by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump’s challenges are not really his economic policies and foreign-affairs agendas. For the most part, these are supported by the American people and are resulting in prosperity at home and security abroad. …
… Yet Trump cannot consistently reach 50 percent approval in the polls. And, like most presidents, he experienced a rebuke in the House during his first midterm elections.
So what might Trump do to translate his policy successes into 51 percent majority support?
He needs to pick up more minority voter support, perhaps winning about 20 percent of the African-American vote and 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. That is a difficult proposition for any Republican in general, and in particular Trump, who is loathed by Democratic and identity-politics activists.
Yet Trump’s economic policies have achieved record-low minority unemployment. His immigration policies will eventually curb illegal immigration and give clout to entry-level workers, who will have less competition from imported low-wage labor.
Trump should go into minority communities and hold frank discussions with local leaders, many of whom oppose him politically, about policies geared toward economically empowering inner-city youth.
Trump’s message should be that his economic agenda is aimed at ensuring that minority workers regain some clout over employers. In a growing economy short of labor, those who were once bypassed and ignored now, for the first time in decades, enjoy rising wages and have the ability to choose from among multiple job options.
Trump also must pick up 5 percent to 10 percent more of suburban centrists and Republican voters, many of whom privately support the Trump agenda but publicly recoil at Trump’s sometimes blunt (though usually accurate) assessments of political opponents, celebrities, and foreign nations.