by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon writes that the Democratic presidential nominee and the white working class could help Donald Trump’s re-election bid.
At first glance, President Trump’s reelection chances don’t look good. Stories about impeachment and presidential misbehavior dominate the news. Trump’s disapproval rating is high. Independent voters are against him. …
… And yet liberals are filled with apprehension. They are coming to recognize the potential size of the president’s pool of supporters. They fret over the capacities and liabilities of the eventual Democratic nominee. And their concerns are related: Trump’s ability to recapitulate or expand his winning coalition depends in large part on the identity of his opponent. Given these uncertainties, it would be foolish to predict Trump’s fate. He might even be stronger than he appears. …
… The Democratic difficulty has a name: the Electoral College. Twice in the twenty-first century, the level of the presidential vote has mattered less than its distribution. Trump’s people are spread much more evenly across the country than his opponents are. His base of white voters without college degrees, say Teixeira and Halpin, “make up more than half of all eligible voters in critical Electoral College states he won in 2016—including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—and in key target states for 2020 such as New Hampshire.”
Non-college white voters comprised the largest part of the electorate in 2016. Trump won them 63 percent to 31 percent. That margin more than compensated for his 7-point loss among whites with college degrees.