In the famous Monty Python movie about the Holy Grail, the Black Knight, having his arm cut off by King Arthur, denies reality. When the King says “”Your arm’s off,” the Black Knight says, “No, it isn’t.” Despite the shocking and ongoing losses of Democrats in the political arena, the fake news media continues to offer an alternative universe worthy of the “Man in the High Castle.” Reality screams “You’re losing elections right and left,” but the Black Knight Democrats insist, “No we aren’t. It’s just a flesh wound.” This is actually very, very good. For the Left to continue to believe fake news can only slash away at their remaining power base even more.
During the campaign, we learned that Hillary Clinton relied disproportionately on public (to her, ridiculously favorable) polling—which of course was wrong. Trump’s administration marches on, undoing Barack Obama’s legacy faster than Scarlett Johansson can turn out new flops. The “alternative reality” media thinks a majority of Americans oppose Trump and produce polls showing he has low approval ratings. Remember, folks, these were the people who were off by seven points in Wisconsin, and the same polling organizations that all blew the election. These are the same pollsters who routinely asked for the “youngest voter in the home”(!!) Only two were accurate and they are seldom cited: People’s Pundit Daily showed Hillary with a 1.5% national edge but got the electoral college right, calling both Michigan and Pennsylvania, while Trafalgar also got Michigan and Pennsylvania right. So if these polls aren’t right, what is Trump’s approval rating?
Right now Rasmussen has him at 50%, but I think it’s a good 5-7% higher based on economic measures such as every high consumer sentiment indexes, right direction/wrong direction, and studies of business hiring expectations.
But if Democrats want to continue to believe the myth of Trump’s “low approval ratings,” they might want to look at the real and genuine approval ratings called elections. First in Kansas, then just Tuesday in Georgia, voters once again rejected Democrats. The Democrat candidate in GA06, Jon Ossoff, called his losing bid a “victory for the ages,” an astounding statement for someone who almost certainly will be kicked to the curb in the June general election, and who couldn’t win an election outright against 12 Republican candidates while spending $8 million on a House seat.
Diving just a little deeper, though, into the statistics of November and the first quarter of 2017, reasonable analysts might see a Democrat Stalingrad in any more of these “victories for the ages.” They and their fake news friends continue to harp on the November popular vote, which Hillary won thanks to California and New York. But let’s not play the Democrats’ game: those are (mostly) legitimate American voters and they did cast their ballots. We can’t ignore that. Neither can they ignore this: Donald Trump lost seven battleground states by fewer than 515,000 votes. Colorado, Maine (the whole state, not just CD1), Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia fell to Clinton by about 510,000 votes. In fact, Richard Baris, pollster for PPD, found that on election day Trump won Minnesota outside of Minneapolis at the stunning ratio of 2:1, and would have carried the state entirely if not for the “Access Hollywood” tape.
As Joel Pollock and I reported in our book How Trump Won, the “half-full, half-empty”argument cuts both ways. Democrats could say they only lost the election by fewer than 200,000 votes in a handful of states. But if I’m a Republican strategist, I’m looking at a “flip factor” in those seven key states of a mere 265,000 votes changing that would give Trump an electoral vote of 356 in 2020, even if nothing else changes.
Why would Trump or any Republican look at this as “half full” though? Easy. Because from 2012 to 2016, the collapse of Democrat voter registrations in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania—just to cite three states—were shocking. In 2016, in Cuyahoga County alone (Cleveland, the Democrat stronghold), Democrat losses/Republican gains came to almost 100,000. There is simply no way a Democrat can come close to winning Ohio starting out down 100,000 votes in Cuyahoga County. There’s more: Florida, especially in the red counties, saw strong Republican voter registration growth from 2012-2016, but in the first quarter of 2017,
Republican gains/Democrat losses in Florida came to +27,000 for the GOP. If this trend holds, Florida would again see a GOP voter registration lead by 2020.
Whether in registrations, elections, or non-poll public approval numbers, Trump and the Republicans are flicking off Democrats like fleas. The image of Hitler moving phantom divisions around on a map—units destroyed earlier in the war—comes to mind when observing the Democrats, their fake news media allies, and their claims of “victories for the ages.”
Larry Schweikart is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller A Patriot’s History of the
United States with Michael Allen and the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a
Revolution with Joel Pollak.