Trump Lost Because He Wore People Out
A look at the numbers show that Trump lost because people were tired of his antics
The Pew Research Center released their demographic modeling of the 2020 presidential election yesterday. It was a very interesting report that should be read in full.
Republicans can take comfort from then-President Donald Trump’s gains among black men, Asians, women, and especially Hispanics compared to 2016. In fact, Trump' received the best percentage of the Hispanic vote for a Republican since 2004, receiving 38% of the Hispanic vote.
What doomed Trump was a loss of support from white voters, especially white men. Biden also improved on Hillary Clinton’s performance among white working-class voters.
The COVID-19 epidemic and Trump’s failed response to it played a role in his defeat. The biggest explanation for his defeat is that he simply wore people out. As a result, they turned to the relatively inoffensive Joe Biden.
Here’s the most interesting paragraph in the Pew Research Center report (emphasis mine):
One somewhat unusual aspect of the 2016 election was the relatively high share of voters (nearly 6%) who voted for one of the third-party candidates (mostly the Libertarian and Green Party nominees), a fact many observers attributed to the relative unpopularity of both major party candidates. By comparison, just 2% of voters chose a third-party candidate in 2020. Overall, third-party 2016 voters who turned out in 2020 voted 53%-36% for Biden over Trump, with 10% opting for a third-party candidate. Among the 5% of Republicans who voted third-party in 2016 and voted in 2020, a majority (70%) supported Trump in 2020, but 18% backed Biden. Among the 5% of Democrats who voted third-party in 2016 and voted in 2020, just 8% supported Trump in 2020 while 85% voted for Biden.
Just from anecdotal evidence, I know many Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin voters in 2016 who voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Most of these people actually voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. They could not vote for Trump because they viewed him as unfit for office.
What’s worse is Trump made no effort to try and win these people over. If Trump had simply conducted himself professionally and been a “normal” president, he would likely still be in office today.
Instead, we had policy by insane tweets and incompetent governance. Trump ultimately accomplished very little that could not be undone by executive order.
It turns out the American people want competent, focused, and drama-free governance. It’s been a major why President Biden has had the success he had so far.
In 2024, Republicans have to build on Trump’s gains among black men, Hispanics, and Asians while winning over some of the Biden voters. In 2023 and 2024, Republican primary voters should keep that in mind, especially if Trump decides to run for president again.