The past week has provided plenty of proof that beating Donald Trump in 2020 is going to be a lot harder than the Democrats (and their cheerleaders in the media and Hollywood) would like to believe.
Let’s start with his rally in Orlando Tuesday night. That was the official announcement of Trump’s intention to seek a second term as president of the United States. Orlando’s Amway Center seats over 20,000 people, and Trump addressed a rowdy capacity crowd. Thousands more tailgated outside, and watch parties were held all across the country. It is evident that enthusiasm for Trump has not dimmed among his base.
Contrast that with the crowds attending the Democratic candidates’ recent events: Joe Biden — considered the frontrunner for the Democrat Party nomination at the moment — spoke to a group of 250 people in Ottumwa, Iowa, last week. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is hitting Iowa hard, but crowds at her recent events are not any more imposing. Warren addressed a modest crowd in a school gym in Newton, Iowa. A mere dozen people came to her “Rural Issues Roundtable” in Grinnell, Iowa.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is running close behind Biden and Warren in polls and generating a good deal of excitement, but he was forced to briefly suspend his campaign to deal with a police shooting in South Bend.
Sen. Bernie Sanders was able to attract only about 1,500 people at his first 2020 campaign event in his home state of Vermont — significantly less than the 5,500 who came to the Vermont kickoff event for his 2016 presidential election campaign.
Then there’s fundraising.
Trump broke fundraising records on Tuesday, according to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, bringing in a staggering $24.8 million on Tuesday alone. That amount, as ABC News reporter Will Steakin tweeted, is more than any of Trump’s Democratic challengers raised in the entire first quarter of 2019.
Despite these two important indicia, the media is reporting polls like a recent one from Quinnipiac showing that Trump is trailing most of the major Democratic candidates in the battleground state of Florida: Biden (+9% over Trump); Sanders (+6%); Warren (+4%); and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris and even Buttigieg (+1% each).
This smacks of the kind of wishful thinking that gave us a 95% certainty Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. Many of us noted at the time that the enthusiasm of Trump’s supporters dwarfed anything that was seen for Clinton; this was utterly ignored or deliberately downplayed by the press. And although each of the 2020 Democrat contenders has his or her cadre of diehards, no one — save, perhaps, Warren and Buttigieg — looks to be able to eventually engender a nationwide groundswell of popular support that could rival that of Trump voters.
Not only are the Democrats mistaking their own sentiments for that of the nation at large; they are also doubling down on the issues and tactics that swing more voters toward Trump.
Willful ignorance about the booming economy and its benefits is one glaring example. At the “Poor People’s Campaign Presidential Forum” on Monday, Biden announced that the first thing he would do as president would be to eliminate the recent tax cuts. Even The New York Times reported that the vast majority of taxpayers paid less in taxes as a result of Trump’s tax cuts (although many didn’t believe it, thanks to nonstop propaganda from the left). Who wants their taxes raised?
Unemployment is at its lowest rate (3.6%) in 50 years. Hispanic and black unemployment rates have hovered around record lows for the past year. Wages have increased, and — contrary to the “income inequality” jeremiads — it is lower-wage workers who have benefitted most. Goldman Sachs issued a report earlier this year in which it stated, “Wages have accelerated in recent months … Breaking down the wage acceleration by income level, we find that wage growth has picked up sharply in the bottom half of the wage distribution, with considerably slower growth in the upper half.” The report attributes much of this wage growth to the improved job situation across the country; employers now even have to compete for entry-level employees.
Democrats are absurdly pretending that former President Obama’s policies are responsible for all this economic success, and are threatening to return to the higher taxes and job-throttling regulation of that era. Americans are not going to give up their improved prosperity without a fight.
Illegal immigration is another hill that Democrats seem determined to die on. Democrats in Congress refuse to enforce our immigration laws; several Democrat-run cities have declared themselves to be “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proudly signed a law this week granting illegal immigrants the right to obtain a New York driver’s license. It has not gone unnoticed that driver’s licenses are the primary identification used for voter registration, and such a law creates rampant opportunities for voter fraud.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez created another firestorm when she called immigrant detention facilities “concentration camps.” Not only did the Twitterverse correct her on the definition (*whisper* If you can leave the country willingly, it’s not a concentration camp) but many Jewish organizations expressed outrage at the overt — and, in their view, utterly inappropriate — comparisons with the Holocaust.
AOC has proclaimed that illegal immigrants should be able to get free education and health care here. Apparently, she thinks they should just be able to walk across the border by the millions to qualify.
You cannot have open borders and a welfare state, but Democrats want both. They purport to want “due process” for illegals, but 90% of immigrants who claim asylum never show up for their hearings.
This situation is untenable. Trump knows it. Trump voters know it. Even voters who aren’t crazy about Trump know it. Everyone seems to recognize it except the Democrats.
At this rate, President Trump won’t even have to campaign to win; he can just sit back and watch the Democrats lose.
Laura Hollis is a nationally syndicated conservative columnist whose experience in the law and politics spans more than 25 years. She is a frequent public speaker and, in addition to articles in respected legal publications, has been a freelance political writer since 1993.