It sounds oxymoronic, but those who now say they won’t vote at all may be Donald Trump’s ace in the hole.
A national survey by Suffolk University asked those who report that they are “not likely” to vote, how they would vote if they did. The results were a political earthquake. The “non voters” would back Trump by 35-13 if they decided to cast ballots after all.
Pollsters routinely ask if a person is likely to vote. If the answer is yes, they proceed to conduct the interview. If no, they hang up.
But Suffolk’s pollsters stayed on the line and asked those who said they would not vote who they would back if they did. And the answer was Trump.
Historically, the Democrats benefit from a high turnout and Republicans dread it. Downscale voters, Blacks, Latinos and poor people, the conventional wisdom has held, are non-voters and, if they did participate, they would add to the Democratic Party coalition.
But no more. The Suffolk Survey found such strength in the alienated, left out, excluded, and marginalized among the electorate as to tip the election to Trump if they actually voted.
Traditionally, Republicans have constituted an island of concerned, active voters in a sea of indifferent, uninterested people who probably will stay home rather than vote. But the Suffolk poll indicates that, as each tranche of non-voters opts to participate, Trump will add to his margin of victory.
Never has the political and societal establishment hated a candidate as they do Trump. They have impeached him twice and indicted him four times. But the Suffolk poll would suggest that these putdowns are a kind of political red badge of courage, validating Trump as the ultimate outsider, increasing his appeal to his fellow outsiders who do not habitually vote in elections.
According to Emerson,
- Non-voters would break for Trump 35-13
- 70% have a favorable view of Trump
- 78% have an unfavorable opinion of Biden
- 51% actually did vote in 2020.
But the noise, focus, and all-consuming attention we all have to pay to the 2024 election suggests that potential couch potatoes will have to run a gauntlet of provocations to resist the impulse to vote. It will take strength and determination to sit this one out.
Non-voters are a dying breed. In 1996, the voter turnout was one hundred million. In 2020, with only about a 20% increase in population, there were 165 million voters. Increasingly all voters vote. Its what they do.
The Democrats have a demonstrably better political machine. But as it grinds ahead, pulling people out to vote, will it not be inadvertently adding to Trump’s vote by bringing his alienated, blue collar base to the polls?
Some, including probably Trump himself, worry that Manchin’s brand of back-country conservatism could take votes from Trump.
But there will be only two points of view in conflict in 2024: pro-Trump and anti-Trump. Biden will simply not enter into the calculation of most voters. And anyone who offers a second way to vote against Trump will be splitting the vote and helping Trump.
Even if the various third parties put up candidates to the left of Trump, it will help him. If they run a Black candidate or a Latino it will help Trump.
Its all about Donald J. Trump.
Dick Morris is a former presidential adviser and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris' Reports — More Here.