralize them further and common sense suggests this isn’t an effective get-out-the-vote strategy. Consequently, Stacey Abrams — who obstinately refuses to concede that she lost last year’s Georgia gubernatorial race — has embarked on an “I WAS ROBBED” tour that will almost certainly depress 2020 minority turnout far more effectively than any evil plot hatched by the GOP.

This will primarily affect a portion of the electorate to whom analysts refer as “drop-off” or “inconsistent” voters.” These people tend to be nonwhite, under 30, and usually make less than $50,000 annually. They show up at the polls very sporadically because they are far less civically minded than consistent voters, and have very little compunction about simply sitting out an election if they don’t like their choices — or if they don’t believe their vote really matters. If they’re told that voting is an exercise in futility they won’t show. Most importantly for 2020 turnout, they tend to be far more liberal than consistent voters, according to a 2017 Pew study:

Democrats and Democratic leaners made up much greater shares of drop-off voters (58%) and nonvoters (58%) than consistent voters (47%).… Consistent voters also were conservative, on balance. Conservative Republicans (38%) made up a larger share of consistent voters than did either liberal Democrats or conservative and moderate Democrats (24% each) or moderate and liberal Republicans (14%).

In other words, the Democrats need these drop-off voters to cast ballots in 2020 and it’s just plain nuts for people like Abrams, Clinton, Harris, et al., to reinforce the illusion that their votes won’t be counted or that they won’t be permitted to vote pursuant to a nonexistent suppression program conducted by the Republicans. It seems even crazier once one examines the objective facts and discovers zero evidence that any such suppression effort exists — except in the heads of sore losers like Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams — both of whom lost in elections notable for large increases in voter turnout (on both sides) than prior contests.

According to the recent Census Bureau report on voter turnout in 2018, the objective data don’t support the suppression hoax. Between the 2014 and 2018 midterms, non-Hispanic black voter turnout increased by 11 percentage points, Hispanic turnout increased by 13 points, non-Hispanic Asians increased by 13 points, female turnout increased by 3 percentage points, and millennial turnout increased by 16 percentage points. And yet we are told by the Democrats that election integrity initiatives like Voter ID laws constitute a regression to the bad old days of Jim Crow. This is clearly refuted by the above. Moreover, as the Wall Street Journal notes:

In a 2016 Gallup poll, voter-ID laws were supported by 4 in 5 respondents, including 95% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats, 81% of whites and 77% of nonwhites. In a 2012 survey published by the Washington Post, approval was similarly broad and deep, with 78% of whites, 65% of blacks and 64% of Hispanics expressing support for voter ID laws. When will Democrats learn how to lose an election without playing the race card?

The obvious answer to that question is, “Never.” What else have they got? They run candidates who weaponize powerful government agencies against their opponents and still manage to lose. Their candidates are protected by a veritable Praetorian Guard of partisan “journalists” and still get crushed. They finance their candidates with tsunamis of taxpayer money laundered through public sector unions, yet still can’t get across the finish line without “vote harvesting.” And their idea of governing is to continue digging through Robert Mueller’s 448-page word salad, in the futile hope that there is something — anything — there that will undo the 2016 election.

The race card is all they have left and they have evidently forgotten how to play that one with any real skill. They are reduced to the ridiculous pretence that voter ID laws and the removal of dead people and noncitizens from voter rolls constitutes a coast to coast Republican conspiracy to disfranchise minorities. In other words, they are playing their remaining card in a way that will depress turnout by the least motivated among their base, the drop-off voters who will not bestir themselves on Election Day because they have been told by Stacey Abrams, Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris, that their vote doesn’t count. Race-baiting ain’t what it used to be.

David Catron
David Catron
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David Catron is a health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.
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