Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Democrats must boost voter ranks

Published:Monday | November 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Ever since the world was shocked by the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, I keep reading commentaries saying the same thing: The Democratic Party needs to learn how to speak to poor, white people. Most commentators are also giving readers and listeners the wrong impression, which is that Trump won because he was able to capture some recent Democratic voters.

The results of the last three US presidential elections show that Trump received approximately the same number of votes that John McCain and Mitt Romney got - McCain got 59.9 million votes, Romney got 60.9 million and Trump got 60.2 million. So, what this tells me is that there is a core group of approximately 60 million Americans who will vote for whomever is the Republican nominee.

President Barack Obama was able to beat both McCain and Romney, while Hillary Clinton was unable to beat Donald Trump because there are five to 10 million people who voted for Barack between 2008 (when he got nearly 70 million votes) and 2012 (when he got 66 million votes) who didn't vote for Hillary, who got approximately 61 million votes.

In other words, there are five to 10 million people who voted for President Obama who didn't vote for Hillary but, even more important, those people didn't vote for Trump either because he didn't increase the total number of votes beyond that which the last two Republicans who ran got. In fact, Trump got nearly 700,000 votes fewer than Romney.

On the other hand, we know that at least four million more people voted for third-party candidates in 2016 compared to 2012.

So, Democrats (and people around the world who support Democrats) need to stop freaking out and thinking that the USA they knew and loved under President Obama has so dramatically changed. It hasn't.

Instead, Democrats need to focus on trying to identify those four million people who voted for third-party candidates in 2016, plus the other up to six million people who voted for Barrack in 2008 but who sat out both the 2012 and 2016 elections.

In other words, Democrats need to figure out who these people are and what motivated them to vote for Obama during 2008 and 2012, because it is the recapture by the Democrats of these five to 10 million people that will put a Democrat back in the White House!


Montego Bay, St Jamaica