by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
While the race for the Democratic presidential nomination threatens to devolve into an intraparty civil war, President Trump’s campaign is expanding the Republican base by tapping into the vast pool of Americans who are eligible to vote yet exercise the franchise very sporadically. These desultory voters constitute more than 40 percent of the electorate according to a new Knight Foundation poll. Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, is deploying a small army of volunteers at each of the President’s rallies to identify attendees who may belong to this immense reservoir of potential supporters and convert them into 2020 Republican voters who will show up and cast ballots on Election Day.
After each Trump rally Parscale posts the percentage of attendees who didn’t vote in 2016. After last Friday’s Las Vegas event, for example, he tweeted that 32 percent of the eligible voters who came to see Trump had not voted in the last presidential election. Subsequent to the Colorado Springs rally held the day before, Parscale tweeted that 19 percent of the attendees neglected to vote in 2016. Following Wednesday’s Phoenix rally, he tweeted that 26 percent of the eligible voters in attendance skipped the last election. The campaign isn’t merely keeping score and compiling lists for use at some later date. They are reaching out to these disengaged voters then and there.