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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Is Trump Doomed? Probably Not

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Is Trump Doomed? Probably Not.

EJ Dionne uses his latest column in the Washington Post to tackle this issue, in the process discussing the implications of my latest report.

“The situation Democrats face is…more treacherous than they might want to believe, given that a flailing Trump seems to be losing the messaging war on impeachment rather badly. Yes, the public seems ready to throw Trump out of office. But will Democrats make that easy or hard?

A report released last week by the Center for American Progress sheds important light on the party’s choices. One of its key findings will cheer Trump’s foes: If every demographic group votes as it did in 2016, Trump will lose the popular vote by an even greater margin than he did last time and fall short in the three states that put him over the top: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Why? Because, write Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin, the study’s authors, “the nonwhite share of the eligible electorate will increase by 2 percentage points, almost entirely from increases in the shares of Hispanics, Asians, and voters of other races. That will be balanced by a commensurate decrease in the share of white noncollege eligible voters.”

But Democrats should not think that victory is already in the bank. The electoral college decides who is president, and Teixeira and Halpin note that these demographic shifts alone would produce only very narrow margins in the three key states. If Democrats fail to convert some of Trump’s voters or increase turnout among the faithful, the party’s candidate would still be at risk.

“Whoever the Democratic nominee is,” Teixeira said in an interview, “he or she must do two things above all: reach out to the white working class and increase black turnout.”….

As for Trump, Teixeira sees his most promising path to reelection as “increasing his share of the white ­working-class vote and also increasing turnout in this group,” while holding down his losses among the white ­college-educated.

So if Trump’s approach to impeachment seems undisciplined, its main purpose is to incite rage, energy and thus turnout among those who put him in the White House in the first place — Republican base voters plus white working-class swing voters. “Is his strategy working?” Teixeira asked. “Probably not. But there may be method in his madness.”

Which is why Trump’s madness will continue. Democrats cannot afford to assume that this alone will doom him.”

No they cannot. And if they do, they may well live to regret their complacency.

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