Can Elizabeth Warren Win in 2020?
Who Can Beat Donald Trump in 2020?
The grand question in the 2020 race is: Who can beat Donald Trump? When voters are polled, it's the highest issue on their mind. Nothing else garners as much attention as that. It makes perfect sense, too, as Trump's administration has largely dismantled a lot of Obama's legacy. And with the countless number of candidates running, surely one of them has to be strong enough to beat him?
In short, yes. The polling shows that Trump is still historically unpopular despite the booming economy. Most Presidents would sail to reelection with the economy we have, but roughly 60% of the country doesn't like him on a personal level, which of course is the direct result of his behavior. So, when you poll people, Democrats could almost run a mop bucket for President and win. However, I would remind people that Trump was underestimated in 2016, so underestimate him at your own peril.
Clinton Coalition or Obama Coalition?
The main question for the 20+ Democrats running is whether they can form a coalition of voters to win the electoral college. With the 2016 election, we saw how it truly doesn't matter if you win 3 million more votes than your opponent. You need to get those votes in very targeted areas in order to flip the electoral college in your favor. Admittedly, the Trump campaign was very skilled at this, successfully flipping Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin by only a handful of votes in the thousands.
Obviously, out of the two coalitions to choose from, you'd want to replicate Obama's two victories. He ran up the score with young voters and voters of color, while also collecting a large enough portion of the white vote to win many states Democrats didn't usually win like Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina (in 2008, at least).
The Warren Coalition?
Currently, Warren does quite well with the white working class voters. This is mainly due to her populist pitch wrapped in liberalism. This is how Obama won over many of those voters in 2008 and 2012, while Trump won them in 2016. That's important for the general election, but she has to win the primaries first.
No Democrat will win any elected office without the minority vote. Plain and simple. (Note: This is why Buttigieg cannot win unless he improves his near-zero approval rating with people of color.) Currently, Joe Biden is the main candidate to garner the minority vote. But, if Warren became the nominee, I have no doubt she could win over their vote, while also converting Trump voters back to the Democratic column.
That's the real strength of Warren. She has the fire of the progressive community right now (even more than Bernie in the latest polls) and most importantly, she has plans that would be attractive to the larger democratic base. Plus, she's a woman and democrats feel it is long overdue for a female President. The women's vote is absolutely vital to winning the Presidency. And Warren should have no issue winning that bloc of voters.
Women, People of Color, and White Working Class Voters Equals...
The short answer is that Warren will win with the support of women, people of color, and the white working class. If she can run up the score with female voters as she's likely to do, campaign for the minority vote (Obama will be the best and most effective surrogate for all three categories listed), and hammer home her economic populist agenda in the rust-belt states, she should have no issue defeating Donald Trump.
Trump's support among these swing voters was a transaction. It wasn't out of love or passion. They felt that the status quo had let them down. Washington didn't care, so why should they? So, they voted to burn it all down. A large number of them were Bernie voters who went for Trump in the general. They care less about political affiliation than they do about you understanding their struggles.
Say what you will about Trump, and there's a lot you could, he definitively spoke to their issues in 2016. While Clinton was banging the "Stronger Together" drum, Trump hammered home the notion of draining the swamp, bringing back manufacturing, and upending Washington. All things that resonated perfectly.
But, to date, he hasn't really delivered for those white working class voters. The current polling shows that he is losing a lot of them because of the trade war and his tariffs. They're simply not buying it when he says China is paying for them. It's just not true and they can feel it.
Warren's Recipe to Win
Warren needs to do these main three things to win:
1. Speak to white working class voters in the rust-belt and understand their pain, while proposing actual plans to help them.
2. Court the black vote by visiting communities ravaged by police brutality and historic inequality and truly feel their pain. Don't just propose plans and leave. Connect with them on a human level.
3. Run up the score with the female vote, which is more than half of all voters.
She has effectively shown her ability to do numbers 1 and 3. 2 is more of an unknown. She's certainly been more successful than Buttigieg, but that isn't saying much. Bernie had a similar issue in 2016 as he does currently. His supporters are mainly white. Hence why Clinton prevailed in the drawn-out primary process.
I truly believe Warren has the right appeal for the voting blocs Democrats will need in 2020 in order to rebuild the blue wall which could secure democratic victories for decades to come.
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© 2019 Steven Dison