Clearly taking some time off has left the imps in my lizard hind brain with far too much time on their hands, but an interesting question came to me this morning as I reviewed more of the news I missed during the week between Christmas and New Years. There were a fair amount of laughs being had when AP posted some demographic information last week which showed that some of Donald Trump’s supporters were actually registered as Democrats. Hilarious, right? Sure. But the data that study was drawn from came from this piece in the New York Times. Let’s take another look at that map that the Times generated which showed where Trump’s support is the strongest.
Yes, The Donald has a lot of support in the south, which – assuming it holds – will serve him well on Super Tuesday after we come out of Iowa and New Hampshire. But the color coding on the map show’s the Trumpiest areas in dark red. Did you notice the one distinctly non-southern spot which is very, very crimson?
Mr. Trump’s best state is West Virginia, followed by New York. Eight of Mr. Trump’s 10 best congressional districts are in New York, including several on Long Island. North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and South Carolina follow.
Trump’s support is nearly the strongest in New York. Now, I can already hear what you’re thinking: That’s crazy, Jazz. Republicans don’t carry New York. It’s owned and operated by the Democrats. Well, that’s generally true, but if you spend any amount of time watching Empire State politics you know that things have been changing a bit of late. Remember that Governor Andrew Cuomo actually lost the vote in upstate New York in 2014. And he didn’t lose by a little, either. It was a wipe out. In fact he only carried eleven of the state’s 57 counties outside of the Big Apple. He still won the election, but it was a much narrower victory than the Democrats were used to enjoying and virtually all of his support came out of New York City.
Let’s put that in perspective here. Keep in mind that Trump wouldn’t actually have to win in New York City to pull this off. Cuomo’s total margin of victory was 54% and almost all of it came from the five boroughs. Trump would only need to tip the scales in the city enough to offset that 5% margin needed to swing the statewide vote because he’ll carry upstate in a landslide. (And he’s already very strong on Long Island.)
Could he pull it off? Lots of people go to work every day in New York City and see his name plastered all over everything. Trump provides one heck of a lot of jobs in the city, including plenty of people who are too busy with their own lives to spend their days watching MSNBC. And just take a walk around Brooklyn these days (assuming you can afford an armed guard for parts of it) and see how happy the locals are with the current Democrat leadership and the way things are going in the city. Could Trump pull out enough of what the Gray Lady described as his “irregular voters” to swing the Big Apple by six percent? That’s all it would take and it’s really not that big of a number when you consider how much of a wild card Trump represents.
So then what? I was unable to find it on a quick search last night, but after the 2012 elections I wrote a speculative piece about what might happen if the GOP could nominate a candidate who could carry either California or New York. At the time I assumed it would be either a total RINO or a native son like Pataki, but the rule remains the same. The Democrats go into each national election with a significant advantage in the electoral college, leaving the Republicans to fight for most of the swing states. But that advantage is anchored in California and New York. If you take either of them away the playing field is suddenly tipped over. Switching New York to the R column represents a net swing of 58 since we get 29 this time. And Trump is already very strong in Florida (the traditional bugaboo for the GOP these past couple of cycles) with a persistent lead over Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical match up. If you take New York and Florida off the table for Hillary, where is her path to victory?
Anyway, just something to think about on Monday morning as we launch into our first full week of regular business here at Hot Air during the election year. It’s a crazy concept to start with, I’m sure. But then again… lot’s of crazy things happen when you toss The Donald into the mix.