In addition, pundits should stop making the mistake that Trump can carry the Electoral College while securing under 42 percent of the popular vote, instead focusing far greater attention on the fact that Trump has a hardening majority of the American electorate opposing his re-election. In fact pundits—as well as the president himself—misunderstand how he pulled off the upset in 2016.
The truth is that Trump’s base did not elect him. His base brought him close, but what paved the road for the inside straight that secured his majority in the Electoral College, was a late swing away from Hillary among suburban women, middle-aged Hispanic men, those with some college but not a four year degree, and independents, combined with a drop in the black turnout. Trump is weaker today than he was in November 2016 in each of those demographic subsets, and the economic uncertainty and distress in the bond markets are affecting the investment accounts of those older voters Trump needs to have any chance of mounting a comeback.
If you doubt the accuracy of that observation go to the cross tabs of the most recent Pew data and track Trump’s disapproval ratings (48 percent among whites, 55 percent among men, 79 percent among Hispanics, 58 percent among Catholics, 55 percent of those with some college but not a four year degree as well as 55 percent of those with a high school degree or less, 55 percent among seniors and 17 percent disapproval among Republicans and Republican leaning Independents). If those levels of opposition hold in terms of Trump’s job approval ratings and he continues to run underneath those levels in terms of securing support from voters for his re-election, Trump will lose unless the Democrats fail to nurture and corral this majority of opposition to Trump’s presidency. Trump has time to change course and the Democrats are capable of imploding, but Donald Trump has shown precious little capacity for change.